In a conversation with journalist Ferrari Sheppard, Yasiin Bey cleared the air regarding a supposed challenge he issued to rappers to face him, Black Thought and King Los in a war of words. Calling the video that surfaced “barbershop, ‘around the way with the crew’ talk,” the rapper formerly known as Mos Def made it clear that he would “rather be filing paperwork at the post office” than to engage in a battle for battling’s sake.
“I see certain people, I have an opinion about them. It’s a private opinion made public I will say again, without my knowledge or permission or consent, so that’s a violation,” Bey told Sheppard. “I stand behind the statement, but at the same time, I’m not trying to arrange some sort of exhibition of that reality.”
Sharing that his son advised him not to speak out on the battle because his statement would seem contradictory, Bey instead decided to discuss the “bloodsport” hip-hop atmosphere, courtesy of a recent beef between Drake and Meek Mill. Calling the current climate “another Fight Night type of atmosphere,” Yasiin Bey vowed not to participate in the spectacle.
“I want to take this opportunity to address this entire atmosphere that’s surrounding us. I know a lot of people are on it because of what happened with Drake and Meek, and they want to see another version of it; it’s just like another Fight Night type of atmosphere,” he said. “We are the only culture that this atmosphere has been constructed around. Some of that is self-perpetuated, but all of it is not self-inflicted. It’s threatening to turn the whole thing–or a fair portion of the thing–into some gladiator tournament.”
As for Lupe Fiasco, who accepted Yasiin Bey’s rap challenge by way of a Quentin Miller joke, the 41-year-old Brooklyn native wished the Chicago MC success and clarified that no beef existed between the two.
“Lupe, you cool, do your thing man. There’s no conflict over here. There’s no bonanza or spectacle that I’m going to provide in that way. I’m not interested in that at all. But much success to you.”
Listen to Yasiin Bey clear the air below: