Dropping the mic in his own time: as-salamu alaykum Yasiin Bey

Media Diversified

by Jamal Mehmood

black-on-both-sidesEarlier this year, the artist formerly known as Mos Def gave his farewell performances in London. Hiphop’s own whirling dervish, who dared to whirl and pray on a simply decorated stage, dropping rose petals on a floor already filled with balloons. This was the Yasiin show. There was no formal set list (as was the case at the homecoming farewell at the Apollo in December); the artist chose from a celebrated back catalogue, as well as remixes of his own work. It was refreshing to see in a world in which live shows have become more and more experimental and elaborate, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all, but the control Bey had was true to who he is; never quite bending to current textures in a predictable way. Though there were new renditions, the set up was hiphop basics, a DJ and an MC. This…

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