Mos Def quotes

  • I don't want to waste anyone's time or money. I want to give people some truth and positive heart lift.
    -- Mos Def

    #Heart #Giving #People

  • I want to be necessary and do good works. I ain't here to waste nobody's time, because I don't want you to waste mine.
    -- Mos Def

    #Waste #Want #Good Work

  • You want to know how to rhyme, then learn how to add. It's mathematics.
    -- Mos Def

    #Want #Add #Mathematics

  • I learned [playing Chuck Berry] that there's something to be said for the courage of conviction, that sense of belief, being bold enough to believe in your vision. And there's a quote that really fits his particular energy. It says - they say don't go where the path may lead, but go where there's no path and leave a trail. I think that's exactly what Chuck did, you know. It's an inspiration to a lot of folks, not just musicians, but people everywhere.
    -- Mos Def

    #Believe #Inspiration #Thinking

  • Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can't articulate.
    -- Mos Def

    #Art #Vocabulary #People

  • They say that when a man faces his destiny, the destiny ends and he becomes the man that he really is.
    -- Mos Def

    #Destiny #Men #Faces

  • That idea of peace and love toward humanity shouldn't be nationalistic or denominational. It should be a chief concern for all mankind.
    -- Mos Def

    #Ideas #Humanity #And Love

  • Fear not of men because men must die. Mind over matter and soul before flesh.
    -- Mos Def

    #Fear #Men #Soul

  • Hip-hop is a beautiful culture. It's inspirational, because it's a culture of survivors. You can create beauty out of nothingness.
    -- Mos Def

    #Beautiful #Hip Hop #Hips

  • We can be beautiful and feel beautiful about who we are everyday.
    -- Mos Def

    #Beautiful #Everyday #Who We Are

  • Hip-hop is the last true folk art.
    -- Mos Def

    #Art #Hip Hop #Lasts

  • I'm not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude, that's a buzz kill. There's got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
    -- Mos Def

    #Crazy #People #Rude

  • I don't care about what brand you are, I'm concerned what type of man you are, what your principles and standards are.
    -- Mos Def

    #Men #Care #Principles

  • I guess something that you love to do, you gotta ease up off it and give it a little space, come back and be fresh to it.
    -- Mos Def

    #Space #Giving #Littles

  • My presence speaks volumes before I say a word.
    -- Mos Def

    #Speak #Volume

  • I dreamt that I could paint you with words, but there were no colors bright enough, black or white enough, blue or green enough...they didn't mean enough
    -- Mos Def

    #Mean #Color #White

  • My Umi said shine your light on the world, shine your light for the world to see
    -- Mos Def

    #Light #Shining #World

  • This thing called rhymin' is no different than coal minin'; We both on assignment to unearth the diamond.
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Hip Hop #Coal

  • Twitter freaks me out. You have followers? It feels so obsessive and proprietary.
    -- Mos Def

    #Followers #Freak #Feels

  • The new moon rode high in the crown of the metropolis. Shinin', like "Who on top of this?
    -- Mos Def

    #Moon #Hip Hop #Crowns

  • Bob Marley performed the 'One Love Peace' concert in Jamaica with the two different warring political sides. There's always been that in black music and culture in general. It's no surprise because black music is such a reflection of what's going on in black life. It's not unusual for hip-hop.
    -- Mos Def

    #Reflection #Jamaica #Two

  • I give a damn if any fan recalls my legacy, I'm trying to live life in the sight of GOD's memory.
    -- Mos Def

    #Memories #Live Life #Sight

  • I seen her on the ave, spotted her more than once. Ass so fat that you could see it from the front...
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Hip Hop #Ass

  • Peace before everything, God before anything, Love before anything, real before everything, Home before any place, shoot before anything, Style and state radiate, Love Power slay the hate.
    -- Mos Def

    #Real #Hate #Rap

  • There are a lot of people who call themselves teachers or leaders, but they're really just propagandists.
    -- Mos Def

    #Teacher #People #Leader

  • It's possible and available to any artist to be himself or herself on their own terms, to be accepted and embraced by black people. You don't have to be a thug to get love from black people.
    -- Mos Def

    #Thug #Artist #People

  • African art is functional, it serves a purpose. It's not a dormant. It's not a means to collect the largest cheering section. It should be healing, a source a joy. Spreading positive vibrations.
    -- Mos Def

    #Art #Cheer #Mean

  • All the things that are worth doing, take time.
    -- Mos Def

    #Take Time

  • Restlessness is my nemesis/ It's hard to just chill and sit still
    -- Mos Def

    #Chill #Nemesis #Stills

  • Focused. I'm a hustler. And my hustle is trying to figure out the best ways to do what I like without having to do much else.
    -- Mos Def

    #Trying #Hustle #Way

  • What I take from writers I like is their economy - the ability to use language to very effective ends. The ability to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words - that's magical.
    -- Mos Def

    #Use #Landscape #Language

  • I can't take it y'all I can feel the city breathin Chest heavin, against the flesh of the evening Sigh before we die like the last train leaving
    -- Mos Def

    #Cities #Hip Hop #Leaving

  • You can positively affect and change a social circumstance with art, and it’s vital that a change happens now.
    -- Mos Def

    #Art #Social #Circumstances

  • Young bloods can't spell but they can rock you in Playstation
    -- Mos Def

    #Blood #Rocks #Young

  • Hip-Hop went from selling crack to smoking it
    -- Mos Def

    #Hip Hop #Smoking #Hips

  • What I take from writers I like is their economy - the ability to use language to very effective ends.
    -- Mos Def

    #Use #Language #Economy

  • Why did one straw break the camel's back? Here's the secret: The million other straws underneath it.
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Hip Hop #Secret

  • Why do I need ID to get ID? If I had ID, I wouldn't need ID.
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Hip Hop #Needs

  • When people say, 'I don't see you enough,' well just because you don't see me don't mean I don't exist, or just 'cause you haven't heard me don't mean I haven't been making noise. But if I keep making noise, you'll pick up.
    -- Mos Def

    #Mean #People #Noise

  • Every time you ask yourself where hip-hop's going, ask yourself where you're going; how are you doing?
    -- Mos Def

    #Hip Hop #Hips #Hops

  • Breathe in...inhale vapors from bright stars that shine, Breathe out...weed smoke retrace the skyline.
    -- Mos Def

    #Weed #Stars #Rap

  • Yo, it's 1 universal law but 2 sides to every story, 3 strikes and you be in for life, mandatory. 4 MC's murdered in the last 4 years, I ain't tryin to be the 5th one, the Millennium is here. Yo, it's 6 million ways to die, from the 7 deadly thrills, 8-year olds gettin' found with 9 mill's. It's 10 P.M., where your seeds at? What's the deal?
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Years #Law

  • 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.
    -- Mos Def

    #Family And Friends #Firsts #Persons

  • To me, the job of the artist is to provide a useful and intelligent vocabulary for the world to be able to articulate feelings they experience everyday, and otherwise wouldn't have the means to express in a meaningful and useful way.
    -- Mos Def

    #Meaningful #Jobs #Intelligent

  • I was taught when there's somethin' you can change around keep quiet, you got nothin' to complain about.
    -- Mos Def

    #Taught #Complaining #Quiet

  • I don't mind being black. I'm black out loud. It's more than the people that they are, it's the condition that they represent.
    -- Mos Def

    #People #Mind #Black

  • With guys I revere, like Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X, their look is less about style than purpose and the expression of beauty. It wasn't just about being noticed, you know?
    -- Mos Def

    #Expression #Guy #Style

  • I have no confidence issues with the impact or the quality of the music. No one in hip-hop, before this point and to this point, with all due respect, has done this.
    -- Mos Def

    #Issues #Impact #Hip Hop

  • It’s one thing to be the greatest; it’s another thing to be necessary. The best are the most necessary: those who take less than they give and love more than they hate.
    -- Mos Def

    #Hate #Giving #And Love

  • Speech is my hammer bang the world into shape now let it fall - HUNGH
    -- Mos Def

    #Fall #World #Shapes

  • I feel like being into the beat of your own drum has become too prominent in the culture.
    -- Mos Def

    #Culture #Beats #Feels

  • And from the moment that I saw you, I knew you was trouble, But I disregarded detour signs, And did not stop til you was mine. I guess God was like, 'Aight, fine.' Careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it in heaps. Try to give it back, He be like, 'Nah, that's yours to keep.'
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Giving #Hip Hop

  • Beef is not what Jay said to Nas; Beef is when the working folks can't find jobs.
    -- Mos Def

    #Jobs #Rap #Hip Hop

  • I'm blacked than midnight on Broadway and Myrtle
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Broadway #Midnight

  • I'm retiring the Mos Def name after 2011. I'm actually doing it.
    -- Mos Def

    #Names #Funny Retirement #Retiring

  • I'm inspired by playwrights, novelists, poets: The value of language has been a lifelong passion of mine. I enjoy it. I'm good at it.
    -- Mos Def

    #Passion #Novelists #Language

  • I'm growing as an individual, but your always growing. All of my albums are snapshots of where I am artistically.
    -- Mos Def

    #Snapshots #Growing #Albums

  • I'm an independent thinker. And I'm not the poster child for any movement. I'm trying to support whatever's right no matter where it is.
    -- Mos Def

    #Children #Independent #Support

  • I never had any ambitions of being a movie star or anything like that, but you know, this is nice.
    -- Mos Def

    #Stars #Nice #Ambition

  • I like to read the 'Financial Times' when I'm traveling. 'Economist.' 'Ad Busters.'
    -- Mos Def

    #Financial #Busters #Economist

  • I got my first exposure to Islam when I was 13.
    -- Mos Def

    #Islam #Firsts #Exposure

  • But even creeps deserve to live someplace halfway decent.
    -- Mos Def

    #Creeps #Decent #Halfway

  • It wouldn't be fair to cast aspersions on an entire cultural movement based on the actions of a few. To quote my grandfather, 'One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch.'
    -- Mos Def

    #Apples #Grandfather #Movement

  • I don't hate nobody. I hate certain conditions that are inflicted upon the people - and they're helpless with it.
    -- Mos Def

    #Hate #People #Certain

  • And remember don't high post when you're far from home, and high posting when you're all alone.
    -- Mos Def

    #Home #Remember #All Alone

  • I'm trying to get low. People's personalities can get in the way of their own work.
    -- Mos Def

    #People #Personality #Trying

  • If Islam's sole interest is the welfare of mankind, then Islam is the strongest advocate of human rights anywhere on Earth.
    -- Mos Def

    #Rights #Islam #Earth

  • Crack mothers, crack babies and AIDS patients Youngbloods can't spell, but they could rock you in PlayStation.
    -- Mos Def

    #Mother #Baby #Rap

  • We blasted holes in the night until she bled sunshine
    -- Mos Def

    #Sunshine #Night #Holes

  • Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated over the years it's a name that the streets taught me a figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment and I feel I've done quite a bit with that name and it's time to expand and move on.
    -- Mos Def

    #Moving #Years #Names

  • In the early '90s, when I really started to find my voice, I was reading a lot of books, and I was moved by the writers, like Chinua Achebe, and I wanted to be able to write rhymes that were as potent as what I was reading.
    -- Mos Def

    #Book #Reading #Writing

  • I've been fortunate with my acting career. A lot of scripts come to me. I don't mind auditioning if something that requires that, but I haven't had to in awhile, which is a nice place to be 'cause I've been on quite a lot of auditions in my life.
    -- Mos Def

    #Nice #Careers #Mind

  • I don't wanna get into that space where a lot of guys now, their solo album is like eight or 10 songs with other people, you don't get an idea of who this guy is. I just wasn't interested in that.
    -- Mos Def

    #Song #Ideas #Space

  • I believe the projects were a social experiment; we were laboratory rats stacked on top of each other, and people just knew, inherently, that there was something wrong. There's not a lot of regard for the property by the residents.
    -- Mos Def

    #Believe #People #Rats

  • Record companies are not necessarily interested in you realizing your artistic dream. The bottom line is that they got to sell records.
    -- Mos Def

    #Dream #Records #Lines

  • Reckless capitalism kills black people.
    -- Mos Def

    #People #Black #Reckless

  • If you're going to do Chuck Berry, you got to, you know, go all out, and the duck walk is just kind of you know, cursory. That's like standing.
    -- Mos Def

    #Ducks #Berries #Kind

  • Man, I smashed her like an Idaho Potato
    -- Mos Def

    #Sex #Dirty #Rap

  • I don't have advice for people on how to dress. People should dress based on what they find beautiful. My best advice: Keep your clothes clean.
    -- Mos Def

    #Beautiful #Clothes #People

  • You have to be an extremist to believe that you're gonna be the president of the United States and your name is Barack Hussein Obama! And he's using extreme methods, but his application is very smooth. Michelle Obama is extreme, her presence is extreme. And it's an extreme good. Extreme is not negative.
    -- Mos Def

    #Believe #Names #President

  • I know what it feels like to have the door slammed firmly in my face, so I'm cool with that.
    -- Mos Def

    #Doors #Faces #Feels

  • If 'Life in Marvelous Times' can't get on the radio, then I don't need to be on the radio.
    -- Mos Def

    #Needs #Radio

  • That's what I've been trying to strive for - to draw a clear picture, to open up a new dimension.
    -- Mos Def

    #Trying #Dimensions #Strive

  • I'm just an artist and I'm doin' what I like to do.
    -- Mos Def

    #Artist

  • I'm a passionate person. I'm a lot of things, like most people are. Most people are dynamic. The focus is not on me though, I'm a screen. The aim is to always keep myself in the position where the screen is clear.
    -- Mos Def

    #People #Focus #Passionate

  • You're not gonna get through life without being worshipful or devoted to something. You're either devoted to your job, or to your desires. So the best way to spend your life is to try to be devoted to prayer, to Allah.
    -- Mos Def

    #Jobs #Prayer #Desire

  • To me, playing an instrument and singing, all of these different things are just as natural to me as rhyming.
    -- Mos Def

    #Singing #Rhyming #Different

  • I've always loved rhyming. I love language.
    -- Mos Def

    #Rhyming #Language

  • I can't control what people think. I'm not trying to manipulate people's thoughts or sentiments. I write all the time. You have to experience life, make observations, and ask questions. It's machine-like how things are run now in hip-hop, and my ambitions are different.
    -- Mos Def

    #Running #Ambition #Writing

  • I get reminded a lot of the time that my life is a little bit different, but I'm just trying to keep it as regular as possible because I like it that way
    -- Mos Def

    #Trying #Littles #Way

  • Make today's solid ground out of yesterday's quicksand.
    -- Mos Def

    #Life #Yesterday #Today

  • Everything's got space between it, the planets, trees, your eyes. Your eyes get too close together, it's a whole different world. You can lose perspective.
    -- Mos Def

    #Eye #Space #Perspective

  • You have to experience life, make observations, and ask questions.
    -- Mos Def

    #Observation

  • I don't rap like nobody, I don't try to sound like nobody.
    -- Mos Def

    #Rap #Trying #Sound

  • Don't look down, it's an impossible view; Fly like an eagle whatever you do
    -- Mos Def

    #Views #Eagles #Looks

  • I'd bet a million dollars on DOOM against Lil' Wayne
    -- Mos Def

    #Dollars #Wayne #Million Dollars

  • Live now for the promise of the Infinite
    -- Mos Def

    #Promise #Infinite

  • At its heart, music is all higher mathematics.
    -- Mos Def

    #Beauty #Art #Mathematics

  • I just don't think it's very dignified to ask people to like you. You can just wind up being somebody's ottoman.
    -- Mos Def

    #Thinking #Wind #People