I keep hearing people describing The Ecstatic as the album of the year. Personally I'm not keen on such titles, or all of this often self-serving tastemaker wannabe "best of" subjective list making nonsense. But that's just me and I'm aware people need help with their Christmas shopping. As for The Ecstatic, I think this interview Mos did with DJ Semtex is very revealing...
Almost every conversation I've heard about this album has gone thusly -
"Yeah, I like it, but it's not as good as his earlier stuff"
"I like the one with Slick Rick on it"
"He needs to stop all that singing and start rapping again"
I'm not implying that an audience should dictate what kind of music an artist should make, but I think the general consensus in the world of people who don't feel they have to make lists or like new music is that this is not one of Mos Def's best - it's just not in the same league as Black Star or Black on Both Sides. Perhaps what we hear is the difference between a man making what he thinks might be his first and last solo album (Black on Both Sides), and a man who is not. It would be really sad to think an "ok" Mos Def album was really the album of the year - that can't be what we'll settle for. So what to do? How about we kidnap him and recreate The New Danger album cover with someone else holding that gun and see what comes out. Just a suggestion.
I've posted The Supermagic video for anyone who missed it this week - artistic and enjoyable but just not a classic... Oh and to clarify how I feel about it: I think Mos Def is great, and I quite like this album - especially the song with Slick Rick on it, but it's not as good as his earlier stuff and I think he needs to stop singing so much...