Mos Def Responds To Backlash Over Saying Drake Isn’t Hip-Hop

Drake Mos Def Yasiin Bey

Mos Def insisted Drake is a “very talented MC,” and said he wasn’t trying to be “mean-spirited and unfair” with his take on Drizzy’s music.  

Yasiin Bey—better known as Mos Def— is clarifying his remarks after facing backlash for saying Drake doesn’t make Hip-Hop and comparing his catalog to background music at Target. 

His take became a trending topic, with many criticizing the veteran MC’s remarks. Two weeks after going viral, he took to Instagram Live Monday evening (January 29) with a message for the OVO founder.  

Mos Def insisted he wasn’t trying to “slander him or to clown on him.” He also revealed he reached out to Drake but hasn’t heard back.

“I will say this, the young man is very talented,” he added. “He’s been able to be very successful with that talent and I have no issue with that success or anything he’s been able to achieve as a result of his talent.” 

He went on to say that Drake has received “mean-spirited and unfair” criticism in the past. “I don’t want to participate in that,” Mos Def stated. “And if I was perceived to be harsh or mocking or taunting, that is not my intention. Drake if you’re watching, that’s not my intention.” 

Mos Def Says He Requires More From Drake

Mos Def also had some feedback for Drake. “You are a very talented MC,” he shared. “But for me, I require more of myself and others than just talent or charm or charisma—particularly in times of urgent crisis. And what I would like to see in terms of creators or creative people in the world, as it relates to our culture, is for people to connect with us beyond the jukebox or the dance floor.” 

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Drake reacted to Mos Def’s previous remarks via his Instagram Story earlier this month.  

“What umi say again? Lemme shine my light, king, don’t switch up now,” Drizzy wrote. 

“Drake is pop to me,” Mos Def said in his interview with The Cutting Room Floor podcast. “It feels like a lot of his music is compatible with shopping.” 

In his Instagram live Monday, Mos Def said he answered the question “as honestly and diplomatically” as he possibly could. He added, “Forgive my Brooklyn.”