Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, recently sat down with GQ to talk about his name change and his sense of style and fashion. During the interview (photo by Steven Pan/GQ), the rapper explained why he decided to switch his name and how it stemmed from materialistic pressures.
“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,” he said. “At first it was just for friends and family, but now I’m declaring it openly.”
Bey also explained that when his grandfather passed away a few years ago, he decided to start wearing a shirt and tie every day, just as he did. He also touched on his fashio sense, stating how he enjoys coloring outside of the lines.
“I like drawing connections between pieces and patterns that would make someone else think, ‘Those two things would never go together.’ Well, to me they do,” he said. “I don’t have advice for people on how to dress. People should dress based on what they find beautiful. My best advice: Keep your clothes clean.”