There’s so much to say about this piece of art. First of all, it is a piece of art (and I’ll tell you why). It embodies elements of pure poetry with social consciousness which evokes all of your senses. The track opens up with a short audio from an awesome hip-hop documentary called Style Wars (highly recommended) where a dialog reveals tagging a train with “All You See Is… Crime In The City”, presenting the theme of the song: crime in the city. A lady speaking in Spanish follows and whispers: “listen, the city breathes”, and later “listen to it, breathing like me, sincere eyes hiding grief and fear, silence of lies…”. This further elucidates the city’s persona, convincing us the city is alive. Mos starts rapping, the bass drops within seconds, hooking you into every word of truth from that moment forward. Mos, Kweli, and Common personify the city as a living entity, drop knowledge and illustrate through words the ugly side to the seemingly beautiful city… those darn rap geniuses.
You can find today’s Old School Track of The Day on Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998)
VIDEO: RESPIRATION – BLACK STAR ft COMMON