Red lights over saturated the stage Friday night as Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def walked out with a bouquet of roses, painting the stage with petals. It had been near forty minutes, and felt like an hour, since the stage was last occupied, and fans were more than ready. They shouted out song requests to which Mos replied, “I am not a jukebox.” He’s right. But his dj pretty much was. And if fans are paying $40 for about an hour of music which they’re showing up two hours early for, hell if I wouldn’t expect to hear the jams. The red lights never switched. He covered ODB among others but wouldn’t comply to a request or two from the crowd. An artist and their audience are dependent on one another – straight up. And a live performance is no different. When the chemistry’s right, any show can be spectacular. Friday night, however, felt dull and disconnected.
Last week it was Kanye, this week it’s the return of Yasiin Bey to the States as he put down what looks like a dope performance at Dave Chappelle‘s standup tonight at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. If you recall, Mos was not allowed back in the U.S. after re-enacting force feeding of Muslim prisoners. Apparently that is no longer the case since Yasiin and old friend Dave Chappelle link up in the city of bright lights. Peep Instagram videos below, even courtesy of Talib Kweli.