Album Reviews: The New Danger (Clean) by Mos DefMan, has Mos Def come a long way from "Big Brother Beat" (which he performed with De La Soul on their 1996 album, Stakes is High) and The Cosby Msyteries, a short-lived Bill Cosby TV show that Def appeared on when he was starting out as an actor in the mid-'90s. Since that time, Def has gone from being one-third of the Rawkus conscious rappers Black Star to becoming one of the most talented cats in the arts -- any arts. This unbelievable follow-up to Def's landmark 1999 release Black on Both Sides finds Def embedding head-bobbing bounce-hop like "Champion Requiem" and "Close Edge" -- a tune he performed in a car with Dave Chappelle on the comedian's hilarious show -- firmly in the rap community's head.
But unlike almost every rapper on MTV or BET, Def is no one-trick pony. On The New Danger, he also constructs some serious cage-rattling psychedelic rap-rock with his band Black Jack Johnson, which features bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun from Living Colour, guitarist Dr. Know from Bad Brains, and world-beating keyboardist Bernie Worrell from P-Funk. (Somewhere, Ice-T's Body Count is rotating in its music history dustbin). Although some are tripping on the seemingly incomplete tunes laid down by Black Jack Johnson, anyone with a smattering of P-Funk knowledge will understand that the phat-ass riffs laid down "Freaky Black" and "Ghetto Rock" are all about the sticky grooves that Clinton and company used to turn out like so many disciples. Which is another way of saying that fans of P-Funk's extended jams like "The Goose" and "P.E. Squad/DooDoo Chasers" will feel right at home here.
Sure, Black on Both Sides raised expectations on Def to incredible heights, but this album is far from its sequel. It’s a fully intact tangential cousin to Black that should be required listening for every jackass spinning anything by one-shotters like 50 Cent, Chingy and whatever other crap is pumping on Rap City. Buy it now. -- Scott Thill, Morphizm.com
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