Brooklyn rapper Mos Def and Roc-A-Fella Records founder Damon Dash have announced that they are collaborating on a new film project. The film, a documentary about relatively unknown Detroit punk band Death, whose members were all black (not to be confused with better-known Florida metal band Death, whose members were all white), and played in the late 1970s, has already begun shooting, according to Dash.
"It's going to be great," Mos Def said of the documentary, in a recent interview. "These dudes were pre-Sex Pistols, pre-Bad Brains, pre-all that s---, and nobody knows them. I don't understand how the whole world could forget them."
The three members of the band were brothers, influenced by bands like The MC5 and The Stooges. Death released a highly sought-after punk 7" in 1976, which pre-dates releases by their more famous peers, and sells for as much as $500 online.
The band caught the ear of industry legend Clive Davis at Columbia Records, who suggested that they change their name. The brothers refused, and ultimately stopped recording punk rock altogether, opting instead to move to the east coast, where they still play with a popular reggae band.
Mos and Dash will be handling production duties on the film, with Chicago music video directors Coodie and Chike, who previously shot videos for Kanye West's 'Through the Wire,' '2 Words' featuring Mos Def, and Mos' 'Ghetto Rock,' as well as Pacific Division's 'Mayor.'
Though Dash wouldn't give away many details about the project, he did make the following statement about choosing to work with his co-producer on the film. "Anything Mos wants to do I'll do cause I think he's intelligent," said Dash "I think he's a great ambassador for hip-hop. I personally don't like to talk about things until it's done. So when it's done, when it's ready-all I'm saying is that Mos Def is a really ill dude."
Mos Def's fourth album, 'The Ecstatic' was released on Downtown Records in June. Also, Death's latest album '...For The Whole World To See' was released on Drag City and is available at select independent retailers and the Drag City website.