With recent passport issues and album delays behind him, Yasiin Bey has returned to the scene collaborating with producer Ferrari Sheppard for our listening pleasure. Though the rapper and noteworthy actor is retiring after two more albums (Negus in Natural Person, and Mannie Fresh collaboration As Promised), Bey still managed to deliver a solid foundation of work with “December 99th.”
Cape Town, South Africa has been Bey’s home since 2013 so it’s not a shock that you hear a polarity of South African and Brooklyn vibrations on “December 99th”. On “NAW” (Needs and Wants) Bey sings throughout the entire song about the needs and wants that we as humans long for. “SPESH” takes the listener on a journey with Bey through his experiences with God and Spirituality. “Tall Sleeves” is an upbeat song that Bey spits slick bars over.
“Plans for on and I’m on and on,
Shots of the burn, burn Babylon”
“Seaside Panic Room” is a jazzy track on which Bey flirts with the idea of staying calm in the midst of a storm.
“Keep the chopper close with the breakfast toast,
Born ready rock steady on the ready roll”
While “December 99th” is a short offering, it makes you wonder at what sonic destination Bey’s next two albums are going to arrive. Bey’s last three performances will occur over a three-day period at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. starting on New Year’s Eve. For now, check out “December 99th” exclusively on TIDAL.