Mos Def: The Ecstatic - A Return to Form for the Brooklyn MC
Mos Def is one of the most respected and influential MCs in hip-hop, but his last two albums, The New Danger and True Magic, were met with mixed reviews and lukewarm sales. Fans and critics alike wondered if he had lost his touch or his passion for the art form. However, with his fourth solo album, The Ecstatic, Mos Def proves that he still has plenty of skills and creativity to offer.
The Ecstatic is a diverse and adventurous album that showcases Mos Def's versatility and range as an artist. He raps over beats that sample everything from Middle Eastern music to Brazilian funk to classic soul, delivering witty, insightful and sometimes provocative lyrics. He also sings on some tracks, displaying his smooth and soulful vocals. The album features guest appearances from Slick Rick, Talib Kweli, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Madlib, among others.
The Ecstatic has been praised by critics as Mos Def's best album since his debut, Black on Both Sides, and one of the best hip-hop albums of 2009. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and ranked among the top albums of the year by various publications. The Ecstatic is a testament to Mos Def's artistic vision and talent, and a reminder of why he is one of the most respected MCs in the game.The Ecstatic consists of 16 tracks that span 45 minutes of runtime. The album has a cohesive yet eclectic sound, as Mos Def raps over various types of beats that draw from different musical genres and cultures. The album's opening track, \"Supermagic\", samples a Turkish pop song by Selda BaÄcan and features Mos Def delivering rapid-fire rhymes over a hard-hitting drum loop. The next track, \"Twilite Speedball\", is a funky and upbeat song that showcases Mos Def's playful and charismatic style. The album also features some collaborations with other artists, such as \"Auditorium\", which features a storytelling verse from the legendary Slick Rick over a Middle Eastern-flavored beat by Madlib; \"History\", which reunites Mos Def with his longtime friend and partner Talib Kweli over a soulful J Dilla production; and \"Roses\", which features the vocals of Georgia Anne Muldrow over a smooth and jazzy instrumental.
The Ecstatic also explores some serious and topical themes, such as the state of the world, the war on terror, and the plight of the oppressed. On \"Life in Marvelous Times\", Mos Def reflects on his personal experiences and the struggles of his people over a futuristic and synth-heavy beat by Mr. Flash. On \"Wahid\", he raps about the unity of God and humanity over a sparse and haunting beat by Preservation. On \"Revelations\", he delivers some prophetic and apocalyptic verses over a sample of Malcolm X's speech \"The Ballot or the Bullet\". The album's closing track, \"Casa Bey\", is a tribute to his African roots and his Islamic faith, as he raps over a sample of Banda Black Rio's \"Casa Forte\" and chants \"Allah U Akbar\" at the end. aa16f39245