Beats By Dre recently posted to their YouTube page, hip-hop artist Yasiin Bey (the artist formerly known as Mos Def ) as he expresses why he left the U.S. and allows us to get a glimpse into his inner life. “It’s really America’s a very challenging place for me. Sure, there’s great opportunities, familiarity and all that. But given the current social, political, economic climate, it’s very difficult. Unnecessarily difficult. I’m different, times are different, my skills are different”.
Last year, around this time he had to cancel festivals and appearances here in the U.S. However, he appeared back in the U.S. by performing May 1 at the Metro in Chicago. The artist/actor moved to Cape Town, South Africa, from his native Brooklyn one year ago. Rolling Stone captured his keynote speech in last year to Music Exchange, a conference for film, music and entertainment. In it he spoke about his time in New York and his disenchantment with America, saying, “Sure, [Cape Town is] a beautiful place, you got the ocean, the mountain, the botanical garden, the beautiful people, the history, the culture, the struggle and everything — maaan, let me tell you something, for a guy like me, who had five or six generations not just in America but in one town in America to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America. During his exclusive interview with Beats By Dre he says now he moves different and spends more time on one piece rather than several records all at once. Due to the environment Bey is in now he is able to create to the degree of fullness and his creativity flows better than here.