Over the weekend, the dynamic duo of Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli – collectively known as Black Star – rocked Club Nokia in Los Angeles much to the delight of a packed house. Running through their bevy of classic joints this past Saturday, Bey and Kweli both appeared to be in top form. After the set, however, Yasiin Bey spoke candidly about Palestine, this after he and his rhyme partner flipped a lyric (“Let’s get free just like the Palestinians!”) in their smash song “Re: DEFinition” which shouted out the war torn country.
The artist formerly known as Mos Def chopped it up with Electronic Intifada’s Sama’an Ashrawi backstage in the wee hours of the morning. Speaking directly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has raged on for years over the “Holy Land” revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, Bey spoke about why the struggle resonates with those abroad.
“I think it’s a common struggle for all people, [who are] looking for true balance and justice in the world,” said Bey after answering a question about the lyric. “Wherever their local geography is, it’s beside the point. There are corresponding points all across the map for struggle.”
The Black On Both Sides rapper continued explaining the Palestine mention with, “You just hear about what’s going on in the world and you say, ‘Hey, that don’t have to be like that’ [and ] it could be better, it could be different, it could be where nobody gets hurt…where nobody’s at risk.”
In unrelated news, Bey’s commercial campaign, “The Greatest Words,” with designer Louis Vuitton continues with a new clip featuring the charismatic actor and MC along with painter and visual artist Niels Shoe Meulman. Bey pays a fitting tribute to the iconic boxer Muhammad Ali, offering a stirring spoken word piece while Meulman paints an elaborate piece in the middle of a boxing ring.
Check out the interview with Mr. bey below, and the LV commercial on the next page.
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