What’s The Verdict On The New Mos Def Album?

Mos Def hasn’t released a proper album – you know with real cover art and all – since 2004’s The New Danger and I haven’t seen much of a response on the ol’ internets. Quite frankly I’m a little surprised by the lack of enthusiasm. Where the stans at? I mean Mos is Ecstatic over here and it feels as if it’s fallen on def ears (no pun intended).

There’s no question that in his heyday, the Mighty Mos was on track to become one of hip-hop’s biggest stars. He had huge co-signs, hit records, a strong, loyal fan base and of course a serious acting career, yet it seemed as if the Brooklyn renaissance man never chased success in the rap world in the same way that some of his fellow “conscious, backpack rap” peers did. (Common anyone?)

Instead of capitalizing off his buzz, maybe using his association with rap’s elite (i.e. Kanye West, The Neptunes, etc) Mos made a series of strange decisions that may not have sit well with the hip-hop crowd. First he went the rock route, forming the group Black Jack Johnson with Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know, that never really materialized into anything (For the record I thought they were dope but I’m in the minority on that one), then he released the critically panned True Magic in ‘06, that sounded more like a unfocused collection of demos and b-sides.

Now three years later dude is back in full force, hip-hopped the fuck out and…and…nothing.

Granted the disc definitely takes a minute to grow on you – Mos’ athletic rhyme patterns aren’t the easiest to digest and his beat selection is far from radio friendly – but are people just writing him off.

What do you guys think? Are people feeling The Ecstatic? Do people care about Mos Def the rapper anymore?-Jesse Gissen

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  • Pierzy

    I like the album but, like Mos, it is a little off the path. And that’s a good thing for hip-hop – we need that. However, it’s not anywhere close to Black Star or even Black On Both Sides. A bit too much singing for my taste but it’s a really good album…

    • Azhar

      Mos delivered a good cd…its not going to be for erbody…..Life in Marvelous Times…. is Mos at his finest he bring it lyrically, he sings, and the beats in crazy… its where Mos is at right now and i’m cool with that…. good shit from the boy…roll up!

  • c.white

    I fuck w/ The Ecstatic.

  • Phil

    I like the album quite a bit. It does take a few listens to digest it entirely, but it’s definitely on point…and the singing on it is not that overpowering either. The only issue I may have is who he didn’t use behind the boards and who else I really expected to be on this record. Madlib and his brother Oh No basically took over the whole album, which turned out to be a good and bad thing, really. Black Milk should have been on there. Jay Electronica, DJ Khalil, Don Cannon, MoSS, 88 Keys, Chuck Inglish (on production), and maybe Large Pro could have made this album phenomenal…but I respect Mos’ decisions, regardless. He didn’t take the easy way out with this one.

  • http://www.sylermusic.com Syler

    I am a definite fan of Mos Def. Black on Both Sides (recorded at my spot the Cutting Room btw) was and still is amazing, even a decade later. I’m not saying he has fallen off by any means, but clearly his focus shifted for a period of time, and fans are fickle. Especially hip hop fans. You can’t just fall back, as an MC*, come back out expecting to have the buzz you once did. Unless you have smash.

    * was to exclude Dre and all this Detox hype because we still heard a ton of his distinct production quite a bit since 2001 dropped.

  • giantstepp

    When Mos def speaks, I listen. He is an intelligent dude. When he raps its obvious he is dope, no debating that fact. But something always hold me back from actually supporting his projects. That certain “it” factor that makes one want to go out and buy his records always seems to be missing. Bad marketing/advertising?? Cant really say for sure, but I never really here anyone getting excited about his projects.

  • lex

    I heard samples of the whole album and none of it made me care about hearing the rest.

  • http://thepiratebay.org/user/MaxProfit Max Profit

    Mos is probably comfortable with where he’s at. I guess he really don’t wanna play with too much industry politics.

  • http://www.myspace.com/gamarang Gamarang

    Mos Def is the Truth!! he’s back with “Ecstatic”. classic album. best one of 09. peace




  • DV8

    the album is dope as fuck.

    im suprised you guys realize Mos is a MC, especially since your last cover.

    Hey use your connects to find out why Beans, Jay, and Wayne have yet to accept Mos open invitation to a battle of lyrical wit. Then maybe people will take more notice of Mos. It worked for Joe Budden.

    • DV8

      P.S. co-sign on Black Jack Johnson.

      BJJ > Lil Wayne’s horrible attempts at rockin out.

  • Beast McCoy

    I think Mos Def is at the point where he wants to put out the music he wants to put out free of all the big label restraints and expectations. I think he is making music just for him and not for the radio or even for the fans which I can understand but it’s not always a fruitful enterprise. I got it for cheap and it was ok but by no means is it a classic. Sometimes when being an artist you can strike gold when you experiment but at the end of the day you have to balance it out because in order to make a living off of what you love to do… you have to sell records and that will always be the bottom line. No one wants to sell out but you at times have to come to terms with the notion that if I don’t move enough units this may very well be my last album so I best choose carefully what I release. It’s good to be different but sometimes that can also be your downfall when you stray too far off the path.

  • $ykotic

    Still waiting for my delivery. But the mixtape he has out is decent.

    But he’s the type who would rather rock for 100 people in a smooth spot than a Summer Jam.

  • jojo

    The ecstatic album is great. Now im just waiting on the clipse to drop in september, fuck everyone else.

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    I loved Mos Def to death back in the days (Black On Both Sides and Blackstarr are both in my Top 20). But ever since 2000 dude just went crazy. The New Danger was a failed experiment that I was willing to forgive. But even then, he really hasn’t tried to put out music for the last 8 or 9 years, not even a mixtape or a feature here and there.

    That’ why I was so excited when bloggers and critics started saying Estatic is so great, I was under the impression Mos Def was back in full form. I gave it one spin, wasn’t really impressed. I found to be a bit disjointed and unfocused. Though certainly not as unfocused as his previous efforts. Your probably right, the album needs to grow and I’ve only given it one spin. But still, it just didn’t sound very good to me.

  • eaztcoast

    i think mos def is just another victim of radio. i thought his album was dope but im not expecting it to his big or anything cuz most of all the albums that come out BIG have had a big radio hit . i didnt even think his relevance was an issue. a lot of dope rappers arent sellin records. does that mean theyre no longer dope rappers?
    Mos Def has DEFINITELY NOT been written off. ppl just forget was good music sounds like!

    • eaztcoast

      hella spelling errors in that but yall can decipher

  • latino heat

    you call New Danger a proper album? i think dude hasn’t really dropped a “proper album” since his 1st one in 1999.
    i ain’t mad at him though. there is way more money in Hollywood than in raping. so keep doing your thing Mos.
    as for the new album, my girl bought it when it dropped and i still haven’t bothered listening to it. everyone’s comments on here kinda turned me off to it already. i’ll get around to it and form my own opinion as soon as i get a chance though.

  • Perrucci

    Album was his best since black on both sides. I enjoyed tru magic but it had a few songs where you could tell how lazy and not into it mos truly was. But on this new album he is back to enjoying the art of hip hop.


    i think that mos never got to put his vision out there and that side tracked him. like common got to drop eletric circus and umc. mos def never got to drop his black joe johnson project which i think was going be crazy. maybe once he saw that was never going happen he was liek fuck it. hollywood going pay me to be in movies and i like doing them so it works out. the new danger was very good i like that joint you pop that in you get many different styles. some soulful music modern marvel will take your ass some where. if you listen with a girl it will take you both somewhere. that cd had a couple songs like that. the new mos def joint i have not fount it yet. when i do i will buy it mos got some magic left in him.

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    I’ve been meaning to give Mos Def’s new album another listen since I bought it two weeks ago, but still haven’t yet. I listened to it the whole way thru the first time, and some of the tracks just didn’t grow on me…he was singing a lil too much for my taste. Black On Both Sides is still my ish though.

  • http://www.myspace.com/Lyrik07 L-Y, NawfWestSide

    Album of the muhfuccin’ year so far, handz down.

  • http://brillianceisproper.blogspot.com Brilliance Proper

    Honestly, The Ecstatic is my favorite album so far this year. I downloaded it first then bought it on release day. I’m sure people aren’t getting it as much but he took DOOM’s method of making songs (1 long verse, barely there hooks) and made it work for him. The Ecstatic to me is a timeless album. You have to understand it and the more you listen the more you do and the doper it becomes. This one was worth the wait.

  • latino heat

    i just listened to The Ecstatic for the 1st time and the shit is hot. i was feeling all of it except Roses. hopefully it holds replay value after a few more spins. i think my faith in Mos has finally been restored after years of letdowns.

  • leo

    it is a brilliant album.point.

    who cares about “radio friendly” music?
    do we need more good or more bad hiphop?
    hiphop did not start on the radio. that always was a conservative,mass-orientated media. hiphop is for the masses and hiphop is against the masses.got it?

    more mos
    less stupidity
    get your own information
    shut off the goddamn tv with all that brainwash shit.

  • starkcontrast

    classic. he went back and gave props, then pushed hip-hop forward.

    stop stayin off the work of good folks.