Brooklyn rapper Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def has recently revealed through a poem that he wasn't too thrilled about the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, the Barclays Center.
In a recent interview with Vulture, the Brooklyn rapper-actor explained the poem, which is titled "On.Center.stadium.status."
When asked why he wrote the poem, Mos said he's been writing poetry for most of his life, but that poetry has usually had a musical component added to it. Lately, however, he's been interested in having his poetry published without the musical aspect.
He was then asked where he was when he wrote the poem. "I wrote that in New Orleans on the day they were having the opening for Barclays," He told Vulture. "People were calling and asking, 'are you gonna be there? Are you gonna be there?' And it all just came to me, rather quickly." The artist now known as Yasiin Bey said people have looked at him as an "opponent" of the stadium. He wasn't sure if "opponent" was the appropriate word, but the fifth-generation Brooklynite was concerned about how the stadium's presence might impact the community. "I was concerned."
The rapper-actor couldn't really pinpoint what concerned him so much at the time, but a few weeks ago he saw something that sort of gave him his validation that Barclays Center wasn't the best idea after all. "I was on DeKalb and Flatbush, probably two months ago, and at the intersection, I saw these not-so-young men in standing traffic trying to sell bootleg Rolling Stones t-shirts. I thought, 'This is the trickle down effect of Barclays in the neighborhood?' I didn't think of it as a positive," Bey told Vulture.
Yasiin Bey also revealed he wasn't even sure he wanted the poem to be published at all as it may have been looked at as an attack on Nets co-owner and fellow Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z. Bey said he respects Jay-Z and even considers himself a fan of his. He did note he's not a fan of everything Hov has done, but he does respect him.
In 2009, Bey who was then known as Mos Def, actually dared Jay-Z to defend his "Greatest Rapper Alive Title."
Both rappers are from the Marcy Projects, however. There's a common bond, a mutual respect. The poem wasn't an attack on Jay-Z. It was simply a reflection of Bey's concerns on the stadium.
""Modzilla The Spine Winder
They Arrive In They best
Then It get worse
Artery burst" The rest of the poem is available here.