News Brief

Yasiin Bey Has a New Album Coming Out Very Soon

Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) has announced his new album with Ferrari Sheppard under their collaborative project, Dec. 99th.

Just last week, it was announced that Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) would finally be allowed to leave South Africa, following an nearly year-long battle with the government for his attempt to leave the country using a "World Passport."


Soon afterwards, Bey also revealed the final U.S. shows of his career at NYC's Apollo Theater and D.C.'s Kennedy Center.

Well, the rapper's got more on deck before 2016—a year he's called his "retirement party year"—is over.

Yasiin Bey just announced that he'll be releasing a new album as Dec. 99th, the collaborative project he has with Ferrari Sheppard.

Dec. 99th (Yasiin Bey & Ferrari Sheppard) album cover, 'December 99th.'

The 9-song album, titled December 99th, will include the previously released tracks “N.A.W.,” “Tall Sleeves,” and “Local Time.” The LP was produced entirely by Ferrari Sheppard and will be released as a Tidal exclusive.

A press statement mentions that Bey and Sheppard “spent the last year recording in South Africa,” while Bey “awaited his departure from the country.”

Check out the full track list for December 99th below. That's the cover artwork above.

The new album is fittingly due on December 9.

December 99th Track List

01 N.A.W.

02 Blade In The Pocket

03 SPESH

04 Local Time

05 Tall Sleeves

06 Seaside Panic Room

07 Shadow In the Dark

08 It Goes

09 Special Dedication

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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