Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is in the midst of a string of shows at New York’s Apollo Theater, saying farewell to his hip-hop past. Together with Ferrari Sheppard, he recently released December 99th, which is currently streaming exclusively on Tidal. During Bey’s time in New York, the duo stopped by 30 Rock for a performance of Dec 99th tracks “Seaside Panic Room” and “N.A.W” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Bey spends the entire performance as a hooded silhouette, shrouded in green light for a majority before bright, flashing lights surround him, the concept seeming like something Kanye would do on the Saint Pablo tour (may the tour rest in peace). It’s a really interesting song, with heavy drums and ominous synths. The intensity of the visual performance drives the track home on television, but Fallon seems a little taken aback by the standoffishness of the Bey and Sheppard’s performance. Interestingly, doesn’t even get up from behind his desk to congratulate the duo, as he usually does, but instead just makes the post-performance announcements from a distance.
Check out the performance above, and if you have Tidal (I don’t), you can stream December 99th in full there.