Interview: Sally A. Edwards
Photography: Sarah J. Edwards
WHENEVER WE ASK PEOPLE ABOUT BROOKLYN, THEY SAY, ‘IT’S COOL’, AND THAT’S ALL WE GET.
It is cool.
SO WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
Brooklyn is the closest realisation of the American Dream that there is in America, because it’s a bunch of people from different cultures from all over the world living together in communities that co-exist. It has the energy and feel and the resources of New York City, but it doesn’t have the hecticness and the busy-ness of Manhattan. So you get everything that you want from New York City, but it’s still like a residential place to live.
WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER BOROUGHS?
It’s the biggest borough, we have the most flair, we’re the most fashionable and we’re just the coolest out of all the boroughs.
YOU HAD DREAMS OF BECOMING A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER, CAN YOU TELL US SOME MORE ABOUT THAT?
When I was younger, baseball was my favourite game, it’s still my favourite game out of all the sports. I like the thinking aspects of baseball. I was very good at it. So it was something I wanted to do. When I got into junior high school and high school I got more into music and that type of thing. So naturally hip hop took my interests and sort of snatched me away from baseball.
THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT, BECAUSE AT SCHOOL YOU WROTE SHORT STORIES, POEMS AND PLAYS. HAS ANY OF THAT WORK FOUND ITS WAY INTO ANY OF YOUR RECORDED MATERIAL?
Um... hmmm. The sentiment behind a lot of that stuff, but not any of the actual stuff. Yeah, actually I’ve got a song on the Reflection Eternal album called ‘Four Women’, which is my interpretation of Nina Simone’s song called ‘Four Women’, and that’s something I did in high school.
YOU FIRST MET MOS DEF AT SCHOOL-AGE, WHAT WAS HE LIKE BACK THEN?
Oh yeah. The funny thing about Mos Def is when you see him in his acting and wearing suits and all the things that people in the hip hop community might criticise him for. That’s exactly who he is, and that’s who he was back then. When I met him, he had a suit on, you know, a gabardine suit, and he was singing a song in a park. Like that’s who he is. [‘The New Danger’] is a very good representation of who exactly Mos Def is. Mos Def is not always what people want him to be.
The full interview appears in BLAG Vol.2 Nø 2
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Theme: Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved by Sally A. Edwards & Sarah J. Edwards
Gloss laminate cover, 100 pages, original photography and stories, heavy weight satin paper, 245mm x 303mm ISSN: 1366-4552 12
Spend some time with:
Beastie Boys (photoshoot includes the original Awesome! shot and hands down our funniest BLAG interview), Tom Hardy (his first ever BLAG feature, in his words, self-portraits), INTRODUCING... Head Automatica, David Fischer, Miguel Calderón, Essay: GZA, Talib Kweli, ?uestlove of The Roots, Art: Phil Frost, Jasper Goodall, Yacht Associates, Beauty: Colours, Fashion: Spring, It’s Your Thing, Film: The Life Aquatic, Ten Essential Tips To Improve Yourself by Tobias Wong, City Guide: Tokyo by Nigo of A Bathing Ape / BAPE
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