One of these days, if Mos Def ever decides he wants to be a musician again and not a movie star, I'm confident he could put together another great album. For the moment, all I can picture is this:
Mos Def is in his trailer on the set of Next Day Air. There's a simple little song written by a friend playing on his iPod. To pass the time, he begins to spit short raps off the top of his head, or shout out short phrases referencing classic rap songs, or simply dance in his chair going "check one, check two, check it out". Unfortunately that guy from "Scrubs" who is co-starring is in the next room, and he gets the whole thing on tape and forwards it to Mos Def's record company, which accidentally includes this tossed off melange of sounds on Mos' new album The Ecstatic. How embarrassing!
I'm not sure how else to account for a song like this, which would never, ever have seen the light of day 10 years ago, when Mos Def was an extremely hard working rapper, clearly agonizing over every phrase of every song, to get every last word exactly right, adding layers of meaning to his songs that most of his contemporaries couldn't even touch. And actually, the really annoying thing about this song is that, around the 2 minute mark, he really gets going for about 30 seconds, and gives you a glimpse of his old self, making it clear that if he'd wanted to spend the time writing a full length rap for this song, he probably could have done a good job. This song, like much of The Ecstatic, was just sort of half-assed.