Yasiin Bey continues to tease fans eagerly anticipating anything from the artist formerly known as Mos Def. The elusive Brooklyn MC released a new video today teasing an upcoming performance called “Time Is Always Now” in honor of boxing legend Muhammad Ali‘s 72nd birthday this Friday (January 17).
Presented by Bey’s recently assembled arts collective, A COUNTRY CALLED EARTH, the quick clip shows Bey reciting an acapella rap on the shores of a beach with raging waves in the backdrop. Although the verses are difficult to hear over the waves, he mentions names such as the iconic Assata Shakur, 2Pac, Ali himself and others. The line “the power of a good name is very important” stands out most of all in Bey’s hushed performance.
Hypebeast adds more context:
Internationally acclaimed artist Yasiin Bey announces his latest venture Time Is Always Now, which will present all new exclusive music aired live From Africa this Friday on January 17, 12:30 a.m.(CAT)/5:30p.m. (EST). Presented by the newly formed, Bey-helmed arts collective A COUNTRY CALLED EARTH, this performance commemorates the birth-date of one of the world’s greatest personalities — Mohammed Ali — with the exact location of the event being disclosed at the end of the performance.
The “Time Is Always Now” performance is the first of many planned events that will air live from Africa. Bey will perform three exclusive tracks according to the announcement.
Note the distinct spelling of Ali’s first name above, as Bey is a devout follower of the Muslim faith just like the hall of fame pugilist. Hopefully this signals Bey’s return to the airwaves with a proper album as well.
Hit the jump to see Yasiin Bey’s “Time Is Always Now” promo video for the birthday tribute performance for Muhammad Ali.