Remember the days when it seemed like Mos Def might become an interesting artist to cross over into the mainstream? Clearly he is not interested in doing that with his music.

After the contractual “F-You” that was True Magic, Mos decided to make an album with the likes of Madlib and Oh No, two brothers who don’t want to make pop records. They do have quite a track record of making interesting and challenging music, and that’s definitely what’s going on here.

Along with Preservation, Chad Hugo, Dilla, Mr. Flash, and Georgia Anne Muldrow, we’ve got plenty of interesting music going on here. It was weird enough that it took me several listens before I felt I understood what was going on, but it was also interesting enough that I wanted to listen to it more so I could digest what was happening. It’s disjointed to be sure, but somehow it comes together.

There are ruminations on American-Middle Eastern relations, with a unexpectedly poignant verse from none other than Slick Rick on “Auditorium.” There’s the old school R&B of “Priority,” which gives way to the frantic shuffle of “Quiet Dog.” There’s the adrenaline-pumping synths of “Life in Marvelous Times.”

In pieces it works, but nothing plays out too long or stands out as a single. After a few listens though, ideas seep through, and the disjointedness of the album starts to make sense. Life is often fragmented and jarring, but at the end of the day it all comes together and we’re forced to make sense of it. The more time I spend with it, the more I wonder if Mos has dropped a brilliant album on us, and I’m just slow to realize it. Maybe?