Yasiin Bey released a new track, “HYMN,” Monday as a Tidal exclusive. The song comes with a short, poignant caption: “Condolences to the families of the slain. Never stop pursuing freedom.”
On “HYMN,” Bey raps over a minimal funk loop courtesy of producer Ferrari Sheppard. “How many views when the blood ooze?” he wonders. “I’m confused.” Bey later asserts, “This is what death don’t kill: Life.”
Sheppard and Bey have been unveiling music at a steady clip. Working together as Dec. 99th, the two have released “Local Time,” “Tall Sleeves” and “N.A.W” in recent months. The previous three tracks appeared on SoundCloud, and all came with a note suggesting “Recorded at D Planet Studios Cape Town.”
Like “HYMN,” several previous Dec. 99th tracks also came with a message. For “Local Time:” “The local time is always now. Forever is a current event.” For “N.A.W.”: “I hope you got what you need.”
Earlier this year, Bey was arrested for allegedly violating immigration laws in South Africa, where he is said to have lived since 2013. He was forced to postpone scheduled shows and was subsequently given two weeks to leave the country.