Despite early rumors by a number of seemingly reliable media sources, my original report of Mos Def's new album being pushed back until August seems as if it may be false. After the rumor spread across the web, me being partly to blame, a representative of the rapper came forward to say that the rumor is false and the album will be released as planned on June 9th. I apologize for the false report.
Early word on The Ecstatic though does indicate that the new album will be a return to form for Mos Def, something that is greatly needed in my opinion, especially after the release of the uninspired True Magic in late 2006. But it's not just the disappointment of True Magic that makes Mos Def one of the most intriguing characters in the hip-hop community, it's the fact that he was once one of, if not the, most promising young stars in hip-hop music - yet somehow it seems as if he has slowly slipped into mediocrity.
I guess I should give him a break though, it is hard to live up to what he accomplished at the start of his career. In 1998, Def released the fantastic and often talked about Blackstar album alongside Talib Kweli and then a year later followed it up with his debut solo album, the laid back, thought provoking, expertly penned Black On Both Sides. It then took Def five years to release a follow up, and though 2004's The New Danger wasn't a bad hip-hop album, it just didn't live up to the expectations his past work had set. His last record, True Magic was released in a typical album release dead zone, after Christmas and before New Years. Not only was the disc packaged without any artwork of any kind, but it also sounded rushed, sloppy and just downright boring at times. That's why it's so important for Mos Def fans that The Ecstatic be good, maybe not Black On Both Sides good, but just a good solid album by someone who is obviously capable or creating such a thing. If only just to get the bad taste out of their mouths.
Recent news on The Ecstatic says that Def will finally reunite with former partner in crime Talib Kweli for a song titled "History." Also an appearance by Slick Rick is confirmed for a song called "Auditorium." Take a look at the track listing below and prepare for the album when it lands on Tuesday.
2. Twilite Speedball
3. Auditorium (feat. Slick Rick)
6. Quiet Dog
7. Life In Marvelous Times
8. The Embassy
9. No Hay Nada Mas
11. Pretty Dancer
12. Workers Camp
14. Roses (feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow)
15. History (feat. Talib Kweli)
16. Casa Bey