News Brief

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.


How Technology Is Playing a Crucial Role in the #EndSARS Protests

Young people in Nigeria have successfully managed to use technological innovations to organize and make the #EndSARS protests run incredibly efficiently and easily. This moment will go down in history as a revolution that was birthed via technology.

It has been more than a week since young people in Nigeria took to the streets to demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, infamously known as SARS, be scrapped for good. Created in 1992, this police unit was originally set up to beat back armed robbery, the use of firearms and rising cases of kidnappings that grew in the late eighties. However, the unit went rogue, becoming more notorious for its savagery than actual crime-fighting. With a rap sheet ranging from profiling, harassment and assault to, in more extreme cases, slaughtering innocent citizens, these quasi-officers have unleashed terror on the nation for more than two decades.

Their victims are predominantly young Nigerians profiled on appearance—whether they drive exotic vehicles, use the latest gadgets, have their hair dyed or locked, or have piercings. In some cases, working in tech often gets conflated with financial fraud. For people who don't meet the absurd criteria, the mood of the officer can often become the difference between life and death.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Emile YX? Wants to 'Reconnect The String'

The father of South African hip-hop's latest book release is here to teach you about the culture.