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.



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