Mos Def is one of music’s most creative and diverse artists. His album release track record proves that he is unafraid of experimentation, can thrive in several musical genres, and is one of the founding fathers of Bridge music. He emcees, sings, and vibes in an original style and voice, creating music that is honest, intelligent, and next. Tru3 Magic continues Mos’ impeccable track record. It’s a classic album, a product that is equal to both Black On Both Sides and The New Danger in terms of quality.
One of Mos’ greatest talents is his ability to manifest raw human emotions in his songs. Of course, the music on Tru3 Magic is sonically pleasurable and mentally stimulating, but maybe more impressively, Mos utilizes his rare ability to tap into the soul of the listener. He is not afraid to let go of his “cool” and inadvertently appears ice cold.
For instance, the track “Dollar Day” was created in the wake of the government’s mismanaged response to the hurricane Katrina disaster. Mos effectively expresses the anger, frustration, and hopelessness felt by both the hurricane victims and the rest of the world bearing witness to this atrocity. His chants of “Lord, lord please save our souls” touch the spiritual and emotional senses, celebrating and summoning the traditional African/Black American reliance on a higher power as a source of hope in the face of turmoil.
"Murder of a Teenage Life" contains a hard hitting hop-style beat with an eerie piano sample. Here, Mos vigorously spits the refrain “They shot the boy!!, they shot the boy!!” driving home the devastation and outrage experienced after casualties of domestic and international wars. The listener experiences emotional agony, empathizing with the suffering derived from divorce and love lost on “U R the One”. The pitiful lyrical tone works in conjunction with the schizophrenic changes in emotion when Mos cries, “U R the one, F@ck You!!”
His subtle tributes to hip-hop are smart and portray true emcee artistry. On “A Ha” he professes that “These muthaf@ckas is hilarious, and I ain’t no joke”. The comment is dual fold. It portrays the everyday, run of the mill rap artist as something to laugh at, and implies that his music is dead serious. But the lyric also salutes hop great Rakim and the classic song “I Ain’t No Joke”. Not to mention the “ha ha ha ha” laugh is originally a Lauryn Hill snicker from the song Fu-Gee-La.
Tru3 Magic is the third classic album from the mighty Mos Def. It is uncut, grown man music, intended for an audience with an educated listening ear. The album celebrates Bridge music, and were it not released so late in the year, would have been the best album to drop in 2006. Peace.