Music » CD Reviews

Mos Def

True Magic (Geffen)

by

comment
443714.0.jpeg
Strange, this package looks more like a bootleg version of True Magic, Mos Def's latest. But, it's the real deal -- unless, of course, it was purchased from a man selling discs out the back of his car.

Released ahead of schedule -- no cover art and little promotional support -- the record has spawned numerous rumors, including the idea that Def wanted to avoid hype, forcing fans to focus strictly on the music; this obviously didn't work. But behind all the drama, the Brooklyn MC's third solo outing sounds pretty damn good. Taking cues from Common's Electric Circus (on which Def appeared), Magic unfolds like a psychedelic experiment heavy on reverb and short on hooks. "Undeniable" and "There Is a Way" continue his tradition of positive lyrics, transmitting messages of hope and perseverance. But the album does explore the darkness. The reggae-fueled "Dollar Days" assesses the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, and "Murder of a Teenage Life" is some kind of cocaine/ gun drama.

Call it Mos Def's Kid A, 'cause True Magic is a fearless effort that doesn't care about climbing the charts.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.