It's official! Mos Def has surpassed the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest as the go-to token rap artist for self-styled white sophisticates. Although we don't understand why they loathe all hip-hoppers except for Mighty Mos, we do get the attraction: homeboy is the modern black Sinatra, and, unlike Ol' Blue Eyes, he writes his own rhymes. For every boom-bap purist out there who wishes Mos would quit singing and acting and return to rhyming full-time with Talib Kweli, there are 50 heads who have never heard of Black Star but who love The Italian Job. Which is precisely why Mr. Definitely will continue to earn this honor as long as he releases albums that can somewhat be considered rap music.
3. La Coka Nostra