#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.

KimYe, Weeknd, A$AP, more for Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang brought in the big stars for the 10th anniversary commemorating his collabs with DoSomething.org. I dig the positive vibes here as DoSomething supports the youth (listen to the kids, bro!) and social change.

In addition to the names in the headline, also peep Pusha, Jhene, HAIM, and Lykke Li above representing music. You’ll see some familiar celebs and even more in the official reveal here.

Kanye West announces president candidacy for 2020

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Kanye for President, 2020.

Ha! True. But yeah, Kanye concluded his stream of consciousness with that announcement. And well, not really shocked. What do you guys think?

JT…

Here’s the full transcript — it should be about more than this president announcement, don’t you think? That’ll grab the headlines but the whole speech had its endearing moments, as Shea Serrano breaks down today on Grantland.

“Bro, bro, listen to the kids. Jeremy, I gotta put it down for a second. First of all, thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening. Thank you. And I often think back to the first day I met you also. I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice at the… you know. And at the end they say, “Oh you’re not that bad after all. And like, I think about it sometimes it crosses my mind a little bit when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me. It crosses my mind a little bit.

And I think if i had to do it all again—what would I have done? Would I have worn a leather shirt? Would I have drank half a bottle of Hennessy and given the rest of it to the audience? Y’all know you drank that bottle, too. If I had a daughter at that time would I have went on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s? You know, this arena tomorrow is gonna be a completely different set up—some concert… This stage will be gone. After that night, the stage was gone but the effect that it had on people remained.

The problem was the contradiction. The contradiction is that I do fight for artists but in that fight, somehow, was disrespectful to artists. I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing, I sat at the Grammys and saw Justin Timberlake and CeeLo Green lose. Gnarls Barkley and the [FutureSex/LoveSound] album, and bro, Justin I’m not trying to put you on blast but I saw that man in tears, bro. And I was thinking he deserved to win album of the year. And the small box that we are of entertainers of the evening, how could you explain that?

Sometimes I feel like you know all this shit they run about beef and all that, sometimes I feel like I died for the artist’s opinion, for the artist to have an opinion after they got successful. I’m not no politician bro, and look at that. You know how many times MTV ran that footage again? Because it got more ratings? Do you know how many times they announced Taylor was gonna give me this award? Because it got more ratings?

Listen to the kids, bro.

I still don’t understand award shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life one sell records, sell concert tickets to come stand on a carpet and for the first time in they life be judged on a chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser. I don’t understand it bro. I do not understand when the biggest album or the biggest video I don’t understand. I’ve been conflicted bro. I just wanted people to like me more. But fuck that, bro. 2015. I will die for the art for what I believe in and the art ain’t always gonna be polite. Y’all might be thinking right now, “I wonder did he smoke something before he came out here?” And the answer is yes, I rolled up a little something, I knocked the edge off. I don’t know what’s gonna happen tonight what’s gonna happen tomorrow bro but all I can say to my artists is just worry about how you feel at the time. I’m confident I believe in myself. We the millenials bro. This is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We’re not gonna tech low self esteem and hate to our kids. We’re gonna teach our kids that they can be something. that they can stand up for themselves. To believe in themselves and if my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down.

I don’t know what I’m finna lose after this it don’t matter though because it ain’t about me, it’s about new ideas bro people with ideas people who believe in truth. and yes, as you proabably could’ve guessed by this moment I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”

BTW, thought this was great:

https://twitter.com/HipHopParallel/status/638187824492101632

Big Sean VMA speech

The night’s best moment: Big Sean’s gracious acceptance speech for his most powerful music video to date: “One Man Can Change The World” — and now VMA winner for “Best Video with a Social Message”.

The video, brought back below, is in part dedicated to his grandma and Sean had some sweet and concise words for the incredible woman who passed last year. Also in the speech, Sean expressed his gratitude for Kanye West for discovering him as well as appreciation for John Legend and the fans. It really felt off-the-cuff in that Sean didn’t have every word planned ahead and that’s what made the speech better.

Here’s the well-deserving winner of the VMA for Best Video with a Social Message: