The Real Reason Why Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) May’ve Been Banned From the U.S.

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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger

Yasiin Bey’s politics and personal life have thwarted his professional career, according to newsMos_Def_umvd005 reports.

Bey, best known as the rapper Mos Def, cited “legal” issues for his cancelled tour.

“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 Together music festival in Boston posted to its website Thursday.

Bey moved to South Africa in 2013 following myriad issues related to his politics and personal life. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bey said it took a lot to leave his Brooklyn hometown.

“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,” he said.

Bey, who started life as a teen actor under his given name Dante Terrell Smith, has enjoyed success in movie and with his music.

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.”

Bey has previously lamented tour immigration issues, blaming institutional racism, on the track Mr Nιgga: “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.”

As well as a hip-hop career that spawned classic solo albums as well as highly-regarded LPs with Talib Kweli as Black Star, Bey has also appeared in numerous movies. His next project is Life of Crime, a kind of prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown; Bey plays an earlier version of Samuel L. Jackson’s character Ordell Robbie in an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s book The Switch, which also stars Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins


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