Ten years after Mos Def's legendary pairing with Talib Kweli as Black Star, and his solo debut, Black on Both Sides, conscious-minded rap fans might've looked at his subsequent uneven catalog and started to wonder if their fondest memories of Mos Def in the '00s would consist mostly of his Chappelle's Show cameos. But after the divisive, rock-heavy experimentation of 2004's The New Danger and 2006's rushed-sounding, half-stepping True Magic, the rapper-turned-actor-who-still-raps wound up staging a comeback that's resulted in one of the year's most engagingly adventurous hip-hop records. The internationally minded The Ecstatic highlights Mos's mercury flow, fusing it to a heavy-hitting collection of psychedelic funk beats (via the always-on-point likes of Madlib, Oh No, and J Dilla) and reinforcing the still-vibrant career of an MC people almost forgot was great. With Jay Electronica. 18+.
Sat., Aug. 1, 6 p.m., 2009