Yasiin Bey isn’t allowing his legal troubles to get him down. Perhaps to get his mind off things, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def has been hitting the recording studio frequently these days. Yesterday, out of the blue, he posted a new, dark banger to Soundcloud titled “Dec 99th – Local Time.”
This appears to be the third iteration of songs with the “Dec 99th” prefix. The first track “Dec 99th – N.A.W.” was followed up a short while later by “Dec 99th – Tall Sleeves.” All three songs were recorded at DPlanet in Cape Town, South Africa and were produced by Ferrari Shepherd. They were all also posted to Soundcloud under an account named A Country Called Earth. On the new track, which opens with an eerie, whistling intro, Bey gets downright existential, proclaiming that “The local time is always now,” and “Forever is a current event.” It’s thought-provoking sentiments like these that have made him one of the most interesting lyricists of his generation.
Bey himself has kept mum about his new musical endeavors, and it’s hard to tell if this Dec 99th series might be leading to a wider release, or if it’s just a fun sidetrack he’s pushing for the moment. In January, the rapper was arrested by South African officials for attempting to leave the country with a “world passport,” and for illegally helping his family stay in the country. He later hooked up with Kanye West over the phone and recorded a freestyle to explain the event and announcing his retirement from music, which Yeezy then posted up to his website. From the sounds of it, retirement hasn’t quite stuck as well as he hoped it would.
Listen to “Dec 99th – Local Time” below.