This has to be said. Yes, you are a musical mastermind, we know this. And yeah we know that you're not the average run-of-the-mill hip hop artist either. What we don't know is this: what's up with these performances?! I saw you at SpitKickers, I know what you can do live. But for some reason the last 3-4 times I've seen you on stage I've just been left...scratching my head.
Don't the blank stares bother you? That would probably haunt my dreams. You've had to notice, so are you trying to send us the message that connecting with the crowd is not a priority? So what is your goal? Do you want to experiment/try out new material? Because without that connection it comes off as if you don't care. And we refuse to believe that because we still care, a lot, actually! This is like a relationship where you have all the "hand" and you know it. You treat us however, leave us wanting more, and then when we beg for an encore (because you know we will) we get a quick "Umi Says" and you're gone just as fast as you came. Your set comes off as chaotic and convoluted and my thing is that if you have not one single bad album, how can you have (multiple) bad performances!?
I'm not saying that us die hard fans aren't interested in hearing/seeing the more experimental or new material, I just don't think Rock the Bells is an ideal setting. At a giant festival give us the bangers and the classics, it's only right!
I remember when I first got True Magic I recognized some of the songs from a live performance I'd just seen but I also remember being confused as hell at that performance! I (subsequently) love True Magic so I feel the audience can really appreciate a new song during a 5-6 song set, but any more than that and we're going to get antsy.
That's my piece. A new approach would be appreciated but in the end you're Mos Def and we're your loyal fans so do what you want