Yasiin Bey has set the internet ablaze with snippets of his conversation about meaningless music being the soundtrack to consumerism with Recho Omondi of “The Cutting Room Floor” podcast.
In particular, a clip of the chat where he explores the connection between product consumption and Drake’s music has spurred a flood of reactions across social media.
When directly asked by Omondi if he would categorize the “Hotline Bling” artist as Hip Hop, Bey said, “Drake is pop to me.” The rapper formerly recognized by the stage name Mos Def further explained, “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.”
He quipped that Drizzy makes likable music but questioned if there was a more substantial offering aside from being likable. The Brooklyn native would go on to jokingly mock the voice of a patron being wooed to shop by Drake. “So many products! So many SKUs, look at all these SKUs. Oh, so many products! I love this mall! Look at this place. I mean, look at this place! They have everything! Everything’s here… Oh, this is great. It’s the new Drake, you hear it? It’s great,” he joked.
Similar to his thought-provoking lyrics, the Black Star standout offered a reflective moment when he asked, “What happens when this thing collapses? 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 the 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?”
Drake has faced recent criticism from those who say his catalog no longer serves Hip Hop fans, and that, instead, he has ended up making quick hits to cater to a younger audience. Bey’s comments were perceived as echoing a similar sentiment, and thus were met with backlash. But while some social media users attempted to diss his track record, his most thorough supporters came to his defense.
“Maybe people don’t know who Mos Def is. [He] purposely sabotaged his OWN success so that he could stay true to his values. To say he is bitter towards Drake’s success is kinda odd,” tweeted one fan. “You can take issues with what Mos Def said, but don’t lie and say that he can be easily out rapped because that is not true,” wrote another person. More reactions to the hot take can be viewed on the post below.