A year earlier, Mos Def told Spin: \"Every time I go in the studio, it's just like the live show. Great new albums are made in small studios, not in big studios. I like to hide the technology. It's about raw emotion and real sounds and making music that makes sense.\" He again spoke with Spin, this time for a cover story collection, about what that process entailed in his own life, revealing one he called 'The Beast': \"During that time I was also in an invisible-from-clothes psychiatric unit in the county mental hospital, locked up without a window, a cat and about 12 TVs.\" Mos Def sings about these experiences in a disillusioned, stripped down way that still feels in the moment. In 'Barrio Dreams', he sings:
\"Youse know it's a beautiful day/ It's the cruelest that you can give me, motherfucker/ But it don't matter if you call me fool or motherfucker/ Cause the end result is the same/ Happiness here and suffering over there/ I can keep on but yo\" Like tracking his own sound nearly two decades back in 'Quintet', Mos reinscribes the subliminal whose roots he dug more deep into on The Ecstatic. The rapturous 'B.U.T.
\"Ya like the thirty-two that doin' time/ Pullin' 12 hour days from the industrial plants/ And the slow freighters on the highway to 'murder'/ And the sister soldin' off her body to the devil/ So ya feel me when I say, yo fuck it.\" Such feelings run the listener through what's become the album's most vibrant moment, 'Life Itself', which features a percolating stream of ideas, conversational, sing-songy lines, and songsick rhythms: 7211a4ac4a