Yasiin Bey Expresses Doubts On Current Hip-Hop Culture: 'What's Happening Out Here?'

Courtesy of Hot 97
Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) during an interview with Hot 97.

Yasiin Bey, formally known as Mos Def, may have stepped out of the public eye for awhile, but he's been taking notes. In a new interview with Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning hosts, the reclusive rapper discusses his South Africa experience and the fickle music industry. 

Bey was arrested back in January 2016 for violating immigration laws in an attempt to leave South Africa and remained in the country until November 2016, when he was granted permission to leave South Africa. Speaking to the Hot 97 hosts, the Brooklyn-born rapper insisted that he did nothing "illegal" and felt that the country wanted to "make me a public example to discourage people from entering South Africa." 

The rapper later addressed hip-hop culture, expressing a bit of disappointment, and isn't looking to head back into the rap game anytime soon. "Man, look at the game -- like, Jesus Christ, what's happening out here?" Bey said. "What is happening in the industry where some of best and the brightest are just being like silent?"

“Even Jay [Z], he laid back for three or four years and got into a whole other thing before this 4:44 came out. So why is it that all these cats is like, ‘Hmm…' What’s up with the structure around our culture, which is unique to any other thing that’s happening in the world before or since it? Why we not hearing these voices?" he continued. "Why people don’t wanna engage the industries like that? It’s a very good question, and I think people know the answer.”

The Brooklyn rapper opened up about the lack of authenticity in today's music and said that today's rappers have shifted their focus to rap beefs and upholding a certain identity for social media. He later shouted out Dreamville's J.I.D as one of the new wave of artists on his radar. 

Watch Yasiin Bey's full interview below.