Mos Def Announces Retirement From Music, Speaks On South Africa Arrest Via Kanye West’s Website
Written by Tom Williams on 21st January, 2016
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Rapper, actor and comedian Yasiin Bey (best known under his hip hop pseudonym Mos Def) has announced his retirement from music and Hollywood in an audio message posted to Kanye West‘s website, in which he also speaks about his current detainment in South Africa.
In his message (below), which runs for over 10 minutes, Bey announces, “I am retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood, effective immediately. I’ll be releasing my final album this year.”
Bey says his retirement is “related but not directly related” to his recent arrest in South Africa over an allegedly false passport, which he says isn’t false and claims has been accepted by South African officials in the past.
Bey begins his audio message by reciting a spoken-word freestyle with the recurring line “no more parties in SA”, a reference to West’s new song, No More Parties In L.A.. “I’ve committed no crime,” he adds.
Recorded in Cape Town, South Africa, Bey’s message sees him say that his travel document — a World Passport issued by the World Service — isn’t fictious and “is not meant to deceive”. Bey says he is being unlawfully prevented from leaving South Africa, and he has an inkling as to why.
“I have reason to believe or suspect there are political motivations behind the way I’m being treated, because this is following no reasonable train of logic, and it’s also curious,” he says. “I haven’t broken any law, and I’m being treated like a criminal.”
Before closing with a prayer, Bey says, “All I’m looking for is to leave this state… I just wanna go home.” After the prayer, he thanks friends such as Michael Jackson’s family, Kanye West and Talib Kweli. Catch the full recording, below.
A representative for Bey has previously told Pitchfork that Bey doesn’t use his US passport for “social and political” reasons.
Listen: A Message From Yasiin Bey