Def in a Jam

On the endlessly inventive and increasingly mishandled career of Mos Def

(Dec. 28, 2006 @ 12:02 by Eddie)
I bought it the other day at Best Buy, since the dates kept getting pushed, I guess they had them in stock already. They werent in the shelves, but i asked and the dude gave me a copy to purchase. probably doesn't want to clash with other release dates, since it got no promotion

-----Original Message-----

From: [address redacted]
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 16:56:13
To: [address redacted]

Someone gave him a bass just to distract him from singing.
Zach Cordner/Retna Ltd.
Someone gave him a bass just to distract him from singing.


Thanks for your email.

On December 21st, Geffen moved the release date from December 29th to sometime in January. I will not know the actual date until Geffen reopens from the holiday break on January 2nd. The album did leak. How I don't know but as a result I was told that it is changing and additional tracks will be added.

I do not know why the albums release date was moved but at the point it changed, albums had already been shipped to Universal distribution. I was told by the record label that a few copies may make it out into the market place. I was not told they would be at Target. I will speak to the label about this. This is also the first time I have been told that the album is being streamed on the label's site. I am sure that Mos is unaware of this as well.

Thank you,

[Mos Def's Publicist]

Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless

-----Original Message-----

From: [address redacted]
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 21:23:28
To: [address redacted]

How can Target be selling this if it hasn't been released yet?

Also Geffen's streaming the entire album from their website. They've got the whole dang album up. Are they trying to help Mos sell records or what?

(Jan. 8, 2007 from
Now you see it, now you don't. At least that's what Geffen Records is hoping will happen with Mos Def's latest album, Tru3 Magic. Although the LP was available for purchase online and at some retail outlets as early as December 19th, representatives from Geffen are calling the project a limited-edition "pre-release" rather than a full-scale album release by the rapper—a rare if not unprecedented situation. Now a springtime release, featuring a slightly altered track list and full artwork (the current packaging of Tru3 features only a picture-CD in a blank plastic case), will be set even though the project officially charted last week — debuting at 151 on the Billboard albums chart on 11,004 copies sold, according to SoundScan. So fans who manage to get their hands an early copy of Tru3 Magic, consider yourself the owner of a collector's item.

Parts of True Magic sound as impromptu as his performance on that flatbed truck outside of Radio City: just noodling on the boards, "Ooh, that sounds cool—let's leave it"–type moments, improvised ditties like "Perfect Timing" and off-the-top shit like "Lifetime." "There Is a Way" was recorded live and consists of a single refrain—"There is a way/No matter what they say"—sung over and over. Sounds good, but less like a full-bodied track and more like a jingle.

Yet despite its occasional lax moments, the album as a whole has an intensity and rambling impromptu-ness that few artists ever attain. The Temptations-sampling "Undeniable"—wherein Mos tells us, "Live your life right" and describes himself as "a foundation that cannot be moved"—is catchy and safe enough for Grammy voters, but hardly the strongest cut. The counterpointing bugles of "True Magic" are a fitting soundtrack for an action hero like Mos, whose idiosyncrasies and singularity of purpose hip-hop desperately needs. He's a masterful storyteller and rhetorician, an MC in the classic sense of the word who utilizes a diverse array of lyrical and musical approaches to communicate his theses. At first you wonder why he breaks into the antebellum Negro spiritual that goes "Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom" at the end of "Fake Bonanza." Could it be 'cause blacks as a whole are pretty much still enslaved?

(Dec. 13, 2006 @ 16:04 comment by JasonP)
Do you not realise this is an album soley made to get out of a record contract with Geffen? You make some good observations, you just don't seem aware of the reason no one including Mos cares if this album sucks or not . . . As far as the Grammy people . . . well . . . what do they know anyway? they are dated fools.

Because (everybody now) . . .

All white men is runnin' this rap shit
Corporate forces is runnin' this rap shit
Some tall Israeli is runnin' this rap shit
We poke out our asses for a chance to cash in
Cocaine is runnin' this rap shit
Viacom is runnin' this rap shit
'Dro, 'gnac, and E pills is runnin' this rap shit
MTV is runnin' this rap shit
AOL and Time Warner is runnin' this rap shit
We broke out our asses for a chance to cash in
("The Rapeover," from The New Danger)

Anyway, True Magic. Will someone please tell Mos his singing ain't all that? No one wants to buy his CD and hear him singing half the damn time. All these motherfuckers tryin' to be Al Green.

(December 19, 2006 @ 02:12 by J)
You're all fools—this album is nuts! One of my favourite right now. Mos Def puts most MCs to shame with effortless flow.

Mos Def performs at Lincoln Center on January 17 as part of its "American Songbook" series,

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