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Old 08-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
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Default Mos is the Man

"F*ck it! We'll do it live!!!" - Billy Bob O'Reilly

For years people have been covering other people's songs. Most do it as an easy step up - if you can ride the wave of another person's sucess, that less work you've gotta do to establish yourself.

Actually, I probably shouldn't say most. Honestly, I feel as though most people do it to show appreciation for another person's work/career. Problem is, most of these people don't understand the work of the greats they're trying to tribute. It's like asking a 5 year old to interpret a Picasso. He may like the squiggly lines and bright colour, but he doesn't understand a thing about what he's looking at. But they're the few that do...

Enter Dante Smith.

Mos Def is one of the few artistes out there that has a true appreciation for great music, and he himself understands what it means to make great music. He understands that doing justice to a song doesn't mean throwing a bunch of vocal acrobatics at it (I see you, Mariah Carey), or trying to copy the original verbatim. No, what he taps into is the heart of the singer, and presents it to the audience using his voice as a medium.

This would be hard enough to do in a studio, but Mos has been doing it as a steady part of his live show over the past few months. He's done a series of tributes to artistes, past and present, ranging from the cool jazz of John Coltrane to the open honesty of Kanye West, to the timeless hits of the late great Michael Jackson. Below are the links to some of my favourites and the originals that inspired them.

Human Nature

Mos' Version

Billie Jean

Coldplay's Version (Example of a bad cover. Now I'm a fan of Coldplay, but *barf*. And how do you not know the words to Billie Jean?)

Mos' Version

A love Supreme

Mos' Version (Okay, so really he just used it as an intro, and it's really a reconceptualizing of Lil Wayne's Dr. Carter. But hey, it's dope)

Say You Will

Mos' Version (the verse at the end is from U R the One, one of my favourite songs... period.)

Last edited by Sen; 08-27-2009 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:16 PM   #2


Very nice thread. I like how you put a lot of thought into these.
Nicky is offline   Reply With Quote


covers, live, mos def, music, performance

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