The Apollo Theater and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents the final U.S. performances of one of hip hop’s most influential artists - yasiin bey (formerly known as Mos Def). These special engagements follow bey’s announcement earlier this year of his retirement from the music business and will kick-off at the Apollo Theater on Wednesday, December 21st, culminating at The Kennedy Center from Saturday, December 31st through Monday, January 2, 2017.
Every show will offer a unique musical experience for audiences with bey performing songs from a different album each night including The New Danger, True Magic, The Ecstatic, and Black on Both Sides, alongside new material. He will also be joined by surprise special guests for each performance. Additionally, The Kennedy Center shows will serve as a New Year’s Eve celebration and will feature a post-show party in the Grand Foyer. yasiin bey has appeared at both the Apollo Theater and Kennedy Center multiple times throughout his career.
“We are so excited to collaborate with the Kennedy Center on what will be a milestone moment in not only hip-hop history but also in popular culture. The Apollo is the epicenter of African American culture and has always been a nurturer and supporter of innovation and artistic brilliance, so it is only fitting that yasiin bey have his final U.S. performances here as his contributions to hip-hop, and music in general, are endless,” said the Apollo Theater’s Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes. “We are looking forward to creating an unforgettable and celebratory evening for Mr. bey and his fans as he enters the next phase in his career.”
Following his final U.S. performances, bey will venture to Africa to focus on his arts, culture, and lifestyle collective A Country Called Earth (ACCE). He will also continue to pursue his newly formed passions as a painter and his art, as well as that of various other ACCE artists, will be anonymously displayed at the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center.
The yasiin bey concerts mark the third collaboration between the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center. Past collaborations include Harlem Nights/U Street Lights starring Jazz pianist Jason Moran and Apollo Music Café: New Voices in Jazz featuring Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead.