Rapper Mos Def has slated a handful of January dates for his rock band, Black Jack Johnson. The two-week run is set to kick off Jan. 4 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles and play seven shows, closing out Jan. 10 at Peabody’s Down Under in Cleveland.
As reported Hawaiian pro surfer/singer/songwriter of the same name — the band is made up of Mos Def, guitarist Dr. Know (Bad Brains), keyboardist Bernie Worrell (Parliament/Funkadelic), and bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun of Living Colour.
“In my estimation, there’s a lot of rock bands sort of just fiddling with hip-hop, and a lot of hip-hop bands sort of fiddling with rock,” Mos Def told Billboard.com as the band was wrapping up recording of its debut Rawkus album, due out sometime next year. “I don’t want to fiddle, you know? I mean, I listen to Black Sabbath and Bad Brains and, you know, Fugazi and Pantera. I’m looking for something that is rocking along those lines, that’s just got some teeth to it. I don’t want to do something that’s sugary or glamorous.”
The group has played only a few live shows to date, including an appearance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., and a club show that was filmed and aired in October on HBO’s live music series “Reverb.”
But just because Black Jack Johnson is getting off the ground, don’t expect Mos Def to get too comfortable. Prior to the tour, he’ll perform a trio of solo dates, beginning with a New Year’s Eve show at the Justice League in San Francisco. He’ll also hit Santa Ana, Calif.’s Galaxy Theatre on Jan. 2 and 4th & B in San Diego the following night.
As if that wasn’t enough, the rapper can be spotted playing Ryrus Cooper in the film “Monster’s Ball.” The film, which recently opened in New York and Los Angeles, stars Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Mos Def is also in talks to star in the Broadway play “Top Dog / Underdog,” and has also wrapped roles in the upcoming films “Brown Sugar” and “Showtime.”
Here are Black Jack Johnson’s tour dates:
Jan. 4: West Hollywood, Calif. (House of Blues)
Jan. 5: Albuquerque, N.M. (Sunshine Theatre)
Jan. 6: Denver (Paramount Theatre)
Jan. 7: Omaha, Neb. (Ranch Bowl)
Jan. 8: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
Jan. 9: Chicago (Metro)
Jan. 10: Cleveland (Peabody’s Down Under)