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Reported by April Taylor
Yasiin Bey, more famously known as Mos Def, has been barred from re-entering the United States. The only information currently available about the situation is a statement released by the music festival, Together Boston. The official statement reads as follows:
“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 U.S. tour has been canceled, including May 25th, Together Boston’s show at The Wilbur Theatre. Individual ticket refunds for this show are available at point of sale.”
Mos Def was part of the group Black Star that he formed with Talib Kweli. He has won awards for both his solo and group work and was named as one of the Top 50 MCs of all time by About.com. He’s also revered as one of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time by The Source. Mos Def has been nominated for several awards for both his acting and music careers including a Golden Globe, several Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award.
Mos Def is from Brooklyn, New York City, New York, and his status as a United States citizen makes this situation baffling and makes the United States government’s handling of immigration affairs suspicious. Mos Def has been active in several social and political causes. In 2000, he held a benefit concert for death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal who was convicted for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer, although many believe he did not commit the crime. Mos Def has also released a song entitled, “Dollar Day,” which criticized the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Mos Def has also spoken out about forced feedings at Guantanamo Bay as well as many other controversial political issues.
It will be interesting to see whether Mos Def is being prevented from re-entering the United States for issues actually related to immigration or if the reasons are political in nature.