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Friday, November 18, 2011

"Ms. Fat Booty"

Mos Def - Ms. Fat Booty (1999)

The first single of the first solo album by Mos Def.



Let's start lyrically. The song starts off with Mos trying to make time with a good looking woman at a club. She blows him off. A few days later at another club where Mos is in VIP she comes in and a mutual friend introduces them. They start to talk, have a good time, laugh about the earlier fumble and start dating. The song moves quickly, explaining that they enjoyed months of good times, late night talks and great sex. Mos becomes head over heals infatuated with the woman and finally at the 1 year mark he announces that he wants to make it official. She tells him commitment isn't her thing and by the next morning she is gone. The story abruptly ends with one of Mos' friends telling him that he saw the woman working a strip club dancing for another woman. He's got some great lines: "man I smashed it like an Idaho potato" "I need more than to knock it down I'm really tryin' to lock it down". He also references two love songs. He mentions The Sweetest Taboo by Sade and earlier sings that Ms. Fat Booty sings part of Gregory Isaacs' If I Don't Have You. These love songs in the air just set the mood to make it hurt more for the listener we she leaves Mos.

The song is held together by another old tune by Aretha Franklin before she made it big. It's called One Step Ahead. She doesn't really sound so much like herself here, more like any other early 60s African American soul singer; nothing too special. Producer Ayotollah Dorell uses the song as the hook, and during the verses as well. Interestingly, the Aretha song starts as a song about a woman telling herself and her man, that she is trying to get away from love, because it will surely only lead to heartbreak. By the end, she accepts that she will fail and will go back to the relationship that she knows and loves, even though she knows it's a mistake.

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