Mos Def one day wants to make as much of a name for himself as an actor onstage and onscreen as he has as an MC. That might explain why he has not released the follow-up to his solo debut, Black on Both Sides, which came out four years ago.
Fans will have to wait a little longer if they want to hear a new album. The socially conscious rapper has dedicated the rest of his year to film and theater roles. Mos just wrapped up a part in the film "The Woodsman," according to his spokespeople, which brings the number of films he's either just completed or is scheduled to shoot to four.
In addition to "The Woodsman," which also stars fellow rapper Eve and Benjamin Bratt, Mos also recently completed "From the Outside Looking In," a romantic comedy opposite Monica Calhoun ("Love & Basketball"). He'll soon be filming parts in "The Sky Is Green," with Steve Buscemi and Vince Vaughn, and "A Confederacy of Dunces" (see "Drew Barrymore, Mos Def Join David Gordon Green's 'Dunces' ").
Mos, currently in London playing the lead in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Topdog/Underdog," earned favorable reviews for his work in "The Italian Job," "Brown Sugar" and "Monster's Ball."
But there is good news for those interested in Mos Def's musical endeavors. Not only has he finished recording a new album, but eight new Mos Def songs will be featured on the upcoming Soundbombing 4 compilation album on Rawkus Records, due October 28. The comp's first single is the Mos Def track "Beef," with production from Swizz Beatz. Soundbombing 4 also features tracks from Talib Kweli, Little Brother, Pharoahe Monch and Skillz.
As for Mos' own studio album, after toying around with his all-star rock outfit Black Jack Johnson for the better part of two years, he has assembled a mix of both hip-hop and rock songs. Mos' spokesperson said the untitled album should see release in early 2004.