I've been fortunate with my acting career. A lot of scripts come to me. I don't mind auditioning if something that requires that, but I haven't had to in awhile, which is a nice place to be 'cause I've been on quite a lot of auditions in my life.
I like to read the 'Financial Times' when I'm traveling. 'Economist.' 'Ad Busters.'
You're not gonna get through life without being worshipful or devoted to something. You're either devoted to your job, or to your desires. So the best way to spend your life is to try to be devoted to prayer, to Allah.
To me, the job of the artist is to provide a useful and intelligent vocabulary for the world to be able to articulate feelings they experience everyday, and otherwise wouldn't have the means to express in a meaningful and useful way.
Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can't articulate.
If you're going to do Chuck Berry, you got to, you know, go all out, and the duck walk is just kind of you know, cursory. That's like standing.
Bob Marley performed the 'One Love Peace' concert in Jamaica with the two different warring political sides. There's always been that in black music and culture in general. It's no surprise because black music is such a reflection of what's going on in black life. It's not unusual for hip-hop.
Record companies are not necessarily interested in you realizing your artistic dream. The bottom line is that they got to sell records.
I'm not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude, that's a buzz kill. There's got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
African art is functional, it serves a purpose. It's not a dormant. It's not a means to collect the largest cheering section. It should be healing, a source a joy. Spreading positive vibrations.
I come from a family of very devout, praying people. That idea of peace and love toward humanity shouldn't be nationalistic or denominational. It should be a chief concern for all mankind.
That idea of peace and love toward humanity shouldn't be nationalistic or denominational. It should be a chief concern for all mankind.
But even creeps deserve to live someplace halfway decent.
Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated over the years it's a name that the streets taught me a figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment and I feel I've done quite a bit with that name and it's time to expand and move on.
Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated over the years. It's a name that the streets taught me, a figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment.
I began to fear that Mos Def was being treated as a product, not a person, so I've been going by Yasiin since '99. At first it was just for friends and family, but now I'm declaring it openly.
Everything's got space between it, the planets, trees, your eyes. Your eyes get too close together, it's a whole different world. You can lose perspective.
I just don't think it's very dignified to ask people to like you. You can just wind up being somebody's ottoman.
That's what I've been trying to strive for - to draw a clear picture, to open up a new dimension.
The ability to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words - that's magical. That's what I've been trying to strive for - to draw a clear picture, to open up a new dimension.