The artist formerly known as Mos Def n.k.a. Yasiin Bey has added his name to the list of Brooklynites opposed to the new Barclays Center located in downtown Brooklyn. In an interview with Vulture, the veteran MC shed light on his views toward the multi-million dollar sports complex and the casualties that have fallen victim to its introduction to the community, namely small businesses and displaced residents.
"I didn’t think of it as a positive...people lost their homes, people lost their businesses," Bey stated. "And the people in the neighborhood don't yet benefit from the stadium's presence in the community."
Bey even went as far as to voice his opinion in the form of a poem titled On.center.stadium.status. The rapper and actor described the giant sports arena as a villainous entity that manipulates and feasts on his beloved community.
"Whose shadow alone buries homes and swallows streets pass gas then picks its teeth," he wrote.
However passionate the rapper may feel on the matter, he remained mindful not to discredit or ignite conflict between himself and fellow Brooklyn MC Jay-Z, who was instrumental in the building of the arena that houses the NBA team (Brooklyn Nets) and is part owner of. Bey went on to explain his original reluctance to publish the poem.
"I was actually pretty hesitant to have it published, because I didn’t want it to be misconstrued as some sort personal attack on Jay," Bey revealed. "I respect Jay. I have great respect for him...I'm from the town too. If I can’t have an opinion, who can?"
While the Monster’s Ball actor said he’d let bygones be bygones for now, he did let on to hopes of having a future discussion with Jay and activist Harry Belafonte on the matter.
"I also was speaking to Harry Belafonte, and I’m hoping that at some point in the future, I could get me, Mr. Belafonte and Jay together to have a meeting of the minds."
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