Out east right now, Mos Def is making like a one-man Black Rock Coalition. The underground upstart has enlisted Bad Brains' Dr. Know and Sugar Hill house-band and Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish for a heavy-rock group that Mos has cheekily dubbed Jack Johnson, after the dark-skinned heavyweight master of so many white ninnies in the early 1900s. Sounds just like the sort of audacious move too few critics' darlings are willing to risk. And yet, listen to the earliest bootlegs of the band's live debut and you won't quite hear the quartet of black men expressing their sense of entitlement to music created by black men. No, you'll hear Mos straining to live up to somebody else's expectations--he's going to beat Fred Durst at his own game, dammit. Jack Johnson was many things, but a counterpuncher was... More >>>