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Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) Drops New Cape Town-Recorded Track, 'Dec 99th - N.A.W.'

Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) shares new track, 'Dec 99th - N.A.W.', produced by Ferrari Sheppard and recorded in Cape Town on May 5, 2016.

Source: A Country Called Earth
Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) took to Soundcloud on Wednesday to apologize to his Scandinavian fans for missing shows in Sweden and Denmark this week. The message was recorded in Cape Town, where the rapper and actor was arrested in January after he attempted to leave South Africa using a “world passport.” Though Bey’s out on bail, he’s unable to leave the country as he awaits a hearing on May 12.

Early Friday morning a new track titled “Dec. 99th – N.A.W.” appeared on Bey and Ferrari Sheppard‘s A Country Called Earth platform. According to ACCE, the song was recorded Thursday at D Planet Studios in Cape Town. Sheppard is actually the song’s producer (his production debut), and the N.A.W. presumably stands for needs and wants. “Fuck what you like, needs and wants, you got needs and wants / needs and wants” Bey sings over Sheppard’s droning production. “I hope you got what you need and that you need what you waaaaaant” the rapper continues to chant.


Listen closely and you might hear traces of Noir Wave on this one. Petite Noir could very well be rubbing off on Bey. The two previously collaborated on a "Till We Ghosts" rework.

Update May 6, 2016, 3:48am EST: 

“Dec. 99th – N.A.W.” was recorded and mixed by Dplanet, aka Human Waste of the Cape Town-based rap outfit DOOKOOM. In an email to Okayafrica, Dplanet explains he was put in touch with Bey by a mutual friend who's part of the same Muslim community as Bey in Cape Town. The Cape Town-based producer was contacted by Sheppard a few days later to set up a recording session.

He adds that the only time he's seen Bey perform live––a few years back at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival––has stuck with him. Dplanet continues in the email:

It was an experience that changed my idea of what hip hop could be - that show actually inspired me for the production of projects I did with Ben Sharpa and DOOKOOM.

Yasiin is an artist who is never afraid to speak his mind, or to keep pushing his art. When you meet him, he's so humble it's hard to remember that he's a musical and cultural icon of our time. The fact that he has shunned the corporate music and film industries and is living in Cape Town, working with unknown artists and producers, is testimony to his dedication to his art.

The track has a raw honesty and subtle power to it which gave me chills throughout the recording - the content also has a deeply personal meaning to me because of things that have happened in my life recently. It was a blessing to share a creative space with Yasiin and Ferrari, and to be a small part of the production of a great piece of music.

many styles (pH: Ignatius Mokone)

A photo posted by Ferrari Sheppard (@ferrarisheppard) on

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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