The Ecstatic - Mos Def
The Ecstatic Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth solo album for the rapper/actor features Talib Kweli, Slick rick, and Georgia Anne Muldrow as guest artists.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Half associative rhymes that clock in under two-and-a-half minutes, devoid of hooks but full of sounds you want to hear again, it's like a dream mixtape.
  2. Though his vigor falters toward the end, The Ecstatic remains by far his strongest, most deeply felt work in ages.
  3. The Ecstatic is solid from front to back, but it's not always entirely cohesive. The production is uniquely executed, with the beats often focusing more on sample placement than drums and bass, but it's this lack of a low-end that sometimes makes your head nod in backwards directions.
  4. Looks like we finally got the Mos Def we were waiting for.
  5. The Ecstatic flags in spots and the album's tricky samples take a while to absorb. But the 16-song collection offers proof that Mos Def can still be invigorated from a tight beat as much as a tightly written script.
  6. It's a surprise and a pleasure to report that much of The Ecstatic is--whisper it--simply good, honest hardcore hip-hop given a twist by MD's slurred, inebriated delivery and use of odd imagery.
  7. With shadowy beats from Madlib and the late J Dilla, plus dense rhymes about Darwin and a rough Brooklyn upbringing, Mos Def's fourth solo album is both mildly strange and a clear step up from his dismally undercooked 2007 record, True Magic.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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 a very talented sublime rapper! Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. JasonM
    Jun 9, 2009
    10
    Great lyrics and great production this album is amazing.
  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, 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. 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. Expand
  6. 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 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
  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. Collapse

See all 17 User Reviews