Yasiin Bey Drops More Experimental Music from Cape Town with 'Local Time'

New music from Yasiin Bey and Ferrari Sheppard’s Cape Town-based Dec. 99th project, “Local Time”

Yes, Yasiin Bey is still in South Africa. Yes, he’s promised his final album and retirement from music and acting are coming soon. Until then, the artist formerly known as Mos Def has been hitting the studio in Cape Town with his longtime friend, confidant and A Country Called Earth co-founder, Ferrari Sheppard.

For the third time in the past month or so, Bey and Sheppard––recording under the name Dec. 99th––have some seriously experimental grooves to share from D Planet Studios, the recording space of D Planet from the Cape Town noise rap outfit DOOKOOM.

“Local Time,” which Sheppard produced, plays like a feel-good manifesto for his and Bey’s pan-continental A Country Called Earth platform: “The local time is now” Bey rap-sings on the track. “Whoever you are, no matter, no how.”

If you recall, “the time is always now” has been on Bey’s lips for a while now. In January 2014 the rapper celebrated the late Muhammad Ali’s 72nd birthday with a surprise concert from an undisclosed location on the continent. The location turned out to be a rooftop in Cape Town. And the performance, titled LIVE FROM AFRICA, was streamed live on Okayafrica. Leading up to the event Bey shared a series of teasers titled “the time is always now.”

Listen to the latest from Dec. 99th below. For more from Bey and Sheppard, check out their previous Dec. 99th tracks "N.A.W." and "Tall Sleeves."

No word on how, if at all, the recent slew of releases relate to Bey's impending last album.

Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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