January 20, 2016


Mos Def Vents Frustrations with South African Government, Plans Retirement

Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images
Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images

Last week, news arrived that Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) was arrested in South Africa, where he and his family have been living, for presenting an invalid "world passport." Though he was attempting to exit the country for a show, the Associated Press reported that Bey would be given two weeks...to leave the country, and to observe a five-year ban from re-entering.

On Tuesday night (Jan. 19), Kanye West tweeted a link to his website, which has been repurposed to play a 10-and-a-half-minute message from Bey. It begins with a freestyle that flips the hook from Kanye's new song "No More Parties in L.A." to "no more parties in S.A." Listen here:

TMZ writes that Bey "has been ordered to report to Cape Town police every two days until his next court date on March 8," adding that his family has been ordered to leave by Jan. 29. Bey commented on the state of his situation in his audio message:

"I just want to go home. And I don't live in America, and I have a right to domicile whereever I please, without fear and without interference. ... My family and I are prepared immediately to make whatever move that we need to make outside of this state, never to return to this state again. We don't have to be here, we're not pining to be here, and we're complying in every possible way, reasonably."

He also announced his retirement from both acting and rapping, saying, "I'm retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood effective immediately. I will be releasing my final album this year and that's that." 

On Instagram, he's teasing upcoming songs featuring Kanye, J. ColeLupe Fiasco and Kendrick Lamar. His last album, The Ecstatic, arrived in 2009. His last onscreen role was in 2013's Life of Crime, where he played a younger version of Samuel L. Jackson's Jackie Brown character, Ordell Robbie.