Mos Def – The Ecstatic – Review by Broken Soul Boy
Here is my dude Broken Soul Boy doing another great hip-hop review (MUCH respect).
Been well content with my purchase of the new Mos Def album, The Ecstatic. A lot of different things going on in the project, and about three quarters of the album, I would consider very good.
The striking thing about this album is the production. It is only a 45 minute long album, and many of the tracks are just a bit too short in length. (That is actually very annoying throughout this album when there are some dope joints on there) And the productions are for the most part are creative and very eclectic in nature, with some random elements of speeches and other skits seemingly thrown in. Quite a few of the joints are beats which randomly flip into a different hook. All of this combined, makes The Ecstatic feel like its basis was an abstract beat tape, something not far off a Madlib/Beat Konducta type compilation, which Mos Def used a series of challenging beats for a full album.
There was also a few Middle Eastern flavoured influences that made up a chunky proportion of the album, and added quite a range of interesting music to the whole project. Right from the introductory track called Supermagic, where Mos attacks the hook that is dominated by a catchy grinding electric guitar chord, with a good flow. Embassy is another standout and strange track for me, with a classic flip in the process. Also got to rate Auditorium with a killer production, a brilliant use of a Bollywood sample and Slick Rick featuring. Speaking of guests, Talib Kweli also drops a strong rap on the History track as well.
The album progressed towards a more classic soul vibe in the latter part. No Hay Nada Mas was especially interesting where Mos rhymes in Spanish (I think!), to an extremely melodic chord that sounds straight off a harp. He adapts an ill mellow flow on this, matching the vibe of the track spot on and you just got to have faith that his rhymes in a foreign language are as reflective as the actual tune itself.
The best track off the album is Workers Comp, an ode to the graft of working life and its devastating toll. A real profound soulful cut over everything else on the album, with Mos even attempting some decent singing on the chorus.
Mos Def could have come through with more hard hitting and memorable lines on the album, and it was an annoying feature about the tracks being too short for the most part. Asides from that, there are a lot of positives from this album which stands out uniquely from the rest and brings real artistic hip hop to the masses, digging deep in the crates to get the productions compelling. The Ecstatic is Mos Def’s best work since Black On Both Sides.
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