IT SEEMS THAT RAPPING FOR THE STRUGGLE HASN’T BEEN “COOL” FOR AWHILE NOW, WOULD YOU AGREE? DO YOU THINK IT HAS HURT HIP-HOP?
Whether struggle music is trendy in hip hop or not is of no consequence. Music about the struggle resonates far beyond any trend, and it always will. I’d rather have my career then some trendy rapper’s career any day.
I THINK YOU WOULD BE A GREAT TEACHER. YOU’VE BEEN ACTIVE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS, WILL THERE BE A TIME WHERE YOU FOCUS LESS ON MAKING MUSIC AND POSSIBLY MORE OF YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY MENTORING UP AND COMING ARTISTS?
Right now I run a label and I work with younger artists all the time. I don’t have to stop what I’m doing to do that.
HOW IS YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY COMING ALONG?
Pretty good, I havent worked on it since I started touring this summer though.
YOU RECENTLY REFERRED TO HERMAN CAIN AS “BIZARRO OBAMA” WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST BEEF WITH HIM?
I have no beef with Herman Cain. I just find it immensely entertaining that someone with that little knowledge of politics, world affairs and how people live is actually running for president. Cain is actually a distraction. Like a bad reality TV show.
DO YOU STILL CALL MOS, MOS? WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE NAME CHANGE? HOW DID YOU FINDOUT THE NEWS?
Mos has been Yasiin for quite some time, he just decided to make it his professional name. I alternate between Yasiin his nicknames. Mos Def is one of them.
WHAT WAS UP WITH BEST BUY NOT SELLING “HABITS OF THE HEART?
There was some issue with Best Buy’s retailers that affected many releases, not just Idle Warship. It should be straight now.
AS THE YEAR COMES TO A CLOSE SOON, WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011?
Black Star tour. Gutter Rainbows. Working on POC in Puerto Rico and Brazil. Idle Warship release.
FOR WHATEVER REASON, THERE ARE A LOT OF TALENTED PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET THAT NEVER MAKE IT. THAT BEING SAID, HOW MUCH HAS “LUCK” HELPED YOUR CAREER?
I dont believe in luck. Or I do but I call it skill, patience, ambition and hard work. Make your own luck.
HAWAII, HONOLULU SPECIFICALLY, HAS A SERIOUS HOMELESS PROBLEM. WHAT IS YOU STANCE ON THE HOMELESS PROBLEM IN AMERICA? DO YOU FEEL THE SOLUTION IS EASIER THAN THE GOVERNMENT MAKES IT OUT TO BE?
Part of the reason I support the occupy movement is because capitalism creates a mentality that says homeless people deserve what they get. Everyone can fall on hard times, especially when bankers work with corrupt politicians to take all the money. The homelessness problem is a result of that. We have enough resources in America for everyone to have a home without anyone compromising their individual freedoms.
IF YOU COULD JUMP ON A TIME MACHINE AND HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOURSELF 10 YEARS AGO, WHAT WOULD SOME OF THE THINGS YOU WOULD TALK TO YOURSELF ABOUT?
Women and money.