Common Defends Drake After Yasiin Bey ‘Pop’ Criticism

Common has defended Drake after Yasiin Bey criticized the Canadian rap star by calling him a “pop” artist.

During an appearance on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning on Wednesday (January 24), the Chicago rap legend weighed in on Bey’s recent comments and the wider discussion about Drake’s place in Hip Hop culture.

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Common defended his former rival, saying: “I wrote a song called ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.’ and that joint was really speaking to when it started becoming real corporate and losing the purity of it. I think now, artists can be artists. Some people, if their intention is to just be a pop artist, then so be it.”

“To me, I think Drake comes from Hip Hop,” he continued. “When I first heard him rhyming,  I was like, ‘Yo, this dude rhyming.’ And if he goes out and makes songs that are popular, then that’s what it is. He’s still an MC.

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“The dude is an incredible songwriter, he’s an incredible artist. You can’t touch that many people, for as long a time as he’s been doing […] This man has touched different aspects of culture and been able to continue to do it. You gotta have some respect and know that this dude is a very talented artist.”

Despite their difference in opinion, Common praised Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), who is one of his closest friends and collaborators in Hip Hop.

“Yasiin is a genius, man” he said. “I’ve been around that dude and watched him as an actor, as an artist and listened to a lot of his raps and he is very high level when it comes to poetic rap — not even just poetic rap, but I’m saying he has poetry within his rap. He can style on anything. He can do a lot.”

Watch his comments at the 23:40 mark.

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Yasiin Bey’s comments about Drake came during an interview with The Cutting Room Floor earlier this month, where he labeled the OVO hitmaker a “pop” artist and said his music is “compatible with shopping.”

Although he later praised the 6 God’s music as “likeable,” Bey joked that his songs are an ideal backdrop for commerce.

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Drake responded by posting an old video online of Method Man explaining what Hip Hop is to him and writing: “What umi say again? Lemme shine my light king don’t change up now,” referencing Yasiin Bey’s classic song “Umi Says.”

He also called the Black Star MC a “Bohemian Bucket,” Toronto slang for a “crackhead,” after a story about Bey’s alleged drug-fueled marriage in the city resurfaced.

Yasiin Bey Labeled A Hypocrite Over Paris Fashion Week Performance After Drake Criticism

Yasiin Bey Labeled A Hypocrite Over Paris Fashion Week Performance After Drake Criticism

As for Common and Drake, the pair had a brief feud over a decade ago after Drizzy took issue with a lyric he perceived to be written about him, which Common later confirmed was.

The two rappers traded disses on songs such as “Sweet” and “Stay Schemin’” (which Common later remixed), with rumors suggesting the beef was over tennis star Serena Williams.

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The pair quickly buried the hatchet after meeting at the Grammys in 2012.

“When we had that beef, that beef was for real for me. It was real for him,” Common said on Big Boy’s Neighborhood. “We saw each other at the Grammys and it was like a little tension.

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“And then it was just like a real honest talk that we had about, like, his respect for me. I was letting him know I thought he was a really dope and talented artist and we just squashed it then.”

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