Yasiin Bey (f.k.a. Mos Def) responded to a leaked video of himself declaring that he could take on any other rapper in a battle in an interview with Ferrari Sheppard last night, attempting to shut down the counterclaims of artists like Lupe Fiasco and King Los. “I stand behind the statement,” he told Sheppard, “but at the same time I’m not trying to arrange some sort of exhibition.”
Bey’s main point was to critique rap culture at large, saying that the media frenzy surrounding tiffs like the ongoing saga of Drake and Meek Mill was detrimental to the scene. “We are the only culture that this atmosphere has been constructed around,” he said. “It’s threatening to turn a fair portion of the thing into a gladiator tournament.”
The rapper reiterated that “these were private opinions that were made public,” adding that “there’s a lot of people out here who’s asses I think I could kick, but I’m not out here trying to arrange fights with them.”
He then shouted out a recent critique of Drake that appeared on Pitchfork, saying the piece is “a very interesting analysis of this whole circus type of atmosphere.” Listen to the full commentary below, and try not to be too disappointed that it doesn’t sound like we’re going to be getting a Bey/Lupe battle anytime soon.