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More on Bill Maher, Hitchens and Mos Def

April 2, 2009

Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic has a personal comment on the slightly surreal panel discussion on Bill Maher’s Real Time that included Mos Def and Christopher Hitchens, along with Salman Rushdie and which I linked to earlier. Mr. Coates has a unique perspective on the performance of Mos Def, a highly acclaimed rapper and actor (I’m a huge fan of his work in a movie called, “Something the Lord Made”) relative to the larger African American community.

I think Mos Def was offering up that corner consciousness, in which brothers preach nihilism under the cover of an alleged “Knowledge of Self” or “Thinking for oneself.” I think Christopher Hitchens, rightfully, sonned him. As a Mos Def fan, and member of the hip-hop generation (whatever that means) I felt embarrassed. That’s probably not my right, but I felt that way. Here’s where it gets really weird, I held one person responsible for the whole debacle–Cornel West.

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