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True Magic

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Album Review

Dumped on a post-Christmas/pre-New Year graveyard release date — and, oddly, a Friday at that — True Magic comes in a clear plastic box with no artwork, unless you count the sticker slapped onto the back. The FBI anti-piracy warning is the biggest logo on the package, and beside it, those who would like to see the credits are directed to The week the disc was released, there were no credits to be found on the site; the latest news item, in fact, was posted in early October 2005. Add to this the well-circulated rumors of Mos Def's desire to be extricated from Geffen, and the expectations are bound to be significantly lowered. No matter the circumstances, True Magic is a disappointment. There is just enough quality material ("Dollar Day," "Fake Bonanza," "There Is a Way") to make the average fan not want to wipe it memory, but the flashes of brilliance are all too scarce. It's unthinkable that Mos has nothing left in the tank for hip-hop. Here's hoping that he's saving his strength for the next release. [Nearly two weeks after the album made it to stores, Geffen revealed that it would be re-released a few months later with full artwork and a slightly different track listing.]


Born: 11 December 1973 in New York, NY [Brooklyn]

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Initially regarded as one of the most promising rappers to emerge in the late '90s, Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey, turned to acting in subsequent years as music became a secondary concern for him. He did release new music from time to time, including albums such as The New Danger (2004), but his output was erratic and seemingly governed by whim. Mos Def nonetheless continued to draw attention, especially from critics and underground rap fans, and his classic breakthrough albums -- Black Star (1998), a...
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True Magic, Mos Def
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