The rapper, actor and activist who has came to be known as Yasiin Bey released his first full length solo album on this date in 1999

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On October 12, 1999 Brooklyn wordsmith extraordinaire Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey dropped his first solo album Black On Both Sides on the Rawkus/Priority imprint. Folowing up on the heels of Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star from the previous year, solo projects from both artists were both due and highly anticipated.

The certified gold album hosted an all star alliance of production including Diamond D, DJ Premier. Ali Shaheed Muhammad and 88 Keys among others. Classic tracks include the memorable “Ms. FatBooty”, the street approved “Brooklyn” anthem and of course his lyrical arithmetic on “Mathematics”. One of the most pivoatal and landmark LPs that helped define authentic lyricism towards the end of the 20th century, which ironically was the height of the “bling era”.


Salute to Yasiin, everyone at Rawkus from that era(Peace Courtney!) and everyone involved with this project! Pure dopeness!

-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)