Update: Mos Def Says He’s Reached Out To Drake To Settle Their Differences After Saying He Makes Pop Music Not Hip Hop: ‘You Are A Very Talented MC’ 

Mos Def, Drake

Update: Mos Def Says He’s Reached Out To Drake To Settle Their Differences After Saying He Makes Pop Music Not Hip Hop: ‘You Are A Very Talented MC’ 

Update #2: (Jan. 30, 2024): Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is trying to work things out with Drake.

You may recall that earlier this month the “UMI Says” lyricist made headlines for labeling Drake’s work as pop music that’s “compatible with shopping.” During a live stream on Monday (January 29), Yasiin Bey elaborated on what he meant while giving Drake his praises. He also revealed that he’s reached out to their mutual friend Dave Chappelle in hopes of helping them have a conversation to settle their differences.

He expressed,

“Drake, if you’d like to speak to me directly, you can at any point. I reached out to [Dave] Chappelle, actually reached out to you. I DM’d you. You are a very talented MC, but for me, I require more of myself and others than just talent or charm or charisma — particularly in times of urgent crisis. And what I would like to see in terms of creators or creative people in the world, as it relates to our culture, is for people to connect with us beyond the jukebox or the dance floor.”

Yasiin Bey added,

 “A fair-weather friend can hardly be called a friend at all. The people who party with you — that’s cool. But will they show up for you when you’re at the triage?”

No word just yet on whether Drake accepted Yasiin Bey’s olive branch or not.


Update #1: (Jan. 16, 2024): Do you consider Canadian artist Drake to be a part of Hip Hop?

During a recent interview, legendary rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, said he wouldn’t classify Drake as a Hip Hop artist but more so as someone who makes commercial-friendly “pop” music. His comments sparked a large debate online and the “God’s Plan” artist is finally ready to weigh in on the matter. Drake responded to Yasiin Bey’s remarks by posting an old interview clip of Method Man sharing what the genre of music means to him. He says,

“Hip Hop is a culture. It’s a way of life, the way you dress, the way you talk, the way you walk. It’s the breakdancing, rhymes, stage show, DJ, mixing and scratching, the wordplay. That’s Hip Hop.”

Drake captioned the video with a quote from Yasiin Bey’s song “UMI Says,” writing,

“What umi say again? Lemme shine my light king don’t change up now [laugh emoji]” 


Original Story: (Jan. 14, 2024): Rap star Drake is at the center of a heated online discussion.

Following his artistry being critiqued by hip-hop icon Mos Def, both supporters and naysayers of the Canada native have chimed in to share their thoughts.


The subject of the conversation is whether or not Aubrey ‘Drake‘ Graham is considered a pop or hip-hop artist. Debates about the topic began following an interview Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey, 50, appeared in, where he stated:

“Drake is pop to me…in the sense 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….Or shopping with an edge in certain instances… It’s likable.”

After letting out a giggle and seemingly reflecting on his comment, he added:

“What happens when this thing collapses?…What happens when the columns start buckling? Are we not in some early stage of that, at this present hour? Are we seeing the collapse of the empire? Buying and selling, where’s the message that I can use? What’s in it for your audience apart from banging the pom-poms?

Mos Def

It seems that Mos Def’s comment may have been in response to a previous DM from Drake. While seemingly responding to a prior critique of his music, the 37-year-old wrote:

“Can you do an article now where the baddest Instagram girls in the world review my poetry book not the head of Mos Def fan club…thanks”

While it doesn’t appear that the OVO records founder has responded to Mos Def’s most recent remarks about his music at this time, his fans didn’t hesitate to come to his defense. Many Drake supporters have since been pushing back at the notion he isn’t a hip-hop artist by sharing their favorites of his projects. One user shared a snippet of his song “Say What’s Real” from his 2009 mixtape “So Far Gone”, writing:

“You guys say Drake isnt a rapper and cant rap but yet never listened to “Say What’s Real”. You guys just go with these narratives. They hate on Drake because he sings and makes R&B records. Dont hate cause he adapted to the culture and stayed on top for so long. 3 min of RAP”

While another user shared the cover art from Drake’s 2015 mixtape “If You’re Reading This Its Too Late”, adding:

“if you believe Drake is a pop artist just listen to this album and you’ll realize what you believe is you being delusional”

However, this wasn’t a general consensus across the board. While many others did join arguing in favor of the Grammy award winner being hip-hop, many others seemed to agree with Mos Def’s stance. The conversation especially got a bit intense as social media users began to compare the two musician’s careers and personal lives.

It does not appear the Mos Def has said anything further on the matter at this time.

Do you consider Drake a hip-hop artist? Tell us in the comments below!

Authored by: Kay Johnson