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Mos Stef – Behind The Mask (Album Review)

MostWantedStef aka Mos Stef of UnHeard Ent. has dropped his anticipated debut project Behind The Mask. UnHeard Ent is a conglomerate of producers and emcees that hold the essence of true raw, concise, lyrical hip-hop and keep that energy alive and well in Charleston. Mos Steff being one of its prominent members is known for his enigmatic style and unorthodox, stoccatto driven flows expressing pain, telling stories, and giving us a better understanding of who he is as an intellect.

Behind The Mask is a 6-song release that I personally feel is a great representation of Mos Stef and his squad. Unfiltered lyricism, classic samples of funk, soul, and jazz, injected with healthy helpings of drum breaks and snares-are just a few attributes of the album that make it a solid one for deep/casual listening. Guruanteed you’ll have to listen twice in the best way, for all my conscious-lyrical hip-hop fans.

Starting with the self produced “That’s That”, Mos Steff stakes his claim as a next level lyricist, with this rapid fire introduction to him, his team and his vision. Popping off “straight cut-no filter” , as he lets listeners know how he see’s the current state of rap and how UnHeard Ent is ushering in a new wave.
Following up the introductory energy of “That’s That”, is “MasterMind” feat Nu Harlem.

From the sampled introduction breaking down ‘a mastermind group’ to a fire verse from Nu Harlem, the spearhead of UnHeard Ent, this track sets a tone for the remainder of the album. A bar heavy warning that “power over time only leads to corruption”-meaning that having power can be intoxicating, leading people to become more focused on maintaining a position, as opposed to making actual change.

Midway through the album is “Clouds”, one of the more lo-fi tracks on the album, with brushes of harmonic vocals from Mos Stef, over his self-produced instrumental. A great transitional piece into the slow-boom bap of “I Sure Can (Freestyle)” produced by Ben Beam. I feel like Mos Stef’s vocal tone and delivery sounds like silk over these slower tempo,lo-fi, instrumentals. Very similar to the likes of MF Doom and Benny The Butcher. Lyrically, this is my favorite track from Mos Stef-from the word play, to the delivery, and overall raw simplicity of the track, shining a light on his lyrical abilities and that he “sure can” spit. This is of no question.

Mos Stef performed the next song from Behind The Mask at AllThingGxld’s hip-hop night in March at Rebel Taqueria. Beyond the deep message and the fast paced, yet poetic lyricism, “Rainy Days” is catchy and by the end of the song Mos Stef had the crowd repeating the catchy hook. This song pushes the envelope that even in our rainy days, we are thinking, learning, and evolving into the best version of ourselves.

Last but the complete opposite of least, is “7 Levels” produced by LethalNeedle. Mos Stef went absolutely bananas as he lays out the blueprint to the 7 chakras and how the balance of all of these power points activate your inner most self, your Merkabah, your soul. Hands down, my favorite track on the album because he is speaking on some of the most alchemical sciences of the soul and laying it over wax in this Godly display of substance based lyricism. #GxldAppproved information for those that tap in to it.

Check the playlist below and stream Mos Stef’s EP Behind The Mask! Also keep an eye out for more music, visuals, and performances from Mos Stef and UnHeard Ent.