The Ecstatic is the fourth album by American rapper Mos Def. It was released on June 9, 2009, by Downtown Records. Mos Def’s raps about global politics, love, war, spirituality, and social conditions are informed by the zeitgeist of the late 2000s. The Ecstatic charted at number nine on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release.
About The Ecstatic in brief
The Ecstatic is the fourth album by American rapper Mos Def. It was released on June 9, 2009, by Downtown Records. The album has been described by music journalists as a conscious and alternative hip hop record with an eccentric, internationalist quality. Mos Def’s raps about global politics, love, war, spirituality, and social conditions are informed by the zeitgeist of the late 2000s, Black internationalism, and Pan-Islamic ideas. The Ecstatic charted at number nine on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release and eventually sold 168,000 copies. He embarked on an international tour to support the record, performing concerts in North America, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom between September and April 2010. As his DJ on the tour, Preservation began to develop remixes of the album’s songs, which he later released on the remix album The REcstatic in 2013. The songs were partially recorded at Hovercraft Studios in Virginia Beach, Someothaship Connect in Los Angeles, and New York City’s Downtown Music Studios. He worked with producers Mr. Flash, Oh No, Madlib, and Preservation, who previously produced some of True Magic’s songs. According to Mos Def, he tried to enlist rappers Jay Electronica, Black Thought, and Trugronica to rap for the song Bey Bey, but they found it too difficult to rap. With Preservation, Mos Def produced his 2006 album With Casa Bey with his group Black Rio de Janeiro, where local rapper Bill introduced him to the music of Banda Forte.
The original song title – meaning strong house in Portuguese – was changed to The House of Bey; Mos Def later changed it to The Bey in Portuguese to reflect his family’s surname, Bey. He has also produced with artists such as J Dilla, Mr. Flash, and Mr. No, as well as with artists like Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Wayne, and Big Boi. He is currently working on his fifth album, which is due to be released in the fall of 2013. He was previously signed to Geffen Records, but left to focus on his acting career. He signed a record deal with Downtown Records before recording TheEcstatic as his first album for the label. He titled the album after one of his favorite novels, Victor LaValle’s The ecstatic, believing its titular phrase evoked his singular musical vision. For its front cover, a still from Charles Burnett’s 1978 film Killer of Sheep was reproduced in red tint. It has been hailed as a return to form for Mos Def and one of the year’s best albums. It is considered by some to be a masterpiece of hip hop music, with a variety of international musical styles, including Afrobeat, soul, Eurodance, jazz, reggae, Latin, and Middle Eastern music. It also has a number of Islamic references throughout the album, such as in the song “Life in Marvelous Times”