The Ecstatic Tour took off Thursday Night on Sept. 3 for a show that would be jumping throughout the night, regardless of the Davies Symphony Hall configuration. Though this was a rap concert, the hall seemed to be designed more along the lines for an opera or choir. The hall was jammed with people from their late teenage years to their mid-thirties, all of whom were completely excited to hear what these rap superstars had to say.
Starting in the early evening, Jay Electronica took the stage, starting off with some rhymes and a lot of jokes between songs. Jay Elec, as he prefers to be called, has mainly been known to be a producer, yet Thursday night on stage he fit in perfectly before Erykah Badu. Though Jay Elec has not completed an album, his rhymes were smooth and his stand up comedy was hilarious.
After having the stage for the evening, he turned it over to Erykah Badu, who came in with an impenetrable charisma that started from her entrance borrowing a line from Lil’ Wayne’s song “A Millie” stating “Where is Erykah Badu at?” Singing many songs off of her new album, “New Amerykah Part One (Fourth World War),” Badu had the crowd standing on their feet for the rest of the night.
With big hits from her new album such as “Soldier,” she pushed the show forward by playing along with her drum machine and singing to the incredible high notes that most could only wish they could hit. Not a lot has changed in Badu’s voice, yet her background has become more technological.
Many of her songs now use drum machines and different gadgets that make her show even more loud and exciting. Even with a new twist on her sound, Erykah Badu continues her pursuit of happiness. At the end of her set, she answered the question, “Why ‘fourth world war?’” The response was very straightforward and simple. The fourth world war, as she calls it, comes from inside us: we are constantly battling our minds. She called it a world war that we need to win to get outside our heads.
The headliner of the night, Mos Def, did not disappoint. Though he did not rap some popular songs from his past, he had a great show looking toward the future. Mos Def played most of the songs off of his new album “The Ecstatic.” The songs, such as “Life in Marvelous Times” and “Super Magic” were very well done. If anything, they were as good as the album. He freestyled for endings of songs and he had a Michael Jackson tribute in the middle of his set. Mos Def’s performance was even better than expected as he was not only a musician, but also a dancer and entertainer. For his Michael Jackson tribute Mos moonwalked a couple of times and found himself getting encores for the dance routines he knew how to do.
The show lasted into the middle of the night, and all of the crowd appeared to be satisfied with the performances of the three entertainers. Though most of the show was showcasing new music, Mos Def did cover “Respiration” from “Black Star” without MC Talib Kweli, and Erykah Badu did manage to get together once more for the last couple of songs. The show ended on a high note with Mos Def playing on his drum kit and Erykah singing her high notes to the beat. The three eventually made their way back to center stage to take a bow for an amazing show.