Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) teamed up with Iraqi-Canadian artist Narcy (aka Yassin alSalman) and First Nation djs/producers A Tribe Called Red for a collaboration of mystic proportions. The video for their collaborative track R.E.D. is shot in various scenic locations in Morocco and issues an artful commentary on the modern concept of the nation state and borders, all to slamming indigenous drums. In the video, Narcy and Yasiin niqab-clad in disguise sneak past a border crossing of “Alie Nation.” In our favorite moment, a white turbaned Narcy ritually purifies himself with earth before making prayer at sunset. R.E.D.’s fervid visuals in addition to its thumping native drums and powerful lyrics create a great final result, Indigenous, Black, Arab, and Muslim united in music.
On directing his first music video, Narcy told XXL,
“It was an absolute honor for my directorial debut to be for artists as important and integral to the story of the world as A Tribe Called Red and Yasiin Bey,” Narcy said. “This time capsule and visual to R.E.D. is about one man finding himself, and reconnecting with Planet Earth. As an emissary of the Halluci Nation, I arrive to guide him back to himself, so he can find us again. It is the story of breaking ground, finding light and faith. It is about the power of our ancestors and the power of us. It is the beginning. The Callers of Names want us to forget, but we know where we are from. And we know where we are headed. For Kanata. For Africa. For Arabia.”