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Mos Def “Ms. Fat Booty” (1999)

“Ms. Fat Booty” is the first single from Mos Def’s 1999 album Black on Both Sides. The song and its chorus are both driven by multiple samples of Aretha Franklin’s “One Step Ahead”, a rare Columbia single released in 1965.

Black on Both Sides is the debut solo album of Mos Def, released on October 12, 1999, by Rawkus Records and Columbia Records. Prior to the album’s recording, Mos Def had collaborated with rapper Talib Kweli for the duo’s studio album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998), which raised high expectations for a solo effort. Black on Both Sides features an emphasis on live instrumentation and socially conscious lyrics. On February 2, 2000, the album was certified Gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following sales in excess of 500,000 copies.

Talib Kweli (one-half of Black Star with Mos Def), Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes are the only main rappers to be featured on the album. Kweli raps the second and final verse of “Know That”, while Busta goes back and forth with Mos on “Do It Now”. Q-Tip helps sing the chorus on “Mr. Nigga” but doesn’t deliver a verse. The lyrics Q-Tip recites are similar to his previously released lyrics on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Sucka Nigga”. Vinia Mojica (who is known for singing on Native Tongues songs) also sings a duet with Mos Def on the song “Climb”.

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The album features a mix between established and rising producers. DJ Premier provides the instrumental track for “Mathematics”. Diamond D is credited for “Hip Hop”. Ali Shaheed Muhammad, known mostly as a member of A Tribe Called Quest, produced the seventh song “Got”. Psycho Les of The Beatnuts produced “New World Water” and “Rock N Roll”. Jazz legend Weldon Irvine provided additional production to “Climb”.

Ayatollah produced “Ms. Fat Booty” and “Know That”. 88-Keys produced “Love” and “Speed Law” and co-produced the instrumental outro “May–December” with Mos Def himself. David Kennedy (the second swing of “Brooklyn” and “Umi Says” produced with Mos Def), Mr. Khaliyl (“Do It Now”), DJ Etch-A-Sketch (“Climb” and “Habitat”), Ge-ology (The first swing of “Brooklyn”) and D. Prosper (“Mr. Nigga”) round out the other contributors.

Mos received production assistance on most of the album’s tracks. His sole production credit comes at “Fear Not of Man”, but he provided additional production to four tracks (“Hip Hop”, “Rock N Roll”, “Climb” and “Mr. Nigga”) and co-produced three (“Umi Says”, “Brooklyn” and “May–December”). (Wikipedia)

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