Mos Def – The Ecstatic
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Record Label: Downtown
It’s been almost ten years since Mos Def released his classic debut album, Black on Both Sides. Exciting hip-hop fans everyone, Mos Def quickly became hailed as one of the brightest stars of the game. And over the past ten years, Mos Def has gotten plenty of critical acclaim… for his acting. Not exactly what we planned. In fact, the two albums that followed up the debut left fans puzzled. 2004’s The New Danger featured Mos Def exploring a variety of genres with a backing band, while 2006’s Tru3 Magic felt like a sweded version of his previous work: a poor imitation. All the frustration fans have encountered from these releases makes Mos Def’s fourth studio album, The Ecstatic, that much sweeter. Finally, the man has returned to make a worthy follow-up to that fine album he released ten years ago.
Boasting a “who’s-who” of producers on this album, including Madlib, Chad Hugo, Mr. Flash, and the late (great) J Dilla, The Ecstatic displays a wide range of themes, vibes, and tempos; incorporating everything from jazz and horns to booming and huge tracks. Not to mention Mos’ flow is vibrant, which brings each track to life. A hyperactive flow overtakes opening song “Supermagic,” while the Chad Hugo-produced “Twilite Speedball” will rattle the window shades as you cruise around the block. His flow poses as a drug here, bringing “bad news and good dope.”
“Auditorium” is absolutely hypnotic, as The Ruler, Slick Rick, poignantly destroys the track, spinning one of the finest verses of 2009. “Priority” is a short yet satisfying track paced by a simple piano sample, and “Quiet Dog (Bite Hard)” features a quick tempo that’ll get your booty moving. Mr. Flash delivers one of the hottest beats with “Life In Marvelous Times,” as Mos brings it, getting right in your face.
“The Embassy” is interesting, switching from Middle Eastern-influenced music to a simple laid-back beat. The Oh No produced “Pistola” jangles throughout, while the gritty “Workers Comp,” which focuses on overcoming tough times. Georgia Anne Muldrow offers a beautiful hook on “Roses,” a gorgeous and smooth change-of-pace for The Ecstatic.
“History” is aptly named, as three legends collide to create this cut. Mos Def joins forces with his Black Star partner Talib Kweli on the J Dilla joint. It’s a treat to hear this two dropping verses on such a silky beat. Closer “Casa Bey” is delicious, as it brings the funk and attitude of Afrobeat, concluding The Ecstatic on a high note.
I’m ecstatic (note: pun intended) that Mos Def has finally graced our ears with a fantastic hip-hop album. Throughout the sixteen tracks, you can tell he is having fun again, as his flow is effortless, wonderfully woven into each beat. Having an A-List of producers didn’t hurt either, as The Ecstatic is one of the best produced albums of any genre and definitely a must-own album for 2009. If anything, this album will be leaving a giant smile on your face.
Ive been a Mos fanboy for years now, and ill be honest I didnt love the album on first listens. f youve listened to all of his previous stuff religiously you gotta get used to the new vibe and his more laid back flow. But the production is definitely the best of any album hes put out and it has grown on me for sure. Good review.
i couldnt get into it :(
i listened to the whole thing on their myspace.
i really never liked mos def's singing.
tho his acting is decent, expecially in Be Kind Rewind, and Next Day Air looks rediculous.
acting-sign me up to see the movie
musician- eh my feelings go a stray