Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 06:19:09
1) Mos Def The Ecstatic (Downtown)
2) J Dilla Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds)
3) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)
4) DJ Quik & Kurupt Blaqkout (Mad Science)
5) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftemath/Interscope)
Following two less than impressive albums (2004's The New Danger and 2006's True Magic) from an artist who has the skills to deliver more, Mos Def returns with his strongest release in many years, The Ecstatic on Downtown. This is the New York emcee's fourth solo release. The new 16 track album, this week's number one hip-hop release at Amoeba Music Berkeley, returns Mos Def to closer to the magic captured on his debut Black on Both Sides ten years ago and his earlier Black Star days than he has been in quite a while.
Maybe the renaissance man (who also has a successful active acting career, including the award nominated role he had in last year's movie Cadillac Records) was spreading himself too thin up til recently to deliver a solid hip-hop album like this one. Or maybe the fact that for this record he had, among others, Madlib, his younger brother Oh No, Preservation, Mr Flash, and even the late J Dilla on production duties, all of whose beats and mixes perfectly compliment Def's smooth flow. J Dilla's production was for the song "History" featuring Talib Kweli, Mos Def's other half in the legendary hip-hop duo Black Star.