As a guest on the Australian radio station Triple J, rapper Joey Bada$$ delivered a longer, melodic cover of Mos Def’s 1999 single “UMI Says” from his debut solo studio album Black on Both Sides. The performance was a part of the radio station’s segment “Like A Version” where each week, a musician or band performs one of their songs and [a] cover [of] one they love.
For his Triple J performance, the 1999 rapper was joined by Zimbabwean-born, Melbourne-based artist KYE.
During the interview that followed his performance, the Brooklyn native explained how “UMI Says” is one of [his] favorite songs of all time.
“It’s such a spiritual connection that I have to this song,” he said. “I feel like I could almost relate to what Mos Def is speaking on. As an artist, I can tell this was a song that wasn’t written. This was a song that truly just felt, you know what I’m saying? And that’s probably what I admired about it the most.”
He continued, “I think it’s one of those songs that immediately follows the experience that inspired it. Whether he spoke to his homie and went to the studio that same day or he went the next day or the week after, either way, you can tell that moment resonated with him deeply and it opened him up.”
Additionally, while on the radio show, Joey Bada$$ performed “Show Me” from his latest album 2000 which VIBE ranked at No. 3 on our top 25 Hip-Hop Albums of 2022 list. The 14-track project features JID, Larry June, Chris Brown, Westside Gunn, and more.
Watch Joey Bada$$ deliver an almost eight-minute cover of Mos Def’s “UMI Says” above and perform “Show Me” below.