In a year already wrought with losses great and small, Muhammad Ali passed away at 74 years old last night (June 3). Tributes of all kinds have begun to flood the internet (including one from friend Kareem Abdul-Jabar), but one of the most impassioned tributes to The Greatest was already made four years ago.
Yasiin Bey worked with Louis Vutton, calligrapher Niels Shoe Meulman, and director Stuart McIntuyre to produce two shorts giving props to Ali and his legacy. “Ali fights great, he’s got speed and endurance/But if you sign on to fight him, increase your insurance,” Bey quips in the first clip called “Word” while Meulman paints words on the ground of a boxing ring.
By the time “Dream” rolls around, Bey is directly reciting one of Ali’s most famous speeches. As a figure who was unapologetically straightforward about his politics, his religion, and his overall ability, this is a tribute that continues to serve him well.