June 03, 2009
Mos Def - The Ecstatic: Album Review
Mos Def, The Ecstatic (Downtown Records, 2009)
Ever since the Blackstar album and his debut solo, people have been waiting to hear more classics from Mr Def. As years go by we get treated to more and more shit sandwiches, but the hope never dies. Will this be the album to put the nail in the coffin? Not to ruin the suspense, but yes it will be.
The album starts with more Islamic mutterings, as have all his other long players so far. This beat sounds like Rare Earth looped up at the wrong speed. Hardly BET material, although I figure that’s not exactly what he’s going for here.
This one’s produced by the guy in the Neptunes who’s not Pharrell. I always figured he brought the heat, as Pharrell’s solo stuff sucks balls. But judging by this, who really knows?
Madlib+Slick Rick+Mos Def. I can’t be mad at this. If only Mos would stop ‘singing’ so much.
This whole thing has a very eastern vibe going on, which kind of works. It’s better than hearing Black Jack Johnson blunder out some crappy blues track anyway.
Mos’ lyrics just get more and more earnest. It’s like listening to an audio version of a Hare Krishna book over a Madvillain out-take.
QUIET DOG BITE HARD
Beat is pretty much a redone version of Missy’s Pass That Dutch, while the lyrics are typical post-Black on Both Sides mediocrity. And I quote “don’t stop the rock, keep up the rocking, don’t stop the rock”. It’s like a throw-back to late 1970’s block parties, only shit.
LIFE IN MARVELOUS TIMES
Didn’t this have a different beat when it leaked before? Maybe not. Either way, it sucks.
More brain-curdling singing from Mos. Please lord, make it stop.
NO HAY NADA MAS
Mos speaks Arabic! Mos speaks Spanish! Mos speaks so well! This is the rap album it’s ok to take home to meet your mother.
I figured from the title that this might actually come hard (no homo), but it’s more of the same Okayplayerish bullshit singing.
For those of you who thought this album might be a return to his early form, it’s clear by now it won’t be.
From bad to worse.
Some of these beats are fire, which is why it sucks so much that Mos is all over them. Madlib is so on it right now. He should have saved this for the next Doom collabo.
Now it’s Georgia Anne Muldrow’s turn to warble on.
Could Dilla actually be more prolific now he’s dead? This seems to happen a lot. Think of how much shit ‘Pac, Biggie etc.. have put out since they died. I wish rappers/producers I like, but don’t release much music, would go ahead and die. If Raekwon was dead then OB4CL2 would easily be out by now.
More ‘don’t stop the rock’ business. He should stick to starring in shitty movies and accidentally marrying strippers, it’s more entertaining.
COMMENTS: I hardly had high hopes for this, but even with lowered expectations this really is a car crash of an album. The whole thing just plods along, with Mos often sounding worn out and bored. It’s only when guest emcees show up that Mos sounds invigorated – perhaps the slated Blackstar reunion album will restore him to the level of past glories? But I wouldn’t hold your breath.
BEST TRACKS: AUDITORIUM, HISTORY
BONUS VIDEO: CASA BEY
Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of several books, most recently NaS Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homey.
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Posted by Bol at 06:19 PM | Permalink
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