Album Review
Mos Def - The Ecstatic Album Cover

Mos Def - The Ecstatic

Reviewed by
Mos DefThe Ecstatic
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Record Label: Downtown
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
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.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Supermagic (produced by Oh No)
2. Twilite Speedball (produced by Chad Hugo)
3. Auditorium (ft. Slick Rick) (produced by Madlib)
4. Wahid (produced by Madlib)
5. Priority (produced by Preservation)
6. Quiet Dog (Bite Hard) (produced by Preservation)
7. Life In Marvelous Times (produced by Mr. Flash)
8. The Embassy (produced by Mr. Flash)
9. No Hay Nada Mas (produced by Preservation)
10. Pistola (produced by Oh No)
11. Pretty Dancer (produced by Madlib)
12. Workers Comp (produced by Mr. Flash)
13. Revelations (produced by Madlib)
14. Roses (ft. Georgia Anne Muldrow) (produced by Georgia Anne Muldrow(
15. History (ft. Talib Kweli) (produced by J Dilla)
16. Casa Bey (produced by Mos Def & Preservation)

Official Myspace

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 34
12:44 AM on 06/09/09
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Drew Beringer's Avatar
Yes sir. Cheers Drew! Dope album.
Did you like the "Be Kind Rewind" drop? haha
01:17 AM on 06/09/09
Johnny 2x4
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musikjunky311's Avatar
Good to hear I will have a giant smile on my face, most of the hip hop of late has gotten a grimace at best. Here is to some good music I use this term because this stuff is MUSIC.
04:45 AM on 06/09/09
tommy's ghost
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No Avatar Selected
Did you like the "Be Kind Rewind" drop? haha
I know I did.
06:44 AM on 06/09/09
My punches have the power of kicks
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fborelli's Avatar
Great review. I'm in love with History, good to hear from both Mos Def and Talib again
07:32 AM on 06/09/09
Prison Strength
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hockeyguitar99's Avatar
Good review. I'm excited to pick this up.
09:15 AM on 06/09/09
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Rock's Avatar
I can appreciate the "Be Kind Rewind" reference since I've seen the movie, and it just occurred to me that it is incredibly relevent as well. Nice work.
09:25 AM on 06/09/09
speaking hot fire
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Manbotisdead's Avatar
Very different vibe from Mos. I read somewhere that it was a very Stones Throwesque album. Definitely a solid comparison. That could be because OH NO and Madlib are all over it though.
09:40 AM on 06/09/09
can't stop daybreak
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TeppeiKensrue's Avatar
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.
09:42 AM on 06/09/09
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
User Info.
Drew Beringer's Avatar
Very different vibe from Mos. I read somewhere that it was a very Stones Throwesque album. Definitely a solid comparison. That could be because OH NO and Madlib are all over it though.
09:52 AM on 06/09/09
Take Ecstasy With Me
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FeynmanWannabe's Avatar
I've abstained from listening. Can't wait to pick this up.
09:57 AM on 06/09/09
The World Is Yours
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3eb23's Avatar
stoked for this. even more so after reading this review.
10:43 AM on 06/09/09
down with the fad
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fobmcrafi6's Avatar
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
11:45 AM on 06/09/09
Registered User
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spartanfan10's Avatar
Got it the other day but haven't heard it yet. Really excited despite the non-proof-read review.
12:01 PM on 06/09/09
You Will Always Have My Attention
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cscwell107's Avatar
I really gotta listen to this.

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