Three years since highlighting his musical self, Mos Def is more than ready to reestablish himself in the eyes of the rap community with the release of his forthcoming opus The Ecstatic.
For the rapper/actor, the challenge lies in giving fans an album worth adding to their collection, as he admits that the quality, clarity and ambition behind his latest project is prevalent.
“The aim is high,” Mos Def told USA Today while sharing that his writing and rhyming skills have sharpened since arriving on the scene with the single Universal Magnetic, 12 years ago.
“I don’t want to waste anyone’s time or money, Mos explained. I want to give people some truth and positive heart lift. The quality, clarity and ambition are there. There are no discotheque anthems. Um, no disrespect to discotheque.”
The Ecstatic’s pending release follows Mos Defs 2006 album True Magic.
The rappers third offering, which included production from The Neptunes, Rich Harrison and Minnesota, was released without promotion in a clear case without cover art.
Between albums, the rapper kept himself busy over the years via acting roles in a string of films such as The Italian Job, Monster’s Ball, 16 Blocks, Be Kind Rewind, HBO’s Something the Lord Made, Cadillac Records and his latest big screen outing, Next Day Air.
Despite the Mike Epps and Donald Faison-assisted features failure to generate a big payday at the box office, Mos Def is looking ahead as he ponders various movie offers and maintains high hopes for Toussaint, a Danny Glover-helmed biopic about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture.
In addition to the rapper, the cast will include Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle.
“It’s hard to take Hollywood too seriously,” Mos Def said regarding the importance of a successful film project. “If you can turn a dollar and sleep at night, then cool. Whether a movie sinks or swims, you want to have a decent experience, so you go for something that at least is trying to be good.”
Preceded by a trio of singles (Life In Marvelous Times, Quiet Dog (Bite Hard) and Casa Bey, The Ecstatic will feature appearances from Slick Rick, Scarface, Talib Kweli and K’Naan in addition to producers Madlib and Chad Hugo.
Musically, Mos Def sheds light on the title of his new album as he admits that The Ecstatic borrows its name from a 2002 comic novel from Victor LaValle.
Mos Defs The Ecstatic is in stores today (June 9).