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"Mathematics" is a striking, serious track about the warehousing of poor people in prisons, housing projects, and social welfare programs.
A chill, forward beat and instrumentals by DJ Premier provide the structure for the simplest sort of mathematical act: counting up from one.
But after Mos Def (who deserves to be crowned king of creative counting) triumphantly hits ten, the verses get far, far more complicated.
|Writer(s)||Mos Def (Dante Terrell Smith), DJ Premier (Christopher Edward Martin)|
|Musician(s)||Mos Def (vocals), DJ Premier (instrumentals), with samples from Mos Def, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Raekwon, Ghostbusters soundtrack, Erykah Badu, Fatback Band, James Brown|
|Album||Black on Both Sides|
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Mos Def's debut solo album was a critical hit and went gold in 2000.
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This is arguably Mos Def's greatest—it got him a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album and a new onslaught of critical love.
Black on Both Sides Cover
It's pretty much just Mos Def's face.
Mos Def's producer on "Mathematics" is thought to be one of the best around.
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For lovers of Mos Def, here's a chance to see him play a starring role in a film about doctor Vivien Thomas (despite impressive acting chops, Mos is often more of a cameo guy).
"Mathematics" on Genius
Get a detailed breakdown of the lyrics from a different perspective, and add your own interpretations if you're feeling genius-y.
Mos Def on Last.fm
Get videos, albums, and free streaming tracks.
Here's a snippet of the track.