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Yasiin Bey Apologizes to Drake: ‘You’re a Very Talented MC’

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Yasiin Bey has decided to address the divided opinion that accompanied his very popular comments about Drake’s music. The Brooklyn rapper, formerly known as Mos Def hopped on Instagram Live late Monday evening (Jan. 29) to clarify that his intention wasn’t to slander or mock the Canadian.

“I have reached out to him. I have no response yet but I’m not keen to talk about people or to them through a screen. I prefer to talk to people directly,” Bey said, before expressing admiration for Drake’s talent. 

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“But I will say this, the young man is very talented,” he added. “He’s been able to be very successful with that talent and I have no issue with that success or anything he’s been able to achieve as a result of his talent.” 

He went on to say that Drake has received “Mean-spirited and unfair” criticism in the past. “I don’t want to participate in that. And if I was perceived to be harsh or mocking or taunting, that is not my intention. Drake if you’re watching, that’s not my intention.” 

While urging Drake to connect directly if he wishes to, Bey emphasized the need for creators to engage beyond entertainment, particularly in times of difficulty. “I require more of myself and others than just talent or charm or charisma, particularly in times of urgent crisis.”

“And what I would like to see in terms of creators or creative people in the world, as it relates to our culture, is for people to connect with us beyond the jukebox or the dance floor,” he added. “A fair-weather friend can hardly be called a friend at all. The people who party with you, that’s cool. But will they show up for you when you’re at the triage?”

Bey’s original comments came from The Cutting Room Floor podcast, where he referred to Drake as “Pop” and suggested his music felt “compatible with shopping” at stores like Target. 

Drake did not appreciate Bey’s remarks, and he responded with a subtle diss on his Instagram story. He quoted Bey’s own lyrics from “Umi Says,” and told him not to “switch up now.”

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