News Brief

Yasiin Bey Debuted His New Project 'Negus'

The "sound installation" wont be released in digital or physical formats.

Yasiin Bey shared his new release, Negus, at Art Basel Hong Kong.

The artist formerly known as Mos Def's new music comes in the form of an 8-song "sound installation" that was recorded in London in 2015 and will be presented as an "Immersive live experience," a tweet from producer FunkinEven (Steven Julien) reveals.

Production on Negus was handled by Lord Tusk, Steven Julien and ACyde. It wont be available in digital or physical formats.


Negus was presented by Yasiin Bey in collaboration with Sunny Rahbar, the owner of Dubai's Third Line Gallery, Pitchfork reports.

Document Journal had a writer present at the Art Basel Hong Kong event who wrote:

Yasiin Bey is very aware of society's inability to focus on anything because of technology. So, Bey... wanted to release his latest album Negus, which was recorded in London in 2015 and named after a royal title in the Ethiopian Semitic languages, in a context where the listeners had to actually focus on the music. Attendees of the listening sessions would lock their phone in a Yondr case, creating an environment where—instead of scrolling through Instagram, checking emails, and text messaging friends—they could actually focus on the music as it was played on headphones.

They also described Negus as featuring "beats [that] were synth-heavy and electric." At the end of the event, Bey took polaroid pictures of those in attendance as souvenirs. You can see a few of those below.

OkayAfrica has previously written about the complicated Ethiopian history of "Negus," which you should revisit.



Adamawa State Governor Bindow and the 21 freed girls (c) Adam Dobby

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Five years ago, 276 schoolgirls were abducted from their school in northern Nigeria by a group of Boko Haram militants. A global outcry ensued with social media and the international press proclaiming their devotion to the missing girls. #BringBackOurGirls became the digital rallying cry for the movement. Even the most famous of public figures—the likes of then First Lady Michelle Obama—stood behind it. This level of attention was unique, and frankly rare for a tragedy occurring in Africa, and it seemed that the help of the entire world was exactly what was needed to topple the threat of growing extremism in Northern Nigeria, and bring the girls home safely.

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A fire collaboration!

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The duo shine as they exchange loving lyrics atop sultry, upbeat production by Prinx Pappi. Stonebwoy opens the track with a fiery verse about giving his all to a love interest, while Teni brings the her usual high-energy to the second verse as she delivers passionate lyrics directed at a lover. Their musical chemistry, making for a catchy jam-worthy track.

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