The artist formerly known as Mos Def covers the September 2012 pages of GQ looking as smart as ever.
Did you know that Mos even changed his name? Yea….we didn’t either.
Apparently the rapper and actor made the change back in 99′ to Yasiin Bey but is now fully embracing the change. He discusses the reason behind that decision, his ecclectic style, music and more!
On his 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.”
On Michael Jackson’s influence: “When my paternal grandfather passed a few years back, I started to wear a shirt and tie every day, like he did. 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.”
On his NYC clothing store Ale et Ange: “Hip-hop is the last true folk art. I got involved with Ale et Ange because it represents hip-hop in a way that isn’t pandering. It’s nice to see something that’s elegant, skillful, and raw.”
On his style:“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.”
Read more from Yasiin at GQ.com!
Photo Credit: Steven Pan / GQ