NEW DATE: Saturday (August 7), 9:30pm, Maui Theatre, Lahaina, $55 / $75 / $125
“From the first to the last of it, delivery is passionate / The whole and not the half of it, vocab and not the math of it / Projectile that them blasted with, accurate assassin shit… / After this you be pressing rewind on top your master disc” [“Definition,” Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998)] “No matter what disc recorder or part of town you livin’ in / I recommend you listenin’ to these distinguished gentlemen… We document the memorable / Then break ’em up like syllables… / We five-dimensional, audio, visual, physical, spiritual, lyrical… / We transmit another world” [“Another World,” We Are Hip Hop Me You Everybody (2003)] “You know the deal / It’s just me, yo… / Nine planets faithfully keep in orbit / With the probable tenth, the universe expands length / The body of my text possess extra strength / Power-lift the powerless up, out of this, towerin’ inferno / My ink so hot it burn through the journal…” [“Mathematics,” Black on Both Sides (2003)] “I’m Mos Definite, not think so / Flood your city with the black ink flow… / It’s all good, we all here, goin’ all out / All day, listen when this song say…” [“Close Edge,” The New Danger (2004)] 808-856-7973; mauicelebrityseries.com www.groovetickets.com
What? You didn’t like my Mos Def medley? OK. HERE’S THE PRESS RELEASE:
… “What’s great about this show is that every month it’s a different star, and it’s only a 680- seat venue. Most of these stars haven’t played venues this small in years,” says Brian Evans. Recent performances include David Spade and Tom Arnold, and rapper Snoop Dogg is on the radar for an upcoming performance. Tom Green will also be performing as part of the Series on Friday, August 6th.
Evans is the opening act for such stars as Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, Social Distortion, and Dionne Warwick. He is working on his own major label debut which will feature a duet with Kelly Osbourne.
The show is sponsored by Enterprise Rent A Car, T-Mobile, Diamond Resorts, Trilogy Excursions, Royal Lahaina Resorts, and The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. An after-party will be held at Bubba Gump’s immediately following the concert.
Mos Def has been making his presence known for the past couple decades in both music and acting in film and television. Even having been nominated for both an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award, he is mostly recognized for his music. Mos Def emerged as a solo artist in 1996 and worked with De La Soul and Da Bush Babees, before he released his own first single, “Universal Magnetic,” which was a huge underground hit. He then signed with Rawkus Records and formed the group Black Star with Talib Kweli. They released an album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, in 1998. Mostly produced by Hi-Tek, the album featured the hit singles, “Respiration” and “Definition,” which would go on to be featured in VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop. Mos Def released his solo debut album Black on Both Sides in 1999, also through Rawkus. Around this time he also contributed to the Scritti Politti album Anomie & Bonhomie and Rawkus compilations Lyricist Lounge and Soundbombing. After the collapse of Rawkus, he signed to Interscope/Geffen Records, which released his second solo album The New Danger in 2004. The New Danger contained a mix of several musical genres, including soul, blues, and rock and roll, performed with his rock band Black Jack Johnson, which contained members of the bands Bad Brains and Living Colour. The singles included “Sex, Love & Money” and the B-side “Ghetto Rock”; the latter went on to receive several Grammy Award nominations in 2004. Mos Def’s final solo album for Geffen Records, True Magic, was quietly released on December 29, 2006. True Magic features production from The Neptunes, Rich Harrison and Minnesota, among others. The album was released in a clear-case with no cover art. Neither Geffen nor Mos Def himself promoted the album at all, which is the main reason the album was received under the radar.
Mos Def appears alongside Kanye West on the track “Two Words” from The College Dropout album, the track “Drunk And Hot Girls” and the bonus track “Good Night” off West’s third major album, Graduation. In 2002, he released the single “Fine,” which was featured in the Brown Sugar Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Mos Def also appears on the debut album from fellow New Yorkers Apollo Heights on a track titled, “Concern.” In October 2008, he signed a deal with Downtown Records and appeared on a remix to the song “D.A.N.C.E.” by Justice. Mos Def appeared on Stephen Marley’s album Mind Control on the song “Hey Baby.” In 2009, Mos Def worked together with Somali rapper K’naan to produce the track “America” for K’naan’s album Troubadour.
In April 2008 he appeared on the title track for a new album by The Roots entitled Rising Down. The new single, “Life in Marvelous Times,” was made officially available through iTunes on November 4, 2008, and is available for stream on the Roots’ website Okayplayer.
April 2009 saw him traveling to South Africa for the first time where he performed accompanied by The Robert Glasper Experiment at the renowned Cape Town International Jazz Festival. He enticed his bemused African following with an encore introduced by his own rendition of John Coltrane’s “Love Supreme” followed by a sneak preview of the track “M.D. (Doctor),” much to the delight of the fans. In March 2010, Mos Def’s song Quiet Dog Bite Hard was featured in Palm’s “Life moves fast. Don’t miss a thing” campaign.
Mos Def features on the first single, “Stylo,” from the third Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, alongside soul legend Bobby Womack. He also appears on the track titled “Sweepstakes.”
Mos Def has been an active contributor to the recovery of the oil spill in the Gulf, performing concerts and raising money towards the repair of the damages. In June 2010, he recorded a cover of the classic New Orleans song originally by Smokey Johnson, “It Ain’t My Fault” with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lenny Kravitz and Trombone Shorty.
Mos Def began his professional acting career at the age of fourteen, appearing in the TV movie God Bless the Child, starring Mare Winningham. He then played the oldest child in the short-lived family sitcom, You Take the Kids, starring Nell Carter and Roger E. Mosley. His most notable acting role before his music career was that of Bill Cosby’s sidekick on the short-lived detective show, The Cosby Mysteries. In 1997 he had a small role alongside Michael Jackson in his short film and music video “Ghosts.”
After brief appearances in Bamboozled and Monster’s Ball, Mos Def re-invigorated his acting career with his performance as a talented rapper who is reluctant to sign to a major label in Brown Sugar. He was nominated for an Image Award and a Teen Choice Award.
In 2002, he played the role of ‘Booth’ in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog, a Tony-nominated and Pulitzer-winning Broadway play. He and co-star Jeffrey Wright won a Special Award from the Outer Critics Circle Award for their joint performance. He also received positive notices as the quirky ‘Left Ear’ in the blockbuster hit The Italian Job in 2003.
In television, Mos Def has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show,” and has hosted the award-winning HBO spoken word show, “Def Poetry” since its inception. The show’s sixth season aired in 2007. He also appeared on the sitcom “My Wife and Kids” as the disabled friend of ‘Michael Kyle’ (Damon Wayans).
Mos Def won Best Actor, Independent Movie at the 2005 Black Reel Awards for his portrayal of ‘Detective Sgt. Lucas’ in The Woodsman. For his portrayal of Vivien Thomas in HBO’s film Something the Lord Made, he was nominated for an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and won the Image Award. He also played a bandleader in HBO’s “Lackawanna Blues.” He then landed the role of ‘Ford Prefect’ in the 2005 movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In 2006, Mos Def appeared in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party alongside fellow Black Star companion Talib Kweli, while also contributing to the film’s soundtrack. Also, Mos Def was featured as the black banjo player in the infamous ‘Pixie Sketch’ from “Chappelle’s Show: The Lost Episodes.” He was later edited out of it on the DVD. Additionally, Mos Def starred in the action film 16 Blocks alongside Bruce Willis and David Morse. He has a recurring guest role on “Boondocks,” starring as ‘Gangstalicious.’ He is also set to be in Toussaint, a film about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture, opposite Don Cheadle and Wesley Snipes. He made a cameo appearance — playing himself — in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
In 2008, Mos Def starred in the Michel Gondry movie Be Kind Rewind, playing a video rental store employee whose best friend is played by co-star Jack Black. He also portrayed Chuck Berry in the film Cadillac Records, for which he was nominated for a Black Reel Award and an Image Award. He was also in the 2009 film Next Day Air.
Most recently, he made an appearance on the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba” as ‘Super Mr. Superhero.’
About The Maui Celebrity Series:
The Maui Theatre, which typically hosts the hit production “Ulalena,” is now also serving as the host theatre to the new “The Maui Celebrity Series” (www.themauicelebrityseries.com). Crooner Brian Evans, along with Arman Zajic and Mark Biltz created the monthly series, aims to bring superstar talent to Lahaina every month. The show began with Evans and the legendary William Shatner, followed by performances by Roseanne Barr and Paul Rodriguez.