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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Ecstatic Tour

To usher in his fourth solo album and first album in three years, The Ecstatic, Mos Def has embarked on his highly anticipated “The Ecstatic Tour” featuring Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica, and Medina Green. Recently, the tour made a stop in Boston at the House of Blues, and yours truly was on hand to bring you the 411.

As I stood outside the venue, I could feel the excitement in the air and knew something special was about to happen. The feeling was similar to one of those late mid-October nights at Fenway Park, with Big Papi at bat in the bottom of the 9th. My feelings were validated as I stood in the “Will Call” line for my ticket. When I approached the window and asked for my ticket, I was told there was nothing in my name, nor the school or paper’s name.

Obviously frustrated, I made two more attempts at receiving my ticket, but to no avail. After my third attempt, I was told to wait ten minutes to see if a new list would make its way down to the “Will Call” office. While I stood around, I witnessed an SUV pull up and watched as the Boogeyman (Mos Def for those not familiar), jumped out. He began signing autographs and greeting fans, and I was able to get my 2004 Red Sox World Series hat signed! If you couldn’t feel it before, the excitement was definitely in the air. Shortly afterwards, I approached the “Will Call” line and there awaiting me, was my ticket.

With excitement still written all over my face like a child’s painting, I finally was able to walk into the venue. Unfortunately, I missed Medina Green, but Jay Electronica was more than enough. While I wasn’t familiar with most of his set, his crowd presence and energy made it memorable. He single handily brought up five different people from the crowd onto the stage. Some were to provide him with energy, others brought blunts to keep him moving. Unlike most Hip-Hop artists, he spoke directly with several members of the crowd, giving and receiving feedback, all the while keeping the crowd alive. Oh, and did I mention he freestyled over the “Price is Right” beat?

After a brief 15-minute intermission, Talib came out as if he was on lyrical steroids. Although Mos Def is headlining the tour, Talib has just as much as a following as Mos does, if not more. Therefore, it was no major surprise to hear the crowd light up as he trotted out to stage. Truly, few people can master a crowd like Talib. He moved the crowd side to side, up and down, and all other different ways, and it was simply amazing to watch. It was kind of like the all glass elevator in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which moved in all type of different ways. He performed all of his classics, including tracks from “Ear Drum”, “Reflection Eternal”, and his upcoming album reunion album with fellow Reflection Eternal member, Hi-Tek.

As the crowd impatiently waited for the final act, the lights dimmed down, and the anticipation reached a fever pitch. All of a sudden, the spotlight shone on Mos Def banging The Ecstatic’s lead single “Life in Marvelous Times” away on the drums. It’s surprising how Mos can keep amazing me on how excellent of an MC he is. Not only was he drumming, he was performing the song at the same time, and even giving the crowd a look at his two-step. Throughout the set there was fabulous red lighting shining on Mos, very reminiscent of his album cover. After performing some more tracks off the new album such as, “Supermagic” and “Wahid”, the moment everyone was waiting for occurred.

The moment felt like when two unstoppable objects collide, or rather when “the best alliance in hip-hop” performs live. I’m obviously talking about the inevitable Blackstar performance. They began their terrific set with “Definition”, which boasts the claim that they are “the best alliance in hip-hop” and then moved on to “Respiration”, and finally they closed with “RE DEFinition”. This was perhaps the most energetic and lively three song set that I’ve ever experienced. I wouldn’t be surprised if fans at Fenway heard the cheers rumbling from inside. Afterwards, he performed some Michael Jackson songs (yup, you read that right), and some classic hip-hop tracks, such as “Rapper’s Delight”. And just when his set was started to feel dragged out, he closed with his classic tracks “Miss Fat Booty” and “Umi Says”.

In total, Def’s set was an hour and 40 minutes long, but it flew by like an F-16 and was a must see show for any hip-hop fan. While, the venue’s government name is the House of Blues, for this one glorious night, it was the House of Hip-Hop.