• Record Label: Downtown
  • Release Date: Jun 9, 2009
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 53
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 53
  3. Negative: 1 out of 53

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  1. May 8, 2015
    10
    Without any doubt his best LP since his 1999 Black on both sides. The album is lyrically perfect, Mos Def stands as one of the last great rap poets still alive, rough, emotional and joyful themes are on the album as you'd expect from him. The beats are very good, more like his old school albums and the guests are awesome, Slick Rick's appearance is a great surprise and welcomed nostalgiaWithout any doubt his best LP since his 1999 Black on both sides. The album is lyrically perfect, Mos Def stands as one of the last great rap poets still alive, rough, emotional and joyful themes are on the album as you'd expect from him. The beats are very good, more like his old school albums and the guests are awesome, Slick Rick's appearance is a great surprise and welcomed nostalgia element. Auditorium is definitely the best song on the album. Expand
  2. May 15, 2014
    9
    This album was like a 'Welcome Back' party for Mos Def. He nailed it with his wide variety of beats. I can't stop singing 'Quiet Dog Bite Hard' and 'Casa Bey' as the fast pace and smooth beats took me away. Thank you for this. Thumbs up!
  3. Mar 31, 2013
    10
    this album is unbelievable. it shows how an album is supposed to be made. starting off stronge, and ending at its strongest. casa bey is easily the best song on the album. and the guests are also fantastic. everyone should listen
  4. Apr 17, 2012
    10
    This album deserves a 12 out of 10 if I were basing my score on the relativity to other rap albums over the past 5 years. It's been a long time since I've heard an album of this caliber, and I still can't think of a better rap album to come out since this album was released nearly 3 years ago. I still listen to this album regularly. Mos Def has always been a very talented rapper, andThis album deserves a 12 out of 10 if I were basing my score on the relativity to other rap albums over the past 5 years. It's been a long time since I've heard an album of this caliber, and I still can't think of a better rap album to come out since this album was released nearly 3 years ago. I still listen to this album regularly. Mos Def has always been a very talented rapper, and the strength of his albums has always been his lyrics. However, the production on this album is without question the best production since Black on Both Sides. The opening track "Supermagic" hits like a hammer. Mos samples guitars (and the chorus) from an old Turkish song, and the rest of the album follows the theme of using Middle Eastern instruments throughout this album. Most of the tracks have Middle Eastern influences regardless of who produces the track. Madlib produces 4 of the tracks on this album (Wahid, Pretty Dancer, Revelations, and the Slick Rick assisted Auditorium), and it's no surprise that these are 4 of the best tracks on the album. The greatness of Mos isn't limited to the Madlib tracks though. Mr. Flash produces "Worker's Comp" which is the perfect song for the times we are in. Mos simply raps about the high unemployment rate and the day to day munadane life of working a 9-5, living paycheck to paycheck to keep the lights on. The whole album is very down to earth, but uplifting at the same time. Mos has always been one of the most humble and honest rappers there is, and that makes this album very easy to relate to. More rap needs to be like this. "Priority" is one of the most spiritual songs on the album, as Mos outlines what our priorities should be in life. It's a very powerful song, partly because of the message, but also because of Mos' delivery. "Peace before everything/god before anything/love before anything/real before everything/home before anyplace". Simple maybe, but effective. Nothing is simple about the wordplay he follows that up with though. "Style and state radiate/love power slay the hate/truth killer flakey face/players say it to their face/ain't afraid to major straight/grace at the table straight/flow greatest like the greatest lakes/capes all greatest states/quiet water major waves". Damn. If anybody needed a reminder the Mos Def is one of the best lyricists of all time in hip-hop, this song (and album in general) is it. One thing I love about Mos is that he isn't concerned with being "the best rapper alive" or any of the other trivial titles that all other rappers are concerned with. Mos isn't afraid to take risks (as he proved on The New Danger) whether they pay off or not. One example of this working is on "No Hay Nada Mas". Mos speaks in Spanish for the entire song, and the tracks sounds much more like a love song that a rap song. It's amazing that over time I've grown to really like this song, even if I don't understand a damn thing. However, he does misfire on "Roses" which is easily the albums lowest point. It's a shame, because the entire album is good with the exception of this song, and it happens to be towards the very end of the album. Thankfully, this track is followed by "History" with reunites Mos with Kweli for a BlackStar reunion. Kweli and Slick Rick are the only two featured artists on the album (aside from Georgia Ann Muldrowe on Roses). In the end, this is Mos' best album since Black On Both Sides. It's his most pure "album" in my opinion, and I can't state how much I love the Middle Eastern influences that are present for the entire album. Expand
  5. Jun 3, 2011
    10
    This is a great album since Black on Both Sides. Mos Def has blessed with his poetry, great beats and most importantly a great record. Life in it's Marvellous Times, Twilte Speedball. His collaboration with Talib Kweli, all a masterpiece.
  6. Aug 16, 2010
    10
    I love Mos' music and this hits the spot. This is by far his greatest work and possibly the greatest piece of music in Alternative Rap history. His blend of guest spots include Mr.Kweli and Slick Rick(old-school). This album is worth the $10 and even more you pay for it.
  7. Smitty
    Jul 21, 2009
    8
    Glad 2 hear him lift-off where he left-off. Raw, groovy, & live best describe Mos' Ecstatic. Lyrically in his prime, the compositions give hip-hop a powerful presence in modern times.
  8. Bob
    Jul 9, 2009
    10
    This album is filled with though provoking lyrics and sweet, sweet poetry to a dope beat. The sound is unheard of and is a welcome change, not only from the arrogant Rap heard on the radio, but also shows a new side to the strong, intelligent Rap. The Middle-Eastern flair and the African beats make this album unique in a very good way. Mos Def was at the top of his game, and brought out a This album is filled with though provoking lyrics and sweet, sweet poetry to a dope beat. The sound is unheard of and is a welcome change, not only from the arrogant Rap heard on the radio, but also shows a new side to the strong, intelligent Rap. The Middle-Eastern flair and the African beats make this album unique in a very good way. Mos Def was at the top of his game, and brought out a masterpiece. I believe that this is a serious contender for Best Album 2009. Also, bonus points for Slick Rick's verse. Beautiful. Expand
  9. NealY.
    Jun 29, 2009
    9
    Actually, 8.75. If you had asked me the first week I had it, I'd have rated it a 2. I forgot that with Mos, you got to let it sink in for a while before judging it (like True Magic and New Danger. Y'all sleeping on both of those BANGERS!!!). But now that I understand it more, I can truly say that some of his best work, and some of his most creative ideas, can be found on The Actually, 8.75. If you had asked me the first week I had it, I'd have rated it a 2. I forgot that with Mos, you got to let it sink in for a while before judging it (like True Magic and New Danger. Y'all sleeping on both of those BANGERS!!!). But now that I understand it more, I can truly say that some of his best work, and some of his most creative ideas, can be found on The Ecstatic. It's hot to the touch. Somebody said it best: listen to the cd about 10-12 times. If you do, you'll wonder what took you so long to declare it so hot in the first place. My bad, Mos. I won't rush to judgment so fast any more. Expand
  10. FartimusP.
    Jun 16, 2009
    9
    this is a great album. the soundscape is both diverse and challenging. hiphop is back!
  11. MaxP.
    Jun 14, 2009
    9
    This is classic mos def, his best stuff since black on both sides. Hard hitting hitting beats by the timeless JDilla mixed with the lyrical stylings that we loved from his black star days. Definitely one of mos defs best records to date.
  12. BenHo.
    Jun 11, 2009
    9
    Quality all the way through. cruisey, upbeat, enjoyable listen.
  13. Jonathan
    Jun 10, 2009
    9
    Classic Mos! Great album!
  14. MikeW.
    Jun 10, 2009
    10
    Great uplifting album that serves as a reminder of how blessed we really are to be alive (even in these difficult times)! I am so happy that we got Mos from Black on Both Sides back! Although there is some pretty tough subject matter, Mos always maintains that hopeful tone throughout the album and reminds us: "Don't Worry we are forgiven"! The Ecstatic is just pure bliss coming from Great uplifting album that serves as a reminder of how blessed we really are to be alive (even in these difficult times)! I am so happy that we got Mos from Black on Both Sides back! Although there is some pretty tough subject matter, Mos always maintains that hopeful tone throughout the album and reminds us: "Don't Worry we are forgiven"! The Ecstatic is just pure bliss coming from a very talented sublime rapper! Collapse
  15. AaronK.
    Jun 10, 2009
    10
    It doesn't try to be a sequel to Black on Both Sides, and that's a good thing. Mos shows signs of real artistic growth and a willing to keep going out on the hip-hop ledge. Good to have you back Mos!
  16. JR.
    Jun 10, 2009
    9
    Mos Def fans will be thrilled. Slick Rick kills it on his guest spot too!
  17. John
    Jun 9, 2009
    10
    This is the Mos Def comeback we (true hip-hop heads) have all been waiting for. A masterful and versatile album from a masterful and versatile emcee.
  18. JasonM
    Jun 9, 2009
    10
    Great lyrics and great production this album is amazing.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. May 19, 2011
    88
    His fourth solo release, The Ecstatic (Downtown), reaffirms why hip-hop aficionados cared about him in the first place.
  2. He comes up with a mind-bending, low-key triumph, the kind of magnetic album that takes around a dozen spins to completely unpack.
  3. The fleet-tongued 'Casa Bey' shows what Mos can do when he's focused, and it makes you wish he put together a whole record of songs as dynamic. But the album is also littered with tracks that sound like fragments in search of completion.