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In 2004 "The New Danger" came out and dropped as the second solo album from the Conscious Hip Hop artist Mos Def. The Brooklyner brought it a god five years since the album prior to it, spending time making films in the meantime and hyping fans with tunes such as "Oh No" before coming with this one. Here he is seen to make the first steps towards the major transition which came through on "True Magic" as he brings in elements of Rock 'N' Roll, Soul and Jazz to the music too.
1. "The Boogie Man Song" (Intro)
2. "Freaky Black Greetings"
Following a jazzy introductory piece, you find that on this one he gets down to a lively one where it goes from something funky, to suddenly shift towards a Metal backing to support him as he shows great progression in his music towards bigger and better things with this sort of diversification and so in spite of dissing Nu-Metallers in his 1999 album, he performs something that resembles it here to a great effect.
3. "Ghetto Rock"
Off a Psychedelic riff from the start (and on the hook), the Rock influences seem to persist through his lyrical delivery here as he decides to get into and intense one where he jumps on top of much more typical Hp Hop beats (coming from Minnesota) as the artist attempts to find a balance between all the different, conflicting musical genres to come up with something that no one can really resist getting down to.
This one has him pulling out yet another of the in-your-face Rock-based composition as he takes care of the production himself and gets some additional assistance from Easy Mo Bee, who allows him to tame this material to allow it to take on a much funkier style here and make it seem more in-tune with what fits in more comfortably on a Mos Def track. It is a banger of a tune and Mos goes hard wit the rhymes here.
5. "The Rape Over" (Lude)
6. "Blue Black Jack"
Following a short take from Jay-Z's "Take Over" (a Kanye West-produced tune) this one has him moving towards a genre which seems to really support his style as he gets into some Blues here and shows what his vocals really have to bring to the table here. Although they aren't really the most impressive, it seems to do just what it needs to in order to remain tolerable, but it isn't really something you are likely to want to here again.
7. "Bedstuy Parade & Funeral March"
The Funk returns to Mos' second album on this one as you find that on this one he pulls out one where he is able to bring in some more of the alternative influences, as we get an upbeat tune in this case and you get a variety of things running through to boost it along as he decides to sing again. Once again it is alright, but nothing that special to really pay that much attention to as it just acts as something to show how he is advancing his music.
8. "Sex, Love & Money"
This was the only single of any significance from the album and is one which clearly sticks out quite a bit as because this one is a single it seems to take on a format that is a lot more conventional and it seems to make for fairly strong results. However as it seems to tame the artist and force him into something that he has seemingly moved on from, it sounds to be a bit forced and doesn't work as past ones had before.
As he moves things on, this one has him getting some help from Kanye West, who comes up with a typical composition of his form the time with some sample-heavy material which revolutionise the game at the time. It is a fresh tune and takes on a format which could easily have been picked as a single and one which seems to have him working in a way that feels much more natural and is also much more impressive too.
10. "Close Edge"
With this one Minnesota brings out a grungy Hip Hop composition here ad it is amongst the most impactful ones on the record as you find that it allows Mos to get down to something which listeners will have been waiting for some for. In this one you find him taking things back to 1982 where he brings forward some conscious rhymes (a style which originated from "The Message" from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and lays down a few words from that to add to his original lines.
11. "The Panties"
He decides that it is time for some change and so here he takes things in a new direction and pulls by the seventies and eighties Soul and R&B material to his type of thing in order to some out with a nice ne where he turns his attention towards the girls for a bit of a change. It is a gentle one where he relies on his lyrics as he sings (not in the best way) and gets deep into another theme that he hasn't before.
He comes with a straight-forward track here as you find that n this occasion he goes hard with his rhymes and chooses to get towards the colder socially-conscious rhymes and in this case revolves everything around 'war' and all other related matters to put across his own personal beliefs on it. his political material isn't something I tend to enjoy, but Mos does it in a way so you can't ignore his message.
13. "Grown Man Business"
Jumping on top of Barry White's "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little Bit More" this one has him assisted by Minnesota, who comes with some fresh rhymes to back Mos in a way which seems to perfectly fit as they get down to a throwback Gangster groove. It is a fly cut and the sample is the perfect choice to push him allow as he gets down to things and shows how strong his creativity is.
14. "Modern Marvel"
This epic (over nine-minute) song is one which has him starting off in a cappela before later getting some soulful production to help him out along the way as he performs more of the same conscious material. In this one, although I can't say I really felt the lengthy tune, was one which displayed his talent for the thought-provoking rhymes as here in single listed words he is able to evoke strong, impactful images in the listeners mind as he goes along.
15. "Life Is Real"
Returning to a much more manageable length, this one has him getting into one where he brings in much more of the Hip Hop material in this one as he actually gets to the MCing (something which you surprisingly don't get much of on this album) and has him just having fun with it for a bit of a break and to show that it's not just about the cold, and deep material her (although this does come in later).
16. "The Easy Spell"
On this one he is seen to come with some intense rhymes, performed in a muffled manner to add to the atmosphere as he comes with a track which seems to pull in his Rock 'N' Roll influences, in spite of the fact that it doesn't come through directly in the production and instead he is able to do this through his delivery approach alone for some impressive results. It isn't the most memorable one, but it does big things.
17. "The Beggar"
This is a cold one form the artist and o of the more experimental ones from him as you that with this one he sees how far he can push his production when performing a tune which gets him working in a bluesy manner to some fairly decent effects. It seems to reflect earlier tunes and I felt that it was one that could have been missed out (as the album is a bit too long as it is) and this doens't really add much.
18. "Champion Requiem"
Before a "Gin 'N' Juice" tribute as bonus, this official final tune has him helped out by 88-Keys (who turned to MCing in 2008 as he lays down a lively tune to leave listeners on a high as he comes out with final burst of energy to get the most that he can possibly can to represent this, his second solo release, well and show that he is able to do things extremely well when he has full control over the material that he brings out.
Although the blues, and Soul tunes weren't really that impressive, I felt tha what you got from this album was strong and something which acts as a good transition to what cam with "True Magic", an album which simply went too far. Although not as good as his first, this is one to look out for.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Boogie Man Song
2 Freaky Black Greetings
3 Ghetto Rock
5 The Rape Over
6 Ble Black Jack wShuggie Otis
7 Bedstuy Parade & Funeral March w/Paul Oscher
8 Sex Love & Money
10 Close Edge
11 The Panties
13 Grown Man Business (Fresh Vintage Bottles) w/ Minnesota
14 Modern Marvel
15 Life Is Real
16 The Easy Spell
17 The Beggar
18 Champion Requiem
19 The Jump Off featuring Ludacris (UK Bonus Track)