Concert Reviews

Yasiin Bey at Cervantes, 10/05/12


When Yasiin Bey stepped on stage at about half past midnight, the crowd was hungrily awaiting his arrival, freshly energized from an impressive set by Binary Star and ready now for the main event. Dressed in fitted white slacks, white collared shirt, navy blazer and designer-print ball cap, Bey dipped like he just finished playing croquet on a yacht in the Mediterranean: It's classy, nostalgic elegance, like a Slim Aaron's photo, and perhaps a stylistic nod toward Bey's efforts to transcend the mores of hip hop -- an idea he frames with his performance. For the next ninety minutes, his set deconstructed the essence of hip-hop as an art form -- live sampling from across cultures and eras, and reconstructing the pieces into a musical narrative that becomes a sermon on life, civil disobedience, pleasure, morality and empowerment.

See also: - Black Star at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 5/12/12 - The five biggest hip-hop name changes - #ShitRappersSay on stage in Denver