Much like he did on night one, Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) strode onto the stage of the legendary Apollo Theater last night (12/2) with a bag full of roses to be strewn all around. This time though, the stage was also filled with balloons which he proceeded to kick out into the audience. Later in the show, there was a lovely moment where he brought out two little girls to throw more of the balloons as he was performing. As this was his final final NYC performance, he was in a giving mood and give he did -- both figuratively and actually (at one point he handed a bottle of his very fragrant body oil to people in the front row). With his classic red Shure Super 55 mic in hand, Bey played a much longer set than night one. Once again, we got favorites like "Umi Says," "Casa Bey," "Life in Marvelous Times" (but also like night one, no "Miss Fat Booty" grrr), as well as songs from his just-out December 99th release and selections from another new record to come out in the future.

Although there were rumors of Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, Slick Rick (like night one) and of course his Black Star partner Talib Kweli showing up, the only guest was Pharoahe Monch, who, like on night one, came out for "Simon Says." So even though this was more like "Yasiin Bey and Friend," it didn’t matter much to the audience. The night belonged to this dynamic performer who spent much of the show dancing and spinning all over the stage. There were pronouncements about things happening exactly as it should and what the future holds. But this night was a celebration and he spent much of his time letting the crowd know how much they meant to him. The last few songs had him visibly in tears, stopping at one point for an extended period, his hands covering his face and feeling the moment. And with a final jump from the stage and a run through the audience, that was it. One fantastic chapter closed and a new as-yet-unknown one to follow. Can’t wait to see what it is.

Pictures of both nights are in the gallery above. Video of night one here.

Yasiin Bey and collaborator Ferrari Sheppard also played "Seaside Panic Room" and "N.A.W." off the new album on Fallon. Watch:


photos by Shahar Azran & Sachyn Mital, words by P Squared

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