Yasiin Bey Addresses Jay-Z & Opposition To The Barclay's Center

Yasiin Bey Addresses Jay-Z & Opposition To The Barclay's Center

Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, recently spoke out about his opposition towards The Barclay's Center. In the interview he addresses his feelings towards fellow Brooklynite and minority owner of the Nets, Jay-Z, stating he does not want his comments to be seen as an attack.

Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, has never been shy to speak out about socio-political situations, even if they don't directly affect him. Recently the rapper shared his opinion on the new Barlcays Center in Brooklyn, New York, through a poem titled "On center.stadium.status." Now during an interview with Vulture, he expands on his viewpoint and attitude from the poem.

The artist formerly known as Mos Def explained the economic and demeaning effects the stadium has had on his hometown, where his 93-year-old grandmother has lived for 70 years. He also discussed the monetary issues, saying, "People lost their homes, people lost their business. Triangle Sports...been there 100 years...they gotta go! The Drake lyric, "Money over everything," I just don't agree with that as a business process or a worldview or anything." He added, "I was concerned about what the stadium's presence in the community might do." 

Bey also commented on Jay-Z, a part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, explaining he did not mean the poem to be a form of disrespect towards him.

"I was pretty hesitant to have it (the poem) published...I didn't want it to be misconstrued as some sort of personal attack on Jay...I have great respect for him..." Bey explained, "I'm from the town too...If I can't have an opinion, who can?"

Nonetheless,, Bey elaborated on where the stadium could have been built instead, such as Coney Island. He also felt Barclays did not display any humanitarian efforts this past fall during Hurricane Sandy, believing they should have done more to help.

"Brooklyn Tech was the hosting place for the elderly people that had to leave their nursing homes...and it was volunteers out there helping...I would have loved to see Barclays as a bus shelter even, for people waiting for the bus during Sandy. I would have loved to see that!" Bey continued, "It can be a source of good, not just entertainment and commerce."

You can read Yasiin Bey's full poem inspired by the Barclay's Center below. The "stadium.status" lyric is a direct quote from Kanye Wests' song "Big Brother," as Yasiin confirmed in his interview:

Modzilla The spine winder
Convenient future
Army base
They arrive in they best
Then it get worse
Dull scissors
Soft ribbon
Artery burst


    It’s simpler to kill
A stranger
Than it is
To slay
whose shadow alone
buries homes
And swallows streets
Pass gas then
Pick its teeth
Topple the trees
Flat earth
Unavailable light
Bright screens
Zeroes on
Zeroes and zeroes
Round screams

What did Brutus tell Ceasar as he aired him out?
“Lord it’s Hell in that crowd”

Dig a grave
& build on top
& build
On top
Dig a grave
& thrill on
& kill on
On center.



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