Mos Def Says Drake's Music Isn't Hip-Hop, Compares It to a Shopping Mall Playlist

The rapper even included an improv bit as a shopping mall patron listening to Drake

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Jan 15, 2024

As a hip-hop legend, Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, has a somewhat self-imposed responsibility as gatekeeper of the genre. The Brooklyn rapper and actor weighed in on Drake's catalogue — which he doesn't think qualifies as hip-hop — this weekend.

"Why are you doing this to me?" he asked his interviewer on The Cutting Room Floor before absolutely going in on Drake's music, complete with an improv bit. "Drake is pop to me, in the sense that, like, if I was in Target in Houston and I heard a Drake song ... it feels like a lot of his music is compatible with shopping." 

"It's likeable ... it's likeable," he chuckled, before going full method as a shopping mall patron. "So many products! So many SKUs! Look at all these SKUs! Oh, so many products. I love this mall ... Oh, this is great. This is the new Drake, you hear it?"

Although several would argue that Drake certainly does make hip-hop music despite being out-rapped by guests J. Cole, Sexyy Red and Yeat on his latest full-length effort For All the Dogs, he's also dabbled in pop ("Hotline Bling," "One Dance," etc.) and dance (Honestly, Nevermind) throughout his career. 

At the same time, Bey earned OG status by penning three widely renowned hip-hop albums from the late '90s to early 2000s, including his iconic 1999 debut Black on Both Sides

Watch Bey deliver his verdict on Drake's hip-hop status below.

A post shared by OMONDI (@omndi)


Latest Coverage