Hip-Hop fans have long known that Yasiin Bey aka the Mighty Mos Def is superb poet. Now readers of The Paris Review will recognize as well since one of the Brooklyn native's poems has been published in the renowned literary publication.
The name of the poem by the actor and rapper is "One Called Trill." The New York Post's report seems to be amazed that an MC could actually achieve such an accomplishment while using Hip-Hop vernacular. However the paper does properly cite the usage of the word "trill."
A poem by the rapper called “One Called Trill” has been published in the new issue of The Paris Review alongside a new story by acclaimed novelist James Salter and a piece on the SoHo art scene in the 1970s. Bey's verse includes the word “trill” seven times. Erudite readers may read the word as a musical term, meaning vibrato or warble. Hip-hop aficionados, of course, know it's slang for “true and real,” as in Texas rapper Bun B's banger “II Trill.”
Shout out to the Trill OG Bun B. We'll mention that the UGK rapper also teaches at universities since the Post didn't.
As for Mr. Bey, the most recent music the "Umi Says" rapper has released is a tune called "I Don't Like," a take on Chief Keef's hit song and the latest entry in his Top 40 Underground series/project.
The Winter issue of The Paris Review is available now for $15. Now go take a listen to the hook on Black Star's "Respiration." That's poetry, too.