Rapper Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, has cancelled an upcoming tour here in the United States because he can’t get back into the country.
The Together music festival in Boston wrote on its website: “We regret to inform you that due to immigration/legal issues Yasiin Bey is unable to enter back into the United States and his upcoming US tour has been canceled.”
The Guardian reports:
The details of the issues were not specified. Bey no longer lives in the US, having moved to South Africa. He recently told Rolling Stone about the move: “I lived in Brooklyn 33 years of my life. I thought I’d be buried in that place. And around seven years ago, I was like, you know, ‘I gotta go, I gotta leave.’ It’s very hard to leave. And I lived in a lot of places: Central America, North America, Europe for a while. And I came to Cape Town in 2009 and it just hit me. I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I know when a good vibe gets to you. And, you know, I thought about this place every day from when I left.
“I’m not here just for like middle-class comfort, you know. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, you got the ocean, the mountain, the botanical garden, the beautiful people, the history, the culture, the struggle and everything — maaan, let me tell you something, for a guy like me, who had five or six generations not just in America but in one town in America, to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America.”
Bey has previously lamented tour immigration issues, blaming institutional racism, on the track Mr Nigga: “But I go over seas and I get over-seized / London, Heathrow, me and my people / They think that illegal’s a synonym for negro.”
It’s unclear as to why his immigration status has been denied, but Mos Def has never been afraid to speak out against the US government. In July 2013, he teamed up with Human Rights organization Reprieve and Bafta and underwent force-feeding procedures akin to those happening at Guantanamo Bay.
We hope that Yasiin and the US can work out their issues.