A quick survey: Mos Def -- quick-lipped conscious MC or headbanging rap-rock drill instructor? Intellectual thespian or slick cover boy? Brooklyn hipster or Tinseltown glitteratus? Don't look to his recent album The New Danger
for clues -- this uneven opus veers more wildly than Michael Phelps on a weekend joyride, revealing only Mos' unsettled ambition. One thing's certain: Whether you know him from his roles in The Italian Job
and Monster's Ball,
as emcee of HBO's Def Poetry,
or as Talib Kweli's cocoa-butter smooth Blackstar foil, the man born Dante Smith is one magnetic personality. Lately, his shows have featured him monologuing beat-style poetry, singing over a backing track, and yes, occasionally rhyming with a DJ. Whether his old focus and fire are there, you can bet his undeniable talent will be.
Mos Def performs at 8 p.m. Friday, December 17, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30. Call 954-727-0950.