Yasiin Bey has released a steady trickle of music this year, leading some to speculate that the multi-talented Brooklynite may be crafting a full-length project. There’s been no news on that front, but Bey has joined forces with artist/activist Ferrari Shepherd to form Dec. 99th.
Earlier this week they released “HYMN” as a TIDAL exclusive. On Wednesday, the duo also dropped “Seaside Panic Room.” Over a lurching, stilty composition, Bey alternates between a monotone rhyme delivery reminiscent of spoken word and impassioned singing, the latter of which is augmented by an emotive piano chord.
Curiously, the sturdy hi-hats and haunting piano melody could seemingly be re-mixed to sound like a moody trap record, but that’s never been Bey’s steelo. The track wades reclusively in sparse, experimental waters, sounding more like a rock outro. He and Ferrari are comfortably on Channel 99, rhyming and warning the listener to “stand clear of you’re insincere.”
Bey’s subject, but he works with the production to build a sobering sense of urgency that sidesteps self-importance. Dec. 99th seems content to push boundaries—especially sequentially—from an elegiac, insular perspective.
You can stream “Seaside Panic Room” below.