Mos Def proves worth the wait
Hip-hop is among the most popular creations of African-American culture ever, as globally arresting as a shout in the street. But to outwit cultural appropriation, its creators also filled it with secret code, with ciphers. Acclaimed rapper and actor Mos Def embodies that contradiction vividly. After releasing sophisticated, minimalist, deeply race-conscious music that sparked the 1990s’ hip-hop underground - a scene that eventually became overwhelmingly white - he withdrew into more difficult music even as he gained fame for his TV and movie roles.