Throwback: Mos Def-Auditorium Feat. Slick Rick

Mos Def named his fourth album after Victor LaValle’s novel The Ecstatic. The album’s unusual sound was influenced by a quote about the way ‘ecstatic’ was used in the 17th and 18th century to describe people who were inspired or mad and a litany of world flavors. “Auditorium” featured Slick Rick, one of the album’s few vocal collaborators and production from Mos Def and Madlib. Their rhymes about people’s hopes and everyday struggles were said alongside a dense beat and a shimmery symphony constructed from “Movie Finale” on Madlib’s Beat Conducta In India album. “Auditorium” was part of The Ecstatic’s overall theme of looking at the world’s social problems and reporting on them. Mos Def, Slick Rick and Madlib made the bleak scenarios of “Auditorium” feel like good news because of its sonic allure. The Ecstatic received two Grammy nominations, critical accolades and the support of his fanbase that questioned his musical choices after the 2006 True Magic album. In 2011, Mos Def legally changed his name to Yasiin Bey. He announced a Black Star album in February 2018 but did not give a release date. His voice can be heard on the Kanye West Kid Cudi 2018 Kids See Ghosts album. 

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