Legendary Brooklyn rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known under his prolific stage name Mos Def has announced a set of shows in celebration of the 20th anniversary of his album Black On Both Sides. The rapper will be performing the entire album in full, first at the Greek Theatre in UC Berkeley on October 25th, then at Brooklyn Steel on November 3rd in Brooklyn, New York.
Bey will be joined by classic R&B artist Erykah Badu, rapper Busta Rhymes, and classic 80s rapper Slick Rick for his show at the Greek Theatre. Busta Rhymes appeared on the Black On Both Sides album on the track “Do It Now,” while Slick Rick appeared in a lauded verse on “Auditorium,” featured on his 2009 album The Ecstatic.
So far only the classic 1990s hip hop act Camp Lo are confirmed to join Bey during his performance in Brooklyn. The Bronx rappers are best known for their acclaimed 1997 release Uptown Saturday Night, which was noted for its elements of hip hop, jazz and R&B.
Black On Both Sides help cement Bey has a prominent hip hop artist in New York’s burgeoning hip hop scene in the late 1990s. Although the rapper had gained prominence with the release of Black Star in 1998 alongside fello wNew York Rapper Talib Kweli, this album solidified his unique delivery and lyricism to the forefront, as he spoke on themes of black empowerment and interpersonal struggles in an era defined by gangsta rap and violence.
Kweli and Bey have been performing several date as Black Star in recent years, with a recent appearance on the Robert Glasper Residency. While Bey hinted at a second album as a duo, Kweli stated that this announcement was premature.
Black On Both Sides 20th Anniversary Dates:
10/25 Greek Theatre- Berkeley, California
11/3 Brooklyn Steel- Brooklyn, New York