#BeyYe: Yasiin Bey’s one of a kind show entirely over Kanye West beats (Video)

 

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! 👏👏🌹🌹

BONUS:

@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).

Please credit GWHH & @hetalbot for any re-sharing of the videos (and check out my personal post on the show @sgt.tibs !)

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

Kid Cudi on how some of his biggest records came about

Awesome sit-down in the studio with GQ that I only wish was longer.

Cud describes how “Reborn”, “Cudi Montage”, “Father Stretch My Hands” and “All of the Lights” came together with Kanye. Highlights like sampling Nirvana and being surprised at what made “Father Stretch My Hands” and “All of the Lights”. Hah, you never know what Kanye will end up using, right?

It’s cool to hear this behind the scenes insight that not only could have been longer, per song, but even covered many more of Cudi’s “iconic tracks” from his first couple of albums. Need a Part 2 (or 3…)

Kanye changed plans to perform mid-show at VMAs

One more tidbit from the Kanye 2020 speech at the VMAs the other night is an interesting ‘what if?’ brought on by one of the show’s exec producers at MTV, Van Toffler, said to Billboard.

Did you expect Kanye to talk for so long when accepting the Video Vanguard Award?

We originally thought Kanye was going to do a medley. Then we thought he was going to not do music and talk. Then, about two acts into the show, we thought he would do a couple-song medley. This is after the show started. Then, about an act before, we found out that he might not do music and just speak — but we had to be prepared for both, so we had a track cued up. We were in the truck and we heard this 10 minutes before he was to accept the award.

Is that the latest someone’s thrown you a mid-show change-up?

I think part of the magic and the unpredictability of the VMAs is that probably no other producers in TV would go into a show not knowing what their biggest award winner was going to do. We decided to be open to whatever Kanye wanted because he’s given us so many moments—unexpected ones. So we weren’t sure whether he would break into song or not. We had a track—he would have rapped to his biggest hits.

The track was ready, the speech was ready, and he just went on?

I’m not sure the speech was ready! He didn’t rehearse. I saw him on the red carpet beforehand, but he didn’t tell me what direction he was going to go in. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Someone from his camp was with us in the truck and he was surprised too. Nobody knew what he was going to do — or announce that he was going to run for president. We were all surprised. Even Taylor Swift.

Wow, how ’bout that? Did ‘Ye spontaneously come up with the idea to run for president?! This video shows a fan yelling it out to him moments before he made it public.

And even better, and unrelated to the above, some genius spliced Kanye’s speech and spun it into a very feasible Seinfeld opening. Hahaha. Best thing I’ve seen from the internet in a minute.

Leona Lewis “Only One” (Kanye West Cover)

I haven’t kept up on new Leona Lewis too much since her big singles and some random releases shortly thereafter. They were guilty pleasure *Tibs Favs. at the time because Leona has a beautiful voice and is backed by some great production too.

Today, we catch up with a brand new release from Ms. Lewis, inspired by Kanye’s VMA speech! Pretty neat.

And she kills it too! Not much else to add. It’s just beautiful and a fresh take on Kanye’s single at the beginning of the year. Watch, listen, and enjoy.

*Tibs Fav.