Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Here's a rather odd -- or fun, depending on who you ask -- story.
Yasiin Bey, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def, slammed the Barclays Center and fellow artist Jay-Z on the construction of the stadium, as he sat down on the night of its opening and penned the poem "On center.stadium.status." It wasn't released, however, until now.
The poem reads:
Bey, not to be confused with Jay-Z's wife Beyonce who is sometimes referred to as 'Bey,' was hesitant to release the poem -- penned last September -- until now, stating that he didn't want it to come off as an attack piece on Jay-Z.
The issue, or beef, if you will, had to do with the loss of homes and local business that were "swallowed" up in order to make room for the Barclays Center. It's a legitimate beef, one shared by many who lived in the area, but you have to wonder; why now?
It's not as if this move hadn't been years in the making. They didn't decide to move the Nets to Brooklyn on a Sunday and then have the official stadium opening that following Monday. Barclays, as they say, wasn't built in a day.
Bey did note that he didn't want to take away from Jay-Z's "victory lap," but, again, he's a tad bit late to the party. Some had been fighting against this development since 2003.
At any rate, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and there's plenty of reason and validity to Bey's poem, depending on who you ask, of course, but the stadium is built, the Nets are in Brooklyn, and here we are.
Maybe the more productive conversation could be had in a non-slam-battle-y kind of way, no? Or maybe it should have been had some years back, before the night of the stadium's grand opening.
- Mos Def on His Barclays Center Poem and Jay-Z - Amos Barshad - Vulture
- Former Mos Def Poetry-Slams the Barclays Center - Amos Barshad - Vulture