TWO WORDS, Mos Def, K West, hot shit.
I mean, Yasiin has been tellin’ us for years. Last night though, @hetalbot and I were lucky enough to see it, first-hand live. (And yup, we got there early to get up front for these clips!)
The show began on a refreshingly odd note. Yasiin spray-painted “Oysters” on the blank canvas below the DJ booth and then continued to ceremoniously drape his performance space with rose petals. The vibe set, Yasiin went into “Life in Marvelous Times” fittingly over one of Kanye’s most iconic album intros, “Good Morning”. One of my Graduation favorites, “I Wonder”, soon followed.
Here are clips of mash-ups like “Ms Fat. Booty” over “Devil in a New Dress” (that definitely worked), “Mathematics” over “New God Flow”, and “Quiet Dog” over “Black Skinhead” that, in portion due to that beat at high volume in-person, was one of the hypest moments of the show. Little things like Yasiin’s dances and how the DJ would drop the music and let Yasiin’s echo close out almost every song made the show even that much more fun and polished. Clips can only do so much, but these are ones I’ll be rewatching years to come and transplanting myself back to January 13th in downtown L.A.
Yasiin then presented the next track as an unreleased record produced by Kanye. It jumped out as one of the coldest beats we’ve heard all night — classics included — and upon further digging, “The Light is Afraid of the Dark” saw release the track back in 2013. Here’s my favorite new record of 2019, ironically. Soundcloud link
After this smooth jam, Yasiin just stood to the side… the beat dropped… and out came Talib Kweli rapping the first verse of “Get By”. Surprise: flawlessly executed. Like seriously, the pause, the initial confusion of “what is happening?!”, and the euphoria of the crowd as we rapped every word. A hip hop show bucket list has always been seeing Black Star perform together, and in one glorious moment, I could ✅ next to that. The clip I got doesn’t do it 100% justice, but just because no one had their phone out for the surprise drop.
What better way to end your glimpse at what turned out to be one hour and 20 minutes of raw hip hop. Yasiin hopped from one song to the next, and only missed a word when he chose to stylistically sing it for a reverberating echo within The Regent.
Yasiin thanked us for the most valuable thing we can offer to each other: our time and took a well-deserved bow and victory dance to the festive “Tudo Que Você Podia Ser” (now in my rotation too, lol.)
Now if only we had roses to throw to him at the end. Bravo! 👏👏🌹🌹
@hetalbot started all the post-show footage with the top-rated post on r/hiphopheads so scroll through here for more fan clips, commentary from other attendees, and even links to more of Yasiin’s catalogue (see: REcstatic).
Lastly, I was unable to get footage, but here’s a dope one of the other surprise guest: Fatlip from Pharcyde performing “Passing Me By”. And a shoutout to Supernatural (freestyling king), Oakland R&B singer ASTU, and DJ Trauma for opening the show in reverse order. Supernatural got everyone hype with rhymes touching on the first few rows. ASTU had everyone in their feels with a few of her sultry tunes. And DJ Trauma had multiple DJ sets to transition it all together: namely the highly entertaining, sample-only set that became a fun guessing game of what sample associated with what classic hip hop song. We got the full hip hop experience… just another Sunday night in LA. 😎
OK, one more… “The Rape Over” from Yasiin’s 2004 album, The New Danger.
— Sgt. Tibs