Mos Def has been a respected name in the hip hop community for years, known for his lyrical creativity and poetic skills. Apparently, people close to the rapper have been referring to him as “Yasiin Bey” for many years, but he only recently made it a name for the public to use as well. He is featured in the September issue of GQ magazine, and shared details as to what motivated him to switch up his name from Mos Def to Yasiin Bey, as well as what influenced him to switch up his overall style.
“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.”
Bey credited his change in style and how he dresses to the passing of his grandfather and Michael Jackson as well.
“When my paternal grandfather passed a few years back, I started to wear a shirt and tie every day, like he did. Michael Jackson’s death had a big impact on me, too. Right before the Ecstatic tour in 2009, I began wearing loafers and high-waisted pants. And that’s where my look started.”