Mos Def ft. Pharoahe Monch & Nate Dogg – “Oh No” (2000)

Mos Def featuring Pharoahe Monch & Nate Dogg – “Oh No”
Lyricist Lounge 2 (November 2000)

Like a car with loud pipes and big rims, the bawdy hip hop lifestyle came strolling through the cul-de-sac in the early days of the Willennium. It was an unprecedented rapture and no one wanted to be left behind. Even the out of touch DJ our high school hired for school dances was swapping out Tubthumping with a radio edit of Big Pimpin’. A sea of big smiles lit the room when a classmate showed up to the Homecoming Dance dressed as a costume shop Don “The Magic” Juan. Even the faculty got a kick out it, who overlooked the procuring and controlling of women who get paid for sexual favors.

Me being me, a sullen misanthrope who takes pride in his underground roots and shivers at the thought of an artist with integrity appearing on MTV during afternoon hours, is thrown into a loop when Mos Def, Nate Dogg, and Pharoahe [Monch] become buzzworthy.

Featured on the compilation album, Lyricist Lounge 2, “Oh No” peaked at #83 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard Hot Rap Singles, which from 1989 to 2001 was based on how much a single was sold in a given week. Despite the record’s success, fans of the original Lyricist Lounge compilation felt duped by the follow-up record due it’s reliance on a more commercial sound and its focus on established acts compared to the underground appeal of volume one.

But, fuck the haters, it’s still a bomb ass track.

Fresh Facts:

  • “Oh No” features a repurposed lyric, “One for the treble, two for the bass…” from Davy DMX’s “One for the Treble” (1984).
  • An interpolation of vocals were used in a DJ Premier remix of Craig David’s “7 Days” (2001) which also featured Mos Def.

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