While in Paris, Mos Def sat down to briefly talk about the legacy of Malcolm X, whose birthday is today. The brief video clip (above) is part of an exhibit called “Return of the Mecca: The Art of Islam and Hip-Hop.” I read about the exhibit in Wax Poetics the other week. It feels like the perfect time for a discussion about the cross-pollination between hip-hop and Islam as the struggle between marginalized black people and the systems discriminating against them continue to permeate our TV screens.
Mos quickly touches on all the ways Malcolm was important, from his outlaw status to his quietly iconic sense of style. You can learn more about the exhibit, and the 120-page accompanying book, at ReturnOfTheMecca.com.