Yasiin Bey (formerly know as Mos Def) has been spending most of his time outside of the States in recent years, but during a rare appearance on U.S. soil, he took the time to explain why he's been keeping his distance.
In an interview with Beats By Dre, the Brooklyn rapper revealed that he hits a creative block, of sorts, when he's at home. But whatever he came up with overseas has certainly impressed Kanye West.
"America is a very challenging place for me," he said. "Sure, there [are] great business opportunities and familiarity and all of that. But given the social, political and economic climate, it is very difficult — unnecessarily difficult — to create to the degree of fullness, the type of robust creativity that I like to have, it's very difficult for me to produce right here.”
Yasiin Bey added that he needed to immerse himself in environments where he felt good, and that's affected the music he's making.
"What people are gonna hear from me now, or in the future, is much different than what they heard in 1999, or what they even heard in 2009," he said. "But the theme and the tones have to be so dynamic in nature because I'm different, the times are different, my skill level is different and more enhanced."
Kanye West is fan of the music that resulted from his change of scenery. Near the end of the interview you'll hear him explain that when he played new music for 'Ye, he had no words. He just asked him to run the track back.
Maybe he played Kanye new music after photobombing him and Kris Jenner?