Mos Def - The Ecstatic
Since the release of his toure de force debut album, Black on Both Sides, Mos Def has been a prominent figure in hip-hop. Despite his high standing, Mos Def has released a limited number of true hip-hop albums. Outside of his debut and the acclaimed Blackstar duo album alongside fellow Brooklyn native Talib Kweli, there is a conspicuous dearth of material in the Mos Def musical catalogue. Mos’ last album, True Magic, sounded like a half-hearted contractual obligation to his label, and left fans without a true successor to Black on Both Sides.
Enter The Ecstatic. Released in June 2009, The Ecstatic signals a triumphant return to form for “Mighty” Mos Def. The album showcases Mos Def’s talent for rhyme on every verse with the incredible command of language, sharp wit, and socially conscious and self-aware lyrics that fans come to expect from his music. With only two guest appearances on the album (one from Slick Rick and the other from longtime contributor Talib Kweli) Mos Def is unmistakably the star of the album and puts his many talents on display. Mos’ propensity for singing is evident throughout the album, but is never overbearing nor does it detract from what Mos does best: rapping.
Beginning with the high energy intro song “Supermagic,” The Ecstatic maintains an incredibly diverse sound ranging from up-tempo guitar riffs on one track, to airy piano solos on another. Coupled with Mos Def’s intricate rhyme-schemes and vocal melodies, the result is a tremendously dynamic piece of music that maintains depths of sound that portray an array of moods. With The Ecstatic, Mos Def has crafted an album that lives up to the acclaim of his debut and that no hip-hop aficionado should go without.
- James Rodriguez
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