Watch: Mos Def Reinterprets “Niggas In Paris” as “Niggas In Poorest”
Actor and socially/politically conscious emcee Mos Def, now using the stage name Yasiin Bey, recently dropped his own interpretation of Jay-Z and Kanye‘s infectiously popular “Niggas In Paris.”
While the original song boasts of things that its largest fan base can only imagine, Bey provides a bit of a reality check.
“doctors say I’m the illest. I ain’t got no insurance. It’s them niggas who poorest, be them rebel guerillas.”
“Niggas In Poorest” is part of his Top 40 Underdogs series, in which the rapper plans to take Top 40 songs that he’s a fan of and spin them with his own perspective.
The project plans to cover a variety of current social and political issues. Read an excerpt from his YeahILoveIt interview about the project:
“Just look at “Children’s Story,” or even my version of Jay-Z’s “Takeover” in 2004. It is something that is really fun to do, you know, giving different perspectives on a familiar piece. There are a lot of songs on Top 40 Radio, not just in current day charts, that I have been a fan of and obviously my content is a lot different from what people would hear on Top 40 Radio to say the least. That being said, I am a fan of music and I seek for just another opportunity to express myself and give my point of view on certain things.”
The music video for “Niggas In Poorest” is split between scenes of Bey in the studio, movie clips, images of global unrest and an interlude featuring part of a speech by Malcolm X after he was forced out of the Nation of Islam 1964.
Since spotting the video for “Niggas In Poorest” on Necole Bitchie, there has been a misconception that Mos is throwing shade or dissing Jay-Z and Kanye, despite being friendly affiliated and signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label.
To fans, the track is no different than what we’re used to from the Brooklyn rapper, where he goes in on everyone and on every socio-economic level, no different than his verse on “What’s Beef.”
Mos does fire some shots at few connected people, governments and establishments. Toward the video’s end, there’s a quick mash-up of fallen empires, an Illuminati meeting, AIG and Merril Lynch, Richard Nixon, Hitler, Bush and Rick Santorum, Obama and much more while he chants “don’t get caught up in no throne.”
Another raging debate has to do with Mos Def‘s name change and more importantly, his religious affiliation… as if he hasn’t been Muslim most of his adult life and therefore, a Muslim since many of his so-called fans have been alive.
The outrage is mainly focused on the end of the video where Mos says “Allah is control.”