Yasiin Bey [Mos Def] Announces Retirement

In light of the recent news of Yasiin Bey being arrested in South Africa on charges of using a fake passport. The rapper/actor has announced his retirement in a heartfelt speech, five days after his arrest.

In a recorded message posted on rapper Kanye West’s website, Bey announced his retirement by freestyle rapping his frustrations using rapper Kendrick LaMarr’s “No More Parties in L.A.”(aptly titled “No More Parties in S.A”) as inspiration.

Though Bey’s immediate retirement was not based on the charges brought on by the South African government for using a fake passport, he expressed further frustrations with their government.

“Why these police up in my face? Why they raiding my place? Why I don’t feel safe? This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. My intentions are pure in coming here. And that’s for everything I love or hold dear. Homies in the building. So is my wife and my children. I committed no crime. Why is the state wasting my time?”

An article posted by Business Insider says the following.

“The actor and musician added that he is ‘retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood, effective immediately,’ though he claimed that decision was not directly related to his detainment in South Africa. He said he will release a final album this year.”

Rapper/Actor Yasiin Bey formally known as Mos Def performs a sold out concert at Seattle's Showbox SODO. [Photo by Xander Deccio/Deccio Creative]

Bey also brought up the fake passport charges and claimed that it was a real passport, and felt that he was wrongfully accused of using fake documents. Bey also claimed that the South African government was acting on “political motivations” and that they were preventing him from dealing with “professional obligations unnecessarily.”

“Anyone can do the research about the world passport; it’s not a fictitious document… I have reason to believe or suspect that there are political motivations behind the way I’m being treated… I just wanna go home, and I don’t live in America, and I have the right to domicile wherever I please, without fear or without interference.”

Earlier this month, the South African government had ordered Bey and his family to leave the country, and would not be welcomed back for five years after he had outstayed his tourist visa that was granted in May of 2013. Bey was then charged for allegedly possessing a fake passport and lived in South Africa illegally since 2014. Bey’s family was ordered to leave the country by the end of tis month, or face deportment.

Rapper/Actor Yasiin Bey formally known as Mos Def performs a sold out concert at Seattle's Showbox SODO. [Photo by Xander Deccio/Deccio Creative]

Known as one of the “Top 50 Lyricists of All Time” by The Source, Bey has influenced many rappers including Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, and Kendrick Lamar. In past years, Bey has collaborated with longtime friend Talib Kweli as a part of the duo BlackStarr. Bey has also lent his voice to many social and politcal views including an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher in 2007, where the rapper expressed his frustrations with racism in the black community citing the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and the Jena Six trial as evidence. Bey was also arrested in 2005 during the MTV Music Video Awards, after the rapper pulled up in front of the venue where the awards show was being held in a flatbed truck performing his single “Katrina Clap” though had a permit to do so.

Bey hinted that his last album will drop later this year, and that he will walk away from music and film effective immediately.

[Photo by Xander Deccio/Deccio Creative]