Mos Def – Tru3 Magic

Mos Def - Tru3 Magic

Is there a bigger rap enigma than Mos Def? Andre 3000 is up there but I’m going with old Dante. On one hand, he’s among hip hop’s premier performers with charisma to spare and he has two certified classics under his belt (Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star and Black on Both Sides). On the other, he releases self-indulgent rock/rap albums (The New Danger) while endorsing GMC Denalis.

Well, that sound of a million screaming backpackers must mean he’s back. His newest album, True Magic, is scheduled to drop in January. Which Mos shows up this time? Both do, actually.

There are spots on the album that showcase Mos’ pound for pound talent. On the opening track, for example, Mos’ flow is matched over a jazzy Black Star-esque beat. And he brings it on the hip hop anti-love song, “U R the One,” capturing the regret and ill will of a bad break up. But, at 33, Mos is a veteran in a young man’s game, which could explain his penchant for self-indulgence. I really could do with a little less preaching, the most obvious offense being “Katrina Clap.” Yo Dante, leave the Katrina songs to Juvie.

Is it worth a listen? Yeah, it is, at least to witness the next step in his artistic evolution. And while it’s half as good as Black on Both Sides, I’ll take black on one side over The New Danger any day.

Max Arambulo

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  1. Some say all albums are completely self indulgent because it’s a collection of what an artist feels is his or her best work. If every artist made music for the fans then there would be less heart and passion in the work. Most artists claim they make music for themselves first, fans second.

    Most people if anything might consider Mos Def’s work socially conscious. Few artists covered the Katrina disaster so Mos Def did add more awareness to the situation. Katrina was not a New Orleans problem for Juvenille to handle, it was an American problem for everyone to handle and many feel that as a whole we still have yet to address the disaster properly rather than just yesterday’s news.

  2. an artist shouldn’t have to worry about what the people think when he/she is writing an album. yes, it should be relevant, but it should be (for the most part) a reflection of the artist themself, or a portrayal of what it is they witness, which is being socially conscious. I think it’s wrong to keep an artist from expressing their views the way they want to. if mos wants a rock feel in his raps, let him put a rock feel in his raps, hate it or love it it doesn’t really matter because HE IS doing music the way HE wants to. it’s his album not yours. and he should be respected for what he is doing.

  3. I agree with A Unique on the rock/rap tip. Rap wouldnt have it’s current place if Run DMC and Aerosmith hadn’t linked up back in the if they are innovators in the genre, there’s no problem with Mos tryin his hand..At the same time, Jigga is planning to drop a verse on “Fall Out Boy’s” new album..yes you heard music genres are meant to be crossed these days, new experimental styles are born.

    I also agree with the reviewer this album isn’t as good as Mos’ classic 1st, but it outdoes “New Danger”.

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