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Black on Both Sides Explicit Lyrics

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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, October 12, 1999
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Regarded as one of the most insightful artists of our time, musician, activist and actor Mos Def has captured the attention of critics and audiences alike with a celebrated body of work that has crossed all artistic genres—from music to the Broadway stage, film and television.

In 1996, Mos Def became an underground favorite in the hip hop world, which lead to his legendary ... Read more in Amazon's Mos Def Store

Visit Amazon's Mos Def Store
for 28 albums, photos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Black on Both Sides + Black Star + Things Fall Apart
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Rawkus Records/Priority
  • ASIN: B00001XDNV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,159 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fear Not Of Man
2. Hip Hop
3. Love
4. Ms. Fat Booty
5. Speed Law
6. Do It Now
7. Got
8. Umi Says
9. New World Water
10. Rock N Roll
11. Know That
12. Climb
13. Brooklyn
14. Habitat
15. Mr. Nigga
16. Mathematics
17. May-December

Editorial Reviews

Black on Both Sides is a manifestation of compelling, honest hip-hop. The genre's underground torchbearer, the mighty Mos Def (half of Black Star), injects intellect, humor, and knowledge into all of his rhymes. Overall, the album has an understated quality, but pure enjoyment comes with discovering the clever lyrical gems Mos drops. The expansiveness of his mindstate is showcased best on "New World Water," in which he fully limns our uses of, needs for, and exploitation of water. On "Ms. Fat Booty," a love tale with unexpected twists is woven intricately around Aretha Franklin's wailing vocals. Whether rapping, singing, or lecturing, Mos Def is firmly rooted in African American consciousness and examines social issues with great ease. Black on Both Sides will endure for many years; it's an album worthy of numerous listens. --Celine Wong

Customer Reviews

MOS DEF thank you for this MASTERPIECE.
E. J. Rosser
What's great about this album is the lyric's honesty, the production and the fact that every song is good.
C. Cross
If your not sure if u wanna get this, DONT HESITATE ITS A MUST BUY ALBUM!!!!
Esco Slim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Adam on March 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The full story at 10. In this day and age of Juvenile's backing that thing up, Jay-Z saying that money aint a thang, and DMX barking for his dogs, it is comforting to know that betwixt and between all that mess of predictable, same-old same-old lyrics, there is an intelligent black man named Mos Def who can put out albums that hit you in the heart, put you on your feet and make you actually use your brain. Mos Def proves his intelligence and knowledge throughout the whole album, from the deep intro, to the thoughtful "Love", to the observant hip hop-ballad "Umi Says", and even the absurd track "New World Water", he does it all. On the latter track, he miraculously spends several minutes rapping all about the simple notion of water. Other revolutionary tracks include the John Coltrane/James Brown/Otis Redding/etc. inspired track "Rock and Roll", the hot dance recording "Know that" with fellow Black Star member Talib Kweli, the other hip-hop ballad "Climb", and the masterfully written "Mathematics" about statistics related to the discrimination of black people. Mos Def can write lyrics, spit them out, and expand on his ideas with equal ability, and has jazz and soul-influenced beats to back him up. If you are a follower, and buy whatever the crowd is buying, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. However, if you are like me, and you love well-made, revolutionary hip hop music, do yourself, Mos Def, all "real" hiphop artists, and me a favor, and buy this classic record. I'm out.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Quinn Carroll on June 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As a 34 year old black woman who was not raised on but has grown to both love and appreciate hip-hop, I can honestly say that Mos Def's CD is the most amazing hip-hop CD that I ever owned. As a lover of The Roots, ATCQ, Black Star, De La Soul, Common and many of the other underground artists out there today, I have never heard anything so prophetic, thought-provoking and moving as the words on this CD. And NEVER, EVER does he say anything disrespectful about black women. AMEN.
His LOVE for black people and his accompanying distress over the ecological, political, judicial and historical racism that we have experienced and continue to endure is simply unsurpassed.
This is the type of CD that I will be playing for my children and grandchildren one day because it is like listening to black history via spoken word. Mos Def is a 21st century Griot and prophet whose socio-political poetic words, soulful singing, and slamming beats will bring tears your eyes.
I would like to close by sharing the lyrical genius of Mos Def with my favorite lines from the song called "YOU KNOW THAT" which is a tribute he does with Talib Kweli to how much "you know that" he loves his people and respects his ancestors:
Thank you Mos and God Bless you for the sharing your talent, faith and inspiration with the world.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B on October 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Black on Both Sides is one of those albums that you listen to once and go, "oh." Its imperfections are ignored, and its importance is assumed. You just know it's a classic, and you don't have to try to convince people of that. This album is a landmark of conscious rap. And that's that.

Mos Def is no stranger to fans of Talib Kweli, and fans of other groups on the forefront of positive hip hop (Blackalicious, KRS One, maybe the Roots) will definitely appreciate this. Hurdles that others might face would be the assertive afrocentric ideology. Mos Def most definitely gets his opinions across here, from his critcisms of modern culture to his argument that blacks are the sole owners of rock n roll. It can come of as racist, and there are your standard stories about modern racial injustice that are certainly well worn by now. But one thing that helps is his honesty and his intention to elevate the state of hip hop.

This is a good album, not ridden with intros and outros and midtros and skits. It is inherently organic sounding; even though it has some sampling and drum programming alongside live instrumentation, it has an earthy feel rooted in hip hop, jazz, and soul, without overtly trying to converge all three in a commercial friendly hybrid. This is the album so many other forward thinking artists have wanted and tried to do, and Mos Def did it. It's like a Kind of Blue or a Sgt Pepper. Buy it.

(I wonder what the second album is going to be comes out next week...)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Open Mike on April 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you're like me and you love to sit around and think of your "Top 5" albums of all time in different genres and such, then you will love Mighty Mos' debut solo effort. If you have a life and you don't sit around thinking of your top 5 albums then you're still likely to love it.
This album is so important to me because it doesn't necessarily rely on amazing production to make each track listenable. Mos Def has one of the most listenable voices EVER - his flow is tight, he's funny, socially conscious, passionate and creative. His nasal voice works so well with the production that it rolls off the boom bap like it was part of the beat.
That's not to say that this album has wack production. Speaking in April 2004 anyone who doesn't know Kanye West lives in a cave, wearing earmuffs and a blindfold. This is where I first heard from 'Ye, who produced the hot to death single Ms. Fat Booty and a couple other jams. Habitat is another track that stand out among the rest, as Mos is at his best with jawdropping flow and a really uplifting napsack-friendly beat.
While Mos Def still teases us with speculation of a sophore album dropping sometime soon, go get this album before you realize that one of the most important emcees in the game passed under your nose. Talib may be the better-known half of Blackstar, but Mos deserves just as much attention because this album's bananas and it's a must-have for so-called conscious hip hop heads.
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