You know, Jay-Z is getting all kinds of press and hype for his work on water issues, but as I was listening to my music collection on shuffle (as always) last night, I was reminded that Mos Def was all over the water issue way back in 1999. From his album Black on Both Sides, here’s "New World Water" (mp3):

New world water make the tide rise high
Come in and itll make your house go bye (my house!)
Fools done upset the old man river
Made him carry slave ships and fed him dead nigga
Now his belly full and he about to flood somethin
So ima throw a rope that aint tied to nothin
Til your crew use the h2 in wise amounts since
Its the new world water; and every drop counts
You can laugh and take it as a joke if you wanna
But it dont rain for four weeks some summers
And its about to get real wild in the half
You be buying evian just to take a fuckin bath
Heads is acting wild, sippin poor, puffin dank
Competin with the next man, but how your playa rank?
See I aint got time try to be big hank,
Fuck a bank; I need a twenty-year water tank
Cause while these knuckleheads is out here sweatin they goods
The sun is sitting in the treetops burnin the woods
And as the flames from the blaze get higher and higher
They say, dont drink the water! we need it for the fire!
New york is drinkin it (new world water)
Now all of california is drinkin it (new world water)
Way up north and down south is drinkin it (new world water)
Used to have minerals and zinc in it (new world water)
Now they say it got lead and stink in it (new world water)
Four carbons and monoxide
Push the water table lopside
Used to be free now it cost you a fee
Cause all things fully loaded they roam cross the sea
Man, you gotta cook with it, bathe and clean with it (thats right)
When its hot, summertime you fiend for it (let em know)
You gotta put it in the iron you steamin with (thats right)
Its what they dress wounds and treat diseases with (shout it out0
The rich and poor, black and white got need for it (thats right)
And everybody in the world can agree with this (let em know)
Assumption promotes health and easiness (thats right)
Go too long without it on this earth and you leavin it (shout it out)
Americans wastin it on some leisure shit (say word? )
And other nations be desperately seekin it (let em know)
Bacteria washing up on they beaches (say word? )
Dont drink the water, son they cant wash they feet with it (let em know)
Young babies and professional neediness (say word? )
Epidemics hopppin up off the petri dish (let em know)
Control centers try to play it all secretive (say word? )
To avoid public panic and freakiness (let em know)
There are places where tb is common as tv
Cause foreign-based companies go and get greedy
The type of cats who pollute the whole shore line
Have it purified, sell it for a dollar twenty-five
Now the world is drinkin it
Your moms, wife, and baby girl is drinkin it
Up north and down south is drinkin it
You just have to go to your sink for it
The cash registers is goin to chink for it
Four carbons and monoxide
Got the fish lookin cockeyed
Used to be free now it cost you a fee
Cause its all about gettin that cash (money)

Said its all about gettin that cash (money) (x9)
Johny cash (money)
Roseland cash (money)
Give me cash (money)
Cold cash (money)
(repeat to fade)

Cash rules everything around me,

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