It’s taken me a long time to figure out how I feel about Mos Def’s The Ecstatic, so I thought what I really needed to do was bounce my ideas off of someone else, someone who shares my awareness and love of good hip-hop. So obviously, my first choice was syndicated right-wing radio host, lachrymose Fox News “personality”, and sometime stand-up comic Glenn Beck. I invited Beck over to the Imaginary Office the other day, and my Imaginary Secretary was kind enough to transcribe our conversation in full for your enjoyment.
Bollocks!: Hi, Glenn.
Glenn Beck: I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, “Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.”
B!: Our enemies? The enemies of you and I personally? Or the enemies of our nation? In any case, the very definition of “enemy” suggests that I would be working against our enemies. Otherwise they wouldn’t be “ours.” So relax.
GB: Did the soviet union collapse or did it transform? (long pause) I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore…I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it…No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong?
B!: On so many levels. Are you high right now?
GB: I wonder.
B!: Me too. Anyway, Glenn, I’m glad you could come by today because I know you enjoy hip-hop as much – perhaps more – than I do, and I wanted to discuss Mos Def’s The Ecstatic with you.
GB: It was engaging, and by “engaging”, I mean “totally boring” and “waste of time and money.”
B! So I’m guessing you didn’t really dig it. I didn’t at first myself, but it’s really grown on me.
GB: You wanna be a Marxist, that’s fine.
B!: Are you equating liking Mos Def with being a communist?
GB: He’s here illegally.
B!: I’m pretty sure Mos Def was born in the United States, Glenn. Let me Wiki this shit. Hang on a second. Yeah, here we go: he was born in Brooklyn.
GB: I guess I just hate people who are different than me.
B! What a refreshing admission! Let’s get back to the album, though. You didn’t like it. Why? I know one of my biggest beefs with it is that the beats are fantastic but the lyrics are, at points, repetitive and lacking in substance.
GB: Barack Obama always seems to be light on substance.
B!: I thought we agreed we weren’t going to talk about politics.
GB: Where’s my monkey pox? You promised me monkey pox!
B!: Okay. I don’t even know what you’re talking about there. Can we get back to Mos Def, please?
GB: I’m a reasonable guy. (pauses) He might be the anti-christ.
B! I doubt Mos Def is the anti-christ. Look, Glenn, do you have a reason for not liking The Ecstatic that isn’t some sort of crazy-ass attack on Mos Def as a person?
GB: I was driving in today… and I thought to myself, he is… he’s very white in many ways.
B!: Goddammit, he is not.
GB: He is. He’s very white!
B!: How is Mos Def “very white”?
GB: You’re accusing me of lying…
B!: You just said Mos Def is “very white.” You’re either lying or stupid. Which is it?
GB: Seven abortions for every ten babies born in Cuba… sounds like a vacation in Disneyland to me!
B!: What the fuck is wrong with you? I invited you here to talk about Mos Def and hip-hop. I was led to understand that you were quite a fan of hip-hop.
GB: I can’t take it anymore.
B!: You can’t take it? I’m trying to talk to you about Mos Def and you’re ranting about abortions in Cuba. Do you actually have anything at all to say about The Ecstatic? Did you even listen to it?
GB: (crying) I’m sorry… I just love my country… and I fear for it.
B!: You’re afraid Mos Def is going to take over the country?
GB: I am.
B!: Is that because the album starts off with a sample of a Malcolm X speech?
GB: He’s bowing to the Saudi Arabian King, I don’t know if you saw that one.
B!: Mos Def met the Saudi Arabian King? And anyway, aren’t you supposed to bow to kings?
GB: Sure; you’ll be unhip and friendless.
B!: I take your point that kings – and monarchies in general – are not only unhip but also kinda bullshit. Getting back to the album, I’ve gotta say that, after a couple of listens, I started to dig it. It’s never gonna be my favorite hip-hop record but the beats and instrumentation are so strong that it would be a fun thing to toss on at a party.
GB: May I translate bullcrap to English?
B!: Please, Glenn, we don’t use language like that here. Say, “bullshit” or don’t say anything. (sighs) I don’t know where you’re going with this, Beck, but go ahead, translate away.
GB: You self-centered self-righteous socialist out of control dangerous man-hating bitch. Shut your mouth. We might have bought into this crap in the 1960s because too many people were doing LSD. We’re not on LSD anymore — we need to start making sense.
B!: Okay, first off, I don’t hate men. I hate people. Most people. And especially you right now. You’re not making any goddamn sense and you’re telling me we need to start making sense? You’re an asshole.
GB: I am a conservative, but I am not a zombie.
B!: Fine. You’re a conservative, non-zombie asshole. Happy now? Christ, I knew this was a bad idea. You know, Glenn, I think this is the last time I’m gonna have you in to help review an album. We’ve gotten nowhere today. And I don’t think you even like hip-hop.
GB: I don’t like this guy at all.
B!: So it’s just Mos Def you hate? Or all hip-hop artists?
GB: It is a Mad Max world they want. They’re taking the money out of your pocket. You’re spending money that leads only to slavery.
B!: Slavery? I’m enslaved by purchasing the music of hip-hop artists that I like?
GB: Their thirst for power and control is unquenchable.
B!: Maybe in Kanye’s case, yeah. But he just wants everyone to love him. Neither he nor Mos Def (who is a pretty good actor, by the way) is out to enslave anyone.
GB: Maybe I’m alone, but I think it would be faster if he just shot me in the head.
B!: You know, Glenn, that’s the first thing you’ve said today that I actually agree with. Seriously, though, you must be a miserable wretch indeed if you fear being enslaved by hip-hop performers.
GB: Kill me now, it would be a blessing.
B!: I’m not going to kill you, Glenn. But I am going to ask you to leave. Do you have any final thoughts for our readers, preferably regarding Mos Def’s new album, The Ecstatic?
GB: You can get rich making fun of me.
B!: Trust me, Glenn, the deed is its own reward.