Friday, October 24, 2008
The return of the mighty Mos Def?
STREAM: Mos Def - Life In Marvelous Times (via RCRD LBL)
Typically when delving into the pasts of my fellow bloggers, most of them found or fell in love with hip hop from the Wu-Tang Clan or any early 90's positive mc group that made a minor splash. For me, I was sucked in by Black Star's self-titled Rawkus debut (and sadly, only record) featuring Mos Def and Talib Kweli. From there, I not only followed their careers, but most of the Rawkus roster, as well as enjoying mix tapes from my friend in high school who would fuel my thirst for quality flows.
Soon after graduation, the mix tapes stopped, and everybody I was following had lost the spark that made them special and unique, mostly falling into the same troubles that made mainstream hip hop so boring and insipid. Mos Def followed up the phenomenally brilliant debut "Black On Both Sides" with a strange and beyond lackluster mess in the rock/blues/rap album "The New Danger". It was so hard to stand behind the man, as he seemed to be distracted by his new acting career, content to phone in what made him so special and promising to begin with. Things only seemed to go further downhill on 2006's unlistenable and artless "True Magic".
He then left Geffen, who had acquired MCA who had acquired Rawkus for Downtown Records, a very credible and very consistent record label. There seemed to be some freshness in the air but it still didn't seem enough to forgive the sins of the past.
When I saw the news today of a brand new Mos Def track, I found myself curious but expecting the worst, a dramatic change from my late teens when the news of anything Mos Def would stop the world and fill me with such excitement. Clicking without paying attention, I was then treated to a whispered promise fulfilled in "Life In Marvelous Times", with it's spastic future-like beat and a man who sounds well rested and hungry for the promise he once held. I fucking love it, I really do. It feels great to have faith again, and if a second song can follow up on this feeling, I will be his biggest fan once more. One can only hope the forthcoming "The Ecstatic" can bring everything I dream of and more.