It’s been a few months since Yasiin Bey changed his moniker from Mos Def. He hadn’t really expounded on the topic until recently. The Brooklyn lyricist sat down with GQ Magazine for the publication’s September 2012 issue and explained the reasoning behind the name change. “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 told GQ.
He also broke down his unique sense of style. In recent years, Bey’s been sporting a more classic look. “When my paternal grandfather passed a few years back, I started to wear a shirt and tie every day, like he did,” Bey said.. “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.” See below for a clip of Yasiin reciting rhymes for GQ. —Carl Chery (@cchery)