- Mathematics (song)
"Mathematics" Single by Mos Def from the album Black on Both Sides Released 1999 Format 12" single, CD single, Maxi-single Genre Hip hop Length 4:06 Label Rawkus Records Writer(s) D. Smith
Producer DJ Premier Mos Def singles chronology "Another World (Remix)"
"Ms. Fat Booty / Mathematics"
Black on Both Sides track listing "Mr. Nigga"
"Mathematics" is a b-side single from Mos Def's solo debut album, Black on Both Sides. It contains lyrics about various social issues and asks the listener to add them up and come to conclusions about them. Many references to numbers are found in this song and at times, Mos Def rhymes statistics in numerical order. The song highlights the differences between the White and African-American citizens of the US and uses the lyrics "Do your math.." (from Erykah Badu's "On & On" telling young African-American's to 'do their maths' so they can avoid being part of the numerous degrading statistics he raps about in the opening and third verses of the song. The song is produced by DJ Premier whose famous scratch samples make up the song's bridge. Premier has called it one of his favorite beats.
The bridge of "Mathematics" contains DJ Premier's signature scratched vocals from various hip hop songs. The lyrics of those samples as well as information about their origin can be found below:
- "The Mighty Mos Def..." (from Mos Def's "Body Rock"),
- "It's simple mathematics" (from Fat Joe's "John Blaze"),
- "Check it out" (The Lady of Rage's vocals from Snoop Dogg's "For All My Niggaz & Bitches"),
- "I revolve around science..." (Ghostface Killah's vocals from Raekwon's "Criminology"),
- "What are we talking about here..." (dialogue from the film Ghostbusters)
- "Do your math.." (from Erykah Badu's "On & On"), and
- "One, two, three, four" (from James Brown's "Funky Drummer")
- The instrumental from "Baby, I Want You" by The Fatback Band is also sampled.
Single track list
- Ms. Fat Booty (Clean)
- Ms. Fat Booty (Dirty)
- Ms. Fat Booty (Instrumental)
- Ms. Fat Booty (A Capella)
- Mathematics (Clean)
- Mathematics (Dirty)
- Mathematics (Instrumental)
- Mathematics (A Capella)
- Ms. Fat Booty (4:08)
- Ms. Fat Booty (Instrumental) (4:06)
- Mathematics (4:08)
Mos Def Albums Singles Collaborative singles Filmography
Ghosts · Where's Marlowe? · Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme · Bamboozled · Carmen: A Hip Hopera · Monster's Ball · Showtime · Civil Brand · Brown Sugar · The Italian Job · The Woodsman · Something the Lord Made · Lackawanna Blues · The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy · Dave Chappelle's Block Party · 16 Blocks · Journey to the End of the Night · Prince Among Slaves · Be Kind Rewind · Next Day Air · Cadillac Records · Toussaint
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