Mos Def – The Ecstatic (Downtown Music, LLC)


Mos Def – The Ecstatic (Downtown Music, LLC)

Mos Def is one of the most powerful Hip Hop icons/activists in the field today. He is held in highest regards throughout various artistic and political arenas. His musical ventures, though, typically create both positive and critical remarks from fans and reviewers alike. His latest Hip Hop project, The Ecstatic, will undoubtedly be received with the same mixed thoughts from listeners.

I think the album would have been more appropriately titled had it been called The Eclectic. The mood, production and subject matter all seem to hit various levels of creative awareness throughout the listening. But that’s quintessentially Mos Def – his style is as varied as he is evolved. Such is the flow of this album. From the social consciousness of “Auditorium” to the reminiscent “History,” from the quirkiness of “Quiet Dog” to the brilliantly crafted “Casa Bey,” the mighty Mos brings his lyrical prowess and dexterity as we expect him to. But then there are tracks like “The Embassy,” “Pretty Dancer” and “Workers Comp” that play more to the experimental aspects of artistry as opposed to the street appeal that Mos is known to present. The overall dose can be a bit confusing, especially if listeners are looking for one particular angle from the multidimensional Mos Def.

My final thoughts are that listeners will gravitate to this album based on which Mos best fits their individual tastes: if you are looking for another Black on Both Sides, this one isn’t for you. Was The New Danger too out there for you? This album brings the vibe back in a bit. Did you dig True Magic? This project is in the same vein – sort of. However, if you’re a fan of innovation and ingenuity in music, this will definitely tickle your fancy.