Mos Def and Doom

At the beginning of 2009, many critics and fans had relegated Mos Def's turn-of-the-century successes in Black Star and his first solo record, 'Black on Both Sides' as his hip-hop peak. Wisely, he quickly turned the tables with 'The Ecstatic' -- one of the best, more innovative hip-hop records released this year. Now Mos has thrown us another track steeped in vintage New York boom-bap called '24 Karate School.'

The song's name, taken from Dame Dash's new artist complex in lower Manhattan, should be considered something of a theme song for the new studio, which also produced the recently released BlakRoc project. Mos uses his trademark verbal dexterity to create linguistic punches, chops and jabs of the highest order.

"We call this 'The 24-Hour Karate School,' 'The Super Friends,' all that," said Dash in a November interview with MTV News. "It's really a place where dudes can come kick it, get artistic, catch a vibe. We just get to build and chill and grow."
In addition to the new track, Mos Def is set to continue down the rhyming path in 2010, joining DOOM for tour stops in Toronto, Chicago and New York in late January. According to Pitchfork, the bill is touted as "DOOM featuring Mos Def," so there's a legitimate chance for some collaborative wordplay of epic proportions.

Mos' '24 Karate School' can be downloaded here.