Yasiin Bey celebrated the 20th anniversary of his fantastic solo debut, Black on Both Sides, in his birthplace of Brooklyn on Sunday night. The sold-out Brooklyn Steel show was a low-key affair, mostly just Yasiin and his DJ and the many classics on the album (including “Umi Says,” “Brooklyn,” “Ms. Fat Booty,’ “Speed Law”), but his words and magnetic personality were more than enough to carry the night. He did bring out Pharoahe Monch for “Oh No” (from 2008’s Universal B-Boy, Part 3) and “Simon Says” from Monch’s Internal Affairs (which also came out in 1999).
The biggest surprise was the encore, where Yasiin brought out Dave Chappelle for an extended riff session that also had Tiffany Haddish on stage as well. Dave and Yasiin were hanging out at Comedy Cellar with Michael Che in the days leading up to the Brooklyn Steel show. Yasiin had also been a part of Robert Glasper’s Blue Note residency in October.
The night began with fellow ’90s hip hop vets Camp Lo who definitely had the crowd primed (and Yasiin came out at one point).