Rolling Stone - p.1014 stars out of 5
- "[E]arthy, impressively diverse...Broadening the hip-hop palette without sacrificing, or selling out, its core ideals."
Rolling Stone - p.150
Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "Mos Def has come through with another eccentric, fuming hip-hop album..."
Spin - p.113
"The radio-ready sin jam 'Sex, Love & Money' throbs with fat horn stabs and flute runs, and 'Ghetto Rock' pairs classic boom-bap with needling guitar..." - Grade: B
Uncut - p.1573 stars out of 5
- "[He] has proved himself to be hip-hop's renaissance man....An experimental and melancholic set."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1004 stars out of 5
- "[T]here's no empty rhetoric here, just honest tales of struggle, of tragedy, of lives thrown into fatal tailspins by impossible twists of fate....A bruised and bristling meditation on pain and alienation."
Personnel: Mos Def (rap vocals, piano, drums); Raphael Saadiq (guitar, bass guitar); Shuggie Otis (guitar); Paul Oscher, Minnesota.
Mos Def's mind and music both move as swiftly and exhaustively as his career, which has seen the Brooklyn, NY rapper form a rock band (Black Jack Johnson), star in movies, and flirt with Broadway, in addition to releasing a definitive hip-hop album in 1999's critically lauded BLACK ON BOTH SIDES. Nowhere is the far-reaching nature of Def's ever-percolating mind as clearly demonstrated as on 2004's genre-obliterating THE NEW DANGER.
While BLACK ON BOTH SIDES certainly played around with many different styles, THE NEW DANGER lays waste to any musical boundaries, shifting from rap to soul to blues to hard rock, as soothing grooves are blasted out of their slumber by the blistering assault of Black Jack Johnson. Mos Def's thoughts are positively overflowing as he plays musical provocateur on "The Rape Over," lifting the Kanye West beat of Jay-Z's "Takeover" for his own pointed attack on the music industry. Def also decries the state of the world on "War," and offers a roots-blues parable of his band's namesake boxer on "Blue Black Jack." In the middle of all this measured chaos lies "Sunshine," a wistful, sweet, and subtly powerful track, and a reminder of Mos Def's narrative-based lyrical prowess, never showy or flowery, but flush with purpose and soul.