Yasiin Bey On Fans Wanting New Black Star Album: You Don’t Get To Tell Me What To Do

The artist formerly known as Mos Def calls streaming payouts a continuation of colonization.

Apparently, Yasiin Bey is not a big fan of how streaming services compensate the musicians who create the art distributed on those platforms. The emcee once known as Mos Def was a recent guest on Talib Kweli’s People’s Party Podcast.

“It’s not about streaming, that’s not the problem,” said Bey. “You mean to tell me that the source of labor at the center of this experience is supposed to be satisfied and grateful with receiving a portion of a penny for their efforts and labor?”

According to reports, the music streamers’ pay rates per play are around $0.00735 for Apple Music, $0.0074 for Amazon Music, $0.00069 for YouTube, $0.0125 for Tidal, and $.003-$.005 for Spotify.

It seems the current financial structure of the music business plays a part in Yasiin Bey not rushing to release the long-awaited Black Star reunion album with Talib Kweli. Bey talked about having to put his own needs over the expectations of the audience.

“You m############ don’t get to tell me what to do with what I make. It’s between me and God,” said the 47-year-old New Yorker, adding, “I appreciate your enthusiasm, but that s### is not a steering wheel on my back for you to start f###### spinning and doing donuts like I’m disappointing you. If you want the next Black Star album that bad, you make it. Oh, that’s right, you can’t.”

Talib Kweli has been teasing a sequel to 1998’s classic Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star for over a year. He told AllHipHop in 2020, “Trying to find the right deal for the Black Star album. There are a few on the table, but we have to choose the right situation and roll this out properly. The people deserve that.”

Later that year, Kweli blamed “too many interlopers and culture vultures” for the delay of the Black Star LP. According to the 45-year-old emcee/podcaster, the duo had a deal with producer Madlib but some unnamed individuals were attempting to make money for themselves from the arrangement.

Yasiin Bey went on to say, “I don’t like the way that the labor exchange is happening around it. And why wouldn’t I? What type of Frankenstein, Bugs Bunny, m############ math these n##### talking about? I’m supposed to get part of a f###### penny? Who looked at a f###### penny and decided it could be broken up into parts?”

The Bamboozled actor concluded, “The God that I serve ain’t interested in my misery. I’m not here to be miserable for none of these n#####, nobody. Myself included. I’m not interested in my own misery, so I’m not interested in the misery that anybody’s trying to put on my back. If you’re trying to tell me that I got to put [the Black Star album] out on your schedule and not get paid what it’s worth, but what you tell me it’s worth, then we’re always going to have a f###### problem.”