Rapper Yasiin Bey is best known by his stage name Mos Def. The conscious rapper, actor and activist burst onto the hip hop scene in 1994 as a member of Urban Thermo Dynamic, which included several of his siblings. His music has earned critical acclaim and alongside Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey is one half the duo Black Star. The duo is known for its lyrics, the message and for dropping knowledge. If Bey had been an economist he may have written Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.

In a 2016 interview about hip hop Yasiin Bey explained how the art from went from the “culture to the cult of personality to the cult of persona” and how the suits have co-opted the culture. In the process he may have explained the brilliance of the Shock Exchange which, in the words of RayNathan Skuggs – the “flavor that they savor up here neighbor.”


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