Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What's he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants... he says something ordinary like... 'yo, thats shizzle.' Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.
In the olden days of white culture, people used to look up to Kings and Princes. These were the people that they adored, and every night they wished and hoped that somehow they could wake up and be just like them. But with Royal Families crumbling, that role has been filled by one man: Mos Def.
He is everything that white people dream about: authentic (”he’s from Brooklyn!”), funny (”he was on Chapelle show!”), artistic (have you heard “Black on Both Sides?”), an actor (”he’s in the new Gondry film!”) and not white (”I don’t see race”).
He has done an amazing job of being in big budget movies (The Italian Job) and having one of his songs become a white person wedding staple (Ms. Fat Booty) but still retaining authenticity and credibility.
If you find yourself in a social situation where you are asked to list your favorite actor or artist, you should always say Mos Def. This way you can name someone that everyone has heard of and you don’t look like you are trying to one up anybody. The only possible negative consequence is some white people might think “I wish I had said that first.”