Mos Def
The New Danger


3.5
great

Review

by Justin Taslak USER (30 Reviews)
July 25th, 2008 | 36 replies | 12,626 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite failing to surpass the landmark Black on Both Sides, kudos to Mos Def for recording the album he's always wanted, and doing a pretty good job too.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Mos Def – The New Danger

Dante “Mos Def” Smith’s 1999 solo debut, Black on Both Sides, quietly experienced praise amidst the releases of the much anticipated The Chronic 2001 and the universally controversial The Slim Shady LP. The meticulously crafted alternative rap album and soon to be modern classic boasted tremendous lyrical inventiveness while avoiding the numerous perks of a chart-topping hip-hop record. Smith’s quest was not for money, but to write the music he wanted to write, straight from his heart. Mos took that desire to a whole new level and flirted with disaster in his second solo album, The New Danger. The product was incredibly inconsistent, and his lyricism experienced a small drop off, but improved samples and beats as well as a diverse group of songs made this album a success.

The album begins on a poor note, but I urge you to keep listening and ride it out. Mos Def has always expressed a longing to sing in his music, and with the help of the album’s house band, Black Jack Johnson (consisting of members of the bands Living Colour, Bad Brains, and P-Funk), his wish is fulfilled. Unfortunately, he is a second-rate vocalist, and most of his singing ends up boring the listener, if not annoying them (“Modern Marvel” is really the only soft track that works). The rest of the band proves to be a strong addition to his works, and they start the album off with a set of heavy, guitar driven songs. I disliked this through the first couple of tracks, albeit they were very short and could even be considered filler, but Mos struck gold with “Ghetto Rock”, which later went on to receive a Grammy nomination for best urban/alternative performance. Once again, the lyrics here are not as impressive as they were on his previous effort, but this track is one of the few exceptions. I also love the chorus; it’s catchy, but not enough to become an overplayed radio anthem. It speaks of his roots as the king of Brooklyn, New York. Nothing deep, but his lyrical flow fits in perfectly with the rhythm set by the guitar.

A strong blues influence is present in two of the album’s weakest tracks, “Blue Black Jack” and “Bedstuy Parade and Funeral March”. Moments like these are when Mos Def’s creativity results in a swing and a miss. Both songs are dull and drag on far too long, and many listeners may once again feel like dropping the album right there.

“Sex, Love, and Money” is perhaps the best song on the album, blending a shady flute melody with some impressive percussion, all while Mos spits lyrics depicting the girl of his dreams (similar to “Ms. Fat Booty”). Many of the best tracks here are simply a blast to listen to, and I often stop listening for the constituent parts of the songs and just enjoy the music.

Controversy arose during the immediate release of this cd due to the 94 second “The Rape Over”. This take on Jay-Z’s “Takeover”, also featuring a sample of The Doors “Five to One”, attacks the people and companies running the rap world.

“Listen
old white men is runnin this rap ***
Corporate forces runnin this rap ***
some tall Israeli is runnin this rap ***
We poke out our asses for a chance to cash in
Cocaine, is runnin this rap ***
'Dro, 'yac and E-pills is runnin this rap ***”



The “some tall Israeli is runnin this rap ****” line was directed at former Def Jam head Lyor Cohen, and led to the song’s removal from the second pressing of the cd. The entire song was written out of Mos’ anger at the industry, which originally rejected his proposal to use Black Jack Johnson in the recording.

It is incredibly difficult to follow up any masterpiece with another of the same caliber, and even harder to do so with just one’s second album. This is no sophomore slump, but with a five-year period in between this and Black on Both Sides, it could have been much better, mainly in the consistency category. I still strongly recommend this to fans of Mos Def, to compare and contrast it with his debut. Just let it grow on you, and appreciate the time Mos spent creating His album, instead of pulling a 50 Cent and entertaining fans solely for the money.

Pros:
Great house band and guest appearances
Stronger samples
Diversity (rock, blues, etc.)
Many solid tracks

Cons:
Lyrics worse than in his debut
Poor singing
Plagued by inconsistency
Some may not like Mos occasionally playing second-fiddle to the instruments

Recommended Tracks:
Ghetto Rock
The Rape Over
Sex, Love & Money
Close Edge
War
Modern Marvel

Score: 3.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
July 25th 2008



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i agree with most of your points and ill take you up on reviewing this and i'll review tricky's knowle west boy...i got a question how do you have your name on the review i cant seem to find the editing area on my profile for it

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

starting on the main page, click on My Profile, and then make sure u are on the main page there, and then simply click on the edit options option under your picture, and it should let you type in your real name.

MassiveAttack
July 25th 2008



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks pal

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no problem, im looking forward to your review of this

kattunlover69
July 25th 2008



1194 Comments


omg the baby in yo sig looks so gangsta is that a gang sign?

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its the karate baby, look him up on youtube, funny stuff

badtaste
July 25th 2008



824 Comments


Nice review. Haven't heard this myself, so I'll take your word on it.

kattunlover69
July 25th 2008



1194 Comments


oh man that was frigin awesome

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks badtaste
yea , i think the crack head leprechaun video is the only thing on youtube to top the karate baby.

any other feedback on the review?

kattunlover69
July 25th 2008



1194 Comments


i dunno i think the vid of that breakdancer kicking that little kid like 3 feet in the air beats it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdjFQ4UK19Q

and this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzRH3iTQPrk

k im doneThis Message Edited On 07.25.08

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w2wHUx8Q7w
This Message Edited On 07.25.08

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

k nuff youtube stuff mos def is boss

kattunlover69
July 25th 2008



1194 Comments


wow that video made me race look bad...

edit: well...worse then it alrdy was...This Message Edited On 07.25.08

SHOOTME
July 25th 2008



2393 Comments


Ya... that wasn't racist at all...

bustyagunz
July 25th 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

f*** the youtube
i want some more feedback on this before i go for writing a much longer review

cajbro
July 31st 2008



9 Comments


accurate review. check out the footage of him from the '03 voodoo experience

http://www.thetenthritual.com/?em22=146_-1__0_~0_-1_7_2008_0_0&content=video&em1=&em26=


kattunlover69
July 31st 2008



1194 Comments


fuck the voodoo stop that voodoo shit

cvlts
October 30th 2008



8917 Comments


to me this is the best hiphop album ive ever heard... its so hard to find mainstream rappers that dont talk about rides, cribs and b!tches... and the addition to the rock and roll (NOOO Jay-Z and Linkin Park DO NOT COUNT)
one of the greatest rapper ive heard since Run DMC and Aerosmith lol

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

poweroftheweez
October 30th 2008



1289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listen to Saul Williams, MF Doom, and Wu-Tang Clan.
Do it.

Distance
October 30th 2008



113 Comments


is this the same Mos Def who is an actor in Be Kind, Rewind?



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