True Magic

Studio Album by released in 2006

True Magic review

Mos Def takes a brief departure from his acting roles

Mos Def may seem, to the casual observer, like a rare example of a musician successfully transitioning into acting. But actually Def's film debut came in 1988 when he appeared in TV movie God Bless the Child at the age of 15. Def hit the music scene in the late 1990s, first gaining attention for the underground hit Universal Magnetic. After his first solo album, 1999's Black on Both Sides, Mos Def the actor began to get as much attention as Mos Def the hip-hop artist. By 2004 he'd had a second successful album, The New Danger, appeared in the thriller The Italian Job and earned an Emmy nomination for a lead role in the HBO movie Something The Lord Made. In the end of 2006 Mos Def takes a brief departure from his acting roles and returns with True Magic, his third solo album. Mos Def seems to have found a median between his first two albums, switching from the mellow hums and soft piano taps that led off The New Danger to a strong boom-bip on the title track of True Magic. The album is more rap than song. Although True Magic lacks the cohesiveness of a consistent album, it is nonetheless laced with a diverse mix of meaningful tracks that seem to rely on their own individual greatness; this is further highlighted by the fact that the album features no verses from guest emcees: Black Dante can still do it on his own.

Mos Def’s texts always make sence

Mos Def made an album with plenty of shining moments. Among the 14 songs included in the disk the half by right may be called top tracks. There are some old school style on songs like Napoleon Dynamite and Undeniable where Mos rocks the house, flowing harmoniously over a funky guitar beat, playing by Rich Harrison. We also can find some covers on the record, for example, Crime & Medicine. Mos Def’s texts always make sence and listening his new album we again can make sure of it. Mos shines the light on negativity in society as well, tackling violence amongst the youth on Murder of A Teenage Life, a bass-heavy beat accompanied by haunting keys, in which he murmurs: “Even the warmth of a mother’s arms/ Cannot keep a son from harm/ And standing where the gun was drawn.” And of course, it’s impossible to overlook his Internet-only, antigovernment, anti-Bush track Dollar Day. That is Mos’ tribute to the Katrina victims. On There Is a Way, he smoothly croons a positive, uplifting message: “don’t give up, don’t give in.” Mos Def has divorced his wife recently and it was reflected in the song U R the One. But the highlight of True Magic comes near the end, when Mos Def scats over the long and largely instrumental self-produced track Perfect Timing.

Mos Def’s one of hip-hops new-school visionaries

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mos Def grew up at the centre of hip-hops golden era of the 1980's. Inspired by the superhero MC's and New School leaders of the time (Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul), Mos began rhyming at the tender age of nine. Since that time he tried to develop himself. He already has done a lot. In the early 90s Mos Def formed his first group with his younger sister - Urban Thermo Dynamics, then worked with De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest and other outstanding musicians. He played serious roles in movies with megastars such as Bruce Willis and Halle Berry. So, it is obvious that his entertainment career has come full circle. In a violent hip-hop world dominated by music full of guns, cussing and drugs - Mos Def is a hugely welcome change. Mos has constantly proved himself to be one of hip-hops new-school visionaries - those who break the stereotype of the 'gangsta rapper' and take hip-hop and rap to new and exciting levels. Indeed, Mos Def is a precious MC, devoted to his music, with a passion for social consciousness and a divine ability to entertain which will surely cement his place in musical history.