This past Sunday at the Mayan, Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey) was the headlining act of Rhythm Fest along with Inspectah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan. It was a show not like any I have covered. Hip hop shows from what I have experienced, do not have a lot of order. The stage tends to be covered with videographers, photographers and other entourage members. Which while crowded and at times uncomfortable, it sure does add to the excitement.
During the opening acts photographers rushed the stage, especially during Inspectah Deck. I kind of got tired of having photographers always in my shots, so I said “what the hell?” and took the opportunity to get on stage and take some photos. It was a good experience to have sharing the stage with a member of Wu-tang Clan for a minute or two.
Deck ended his set around 11:15PM and then another artist came up. I had thought that Mos Def would have followed Deck but that was not the case. The guy (sorry I have no idea what his name is, he did talk about Nas a lot though) played till about Midnight and then Mos Def finally came out. He scattered rose petals all over the stage and had the lighting guy put on the red lights (which is a nightmare for a photographer), and the poet finally began.
The fans were really into every performer of the night. They waved their Wu-Tang hands up and rapped along with the artists. It was truly an evening of peace, and good hip hop.
Check out the photos below.
Photography & Words: Wes Marsala
Originally Written for GrimyGoods.com, April 28, 2015