A New Mos Def & Al Green Mashup Brings Much Love & Happiness (Audio)
Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey) and the Reverend Al Green are two voices that transcend genre. Al Green built a career in Southern Soul music. At the top of the 1980s, after chart-topping hits and platinum albums, he pivoted to Gospel. In recent years, Reverend Al made a return to the secular side. Mos Def also plays by his own rules. The Black Star co-founder was among Hip-Hop’s top MCs after his group and early solo work. However, for the last decade, Dante Smith has shunned the label system, making albums that cannot be bought, only treated as art pieces. That stance may be changing with Black Star’s upcoming first album in more than 21 years.
The Altered Crates crew makes thoughtful, technically advanced mash-up mixes. The Yasiin Green Project honors that rich tradition. It also honors Maryland veteran Kev Brown, of the Low Budget Crew, and Kaimbr. “Kev Brown’s incredible instrumentals from The Alexander Green Project, sampling Al Green on every track, provided the inspiration and the backdrop for “The Yasiin Green Project.” This is our tribute to the underappreciated underground legend, Kev Brown.” Kev gets the production credit, following his sampling work on the 2011 LP released on Real Late Records.
The results are more than just happenstance mixes. “Something About Mathematics” merges a popular Al Green slow song loved by producers with an uptempo Black On Both Sides moment. Bey and J. Cole’s feature verses from Reflection Eternal’s “It’s Just Begun” make the cut against some classic Hi Records-era Al. However, Jay Electronica, whose verse is omitted with Talib Kweli’s, does appear on “Prowl Together.” This merges some vintage Jay with Al’s #1 hit “Let’s Stay Together.” However, the chop is maneuvered instead of straightforward. It’s one of the many delights to this mix. The Altered Crates crew also snags a HOT 97 freestyle, pre-B.O.B.S. Mos, and more.
Among the 13 tracks are some interludes and smaller musings. Common vocals appear on “Beautiful Hurricane.”
Yasiin Bey’s Negus album is currently at the Brooklyn Museum Of Art. According to a conversation with Talib Kweli and Bobbito Garcia this month, Black Star’s Madlib-produced sequel is wrapped. Kev Brown and J. Scienide released Drum Machine Tape Cassette earlier this year, featuring Supastition, Kenn Starr, and yU. Al Green last released Lay It Down in 2008 on Blue Note Records.