Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, Talks About His Move to South Africa

The entire interview is the artist at his most thoughtful.

By Jamilah King Mar 13, 2014

Yasiin Bey gave a beautifully thoughtful interview to Rolling Stone after Cape Town, South Africa’s big Music Exchange art conference in which he talks about everything from being inspired by his younger brother’s effort to overcome partial paralysis to wanting to "make great literature, using Hip Hop as the medium." He’s lived in Cape Town for nearly a year and had this to say about his move:

So many fantastic people in almost every area of endeavor. And yet, I see the same dynamic people, many of them doubtful or fearful, or feeling like what they have to offer is beautiful only to them and not valued by the world, and that there’s not quite a place in the world for it. And I find it curious that all of this enthusiasm that all of the rest of the world has for Africa in general and South Africa in particular is not really shared as heartily by Africans themselves. I find that to be very, very, very curious. Because I’ve seen some beautiful places. I’ve been to Brazil numerous times, all throughout Asia, all throughout the best places in Europe, the best places in the States, even as far as some of Scandanavia. Amazing talent, amazing places. But nobody, excluding any place, is like Africa. Nobody. And that’s not a past-time or history, that’s today–the arts, the crafts, the thoughts, the concepts, the energy, the people that are comin out of this continent are unlike any other in the world.

The entire interview captures the artist at his most thoughtful, reminiscing about how he fell in love with hip-hop and got his start in acting. Read more over at Rolling Stone South Africa