Yasiin Bey, F.K.A. Mos Def, Thinks Drake Makes Pop Music, Not Hip-Hop

BYGabriel Bras Nevares5.4K Views
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Yasiin Bey Birthday Party
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16: Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def attends his birthday party at Brooklyn Museum on November 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images)
People calling this a diss are overreacting; if the Toronto superstar wasn't making pop music, he wouldn't be the Toronto superstar.

Yasiin Bey is a legend within hip-hop, and his decades of experience, knowledge, activism, social consciousness, and skill elevates his standards quite a lot. Moreover, he recently sat down with The Cutting Room Floor and, at one point, was asked by the program's host whether Drake is hip-hop. Well, you tell me: do you think that the man behind Black Star and Black on Both Sides is a massive fan of the 6ix God? While Bey, formerly and best known as Mos Def, didn't really diss him here, he did point to the commercial, agreeable, and non-remarkable nature of the game that Drizzy represents, for better or worse.

"Like, is Drake hip-hop?" host Recho asked the MC formerly known as Mos Def. "Why are you doing this to me?" Yasiin Bey replied, and you can tell throughout the whole segment, with some laughs in between, that he's trying not to go full scorched Earth and be as clear as possible. "Drake is pop to me. In the sense, like, if I was in Target in Houston, and I heard a Drake song. It feels like a lot of his music is compatible with... shopping. Or, as you know, shopping with an edge in certain instances.

Yasiin Bey Speaks On Drake: Watch

"Of course, I get it," Yasiin Bey continued about Drake. "It's likable. It's likable... 'Wooooo! So many products! So many SKUs! Look at all these SKUs (stock-keeping units, more commonly known as bar codes)! Oh, so many products. I love this mall! Look at this place. I mean, look at this place! They have everything, everything's here! They have everything here! Oh, this is great. This is the new Drake, do you hear it? It's great...'

"Okay. What happens when this thing collapses?" he concluded. "What happens when the columns start buckling? Are we not in some early stage of that at this present hour? Are we seeing, like, the collapse of an empire? Buying and selling, where's the message that I can use? You know, what's in it for your audience apart from, like, banging the pom-poms?" For more news and the latest updates on Drake and Yasiin Bey, stay up to date on HNHH.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.