All Articles Tagged "Yasiin Bey"
‘I Have Been What Some People Might Call An Opponent:” Mos Def Explains Why He Hasn’t Hopped On Jay-Z’s Barclays Center Bandwagon
Über-talented rapper and actor,
Mos Def Yasiin Bey has been less than quiet regarding his apprehension about the newly constructed Barclays Center, which is conveniently located downtown Brooklyn, New York, despite his deep Brooklyn roots. The night of the stadium’s September opening, the 39-year-old wordsmith took to his pen and pad and composed a poem entitled, “On center.stadium.status.” Through the poem, he expressed the heaviness that he felt in regard to the stadium and what it could mean for the Brooklyn community. Yasiin recently sat down with Vulture Magazine and pulled no punches as he expressed his reasoning behind the poem and why it’s nothing personal against Jay. Check out what he had to say.
On why the Barclays Center concerns him:
“I was on DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush, probably two months ago, and at the intersection I saw these not-quite-so-young men, in standing traffic, trying to sell bootleg Rolling Stones T-shirts. I thought, “This is the trickle-down economic effect of Barclays in the neighborhood?” I didn’t think of it as a positive.
On his reasoning behind writing the poem:
“I have been what some people might call an opponent to the stadium. I was concerned about what the stadium’s presence in the community might do. I was concerned.”
On why he chose to express his views in poem format instead of a song:
“I didn’t want it to be misconstrued as some sort personal attack on Jay. If I can’t have an opinion, who can? So to quote Jay: “I’m bigging up my borough. I’m big enough to do it.’”
On what Barclays Center representatives can do to change his mind:
“I would love for Barclays and the NBA and whoever else to prove me wrong, by engaging in the community, not just on some [surface] level for the photo op. But to really be concerned with enriching the lives of people in that community.”
On not being a Jay-Z hater:
“I respect Jay. I have great respect for him. I’m a fan. I’m not a fan of everything [he does] but I don’t think you have to be a fan of everything that someone does to have respect for them.”
You can check out Mos Def’s poem on the next page. What do you think of his opposition?
Have you ever dated a man who was visually appealing but once he opened his mouth you realized, so sadly, that he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box? It’s tragic. A pretty face will take you far but if that’s all you have to offer, it gets really old, really fast. It’s always nice to have some knowledge inside a pretty face. Check out the celeb men who meet the requirement.
I guess it’s time to accept that at some point in a celebrity’s career he’s going to change his name. Dante Smith, formerly known as Mos Def, is the latest rapper to do so, now going by the name Yasiin Bey.
Last fall, Mos said he had plans to change his name to Yasiin in 2012, but neither he nor his publicist confirmed what his full name would be at the time. Now with the release of a video for his new track, “N****s in Poorest,” Yasiin Bey is debuting his new moniker to the world. He told Entertainment Weekly in September:
“Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated through the years… I feel that I’ve done quite a bit with that name. It’s time to expand and move on.”
In moving on, Yasiin has released the “Top 40 Underdog” series which features this new song as a play off of Jay-Z and Kanye’s highly successful “N****s in Paris.” Yasiin’s track takes a more serious look at what’s really going on in society today, particularly economically, as he tells listeners “Dont Get Caught Up in No Throne.” Yasiin dropped the video on Tuesday to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Listen here and tell us what you think about the song and Mos Def’s new name.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- My BFF: The Non-Celebrity Besties of The Famous
- Quarterback Calls Off Wedding Hours Before Ceremony
- Do White People Make You Uncomfortable?
- True Life: I Knew He Wasn’t Into Me When…
- Saying One Thing and Doin Another: Celebs Who Lack Consistency
- ’90s One-(Or Two) Hit Wonders Whose Jams Make Us Want a Comeback
- Black Girls Rock It Across The Pond: Snaps From The 2012 Brit Awards
- Are You Being Used? Signs You’ve Got a “Temporary” Friend on Your Hands