Today XXL released a list of 30 hip-hop songs turning 20 in 2018. Included on that list is “Defiintion” by Black Star, a group consisting of Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli. 1998 was a great year for hip-hop and I was in my formative years so I have a special attachment to most of these songs. “Definition” though, changed my life.
When it comes to music I have a wide array of tastes. I produce music, DJ, and play guitar so my personal catalog contains everything from Creedence Clearwater to Chance The Rapper. But, there are a few moments when a song completely shifted what and why I consumed music.
I first heard “Definition” flipping through the cable channels playing music videos in the late 90’s. I only caught part of Mos Def’s last verse, but when I heard it something clicked. The beat coupled with Mos forcing as many syllables as humanly possible into his lines different from everything I was listening to at the time. I had to learn everything about that song and the artists behind it.