Funk-jazz instrumentalists BADBADNOTGOOD recently debuted a live collaboration with the elusive Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) during a performance in Cape Town, South Africa. The new single, “Arcade”, could potentially feature on BADBADNOTGOOD’s upcoming album, IV.
According to Pidgeons and Planes (via 10and5), Bey’s representatives contacted BADBADNOTGOOD about a potential guest appearance a few days prior to the group’s scheduled performance. The group agreed to perform with Bey, and the two parties subsequently performed six songs together. BADBADNOTGOOD clarified the logistics of the collaboration in an interview with 10and5.
“We got an email from someone that works with him the first night we got in, asking if we’d be willing to perform a couple songs with him at our show,” they said in the interview. “Of course we said yes, then the next night we went to meet up with him. After a couple rehearsals we figured out what to play, and ended up doing 6 songs. 3 by him, as well as two Rodriguez songs, and ‘Buggin Out’ as a tribute to Phife Dawg. It was an incredible experience! The rehearsals were magical, we really connected musically which is difficult sometimes after first meeting someone.”
IV will be released through Innovative Leisure on July 8. The album is the group’s 5th studio LP and first full-length release since 2014’s collaboration with Ghostface Killah, Sour Soul.
Bey’s joint performance with BADBADNOTGOOD’s performance marks his return to relative musical prominence. The acclaimed rapper was arrested in South Africa earlier this year after attempting to remain in the country using an unrecognized form of passport. His trial has been postponed multiple times, forcing Bey to remain in the country.
Bey last new released music in June, sharing a new song, “Dec 99th – Local Time”, through Soundcloud. He previously released a freestyle rap through Kanye West’s website, in which he announced both his impending retirement and an upcoming final album.