Yasiin Bey Cancels U.S. Tour Amid Unspecified Legal Issues

By Jamilah King May 22, 2014

The rapper formerly known as Mos Def has canceled an upcoming summer tour of the United States due to unspecified legal reasons. Now known as Yasiin Bey, the Brooklyn native recently moved to South Africa and isn’t coming back to the States any time soon.

The Together Music Festival in Boston posted the following message on its website"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."

Earlier this year, he 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.

"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."

lThe Guardian cites the rapper’s politically charged work as a possible reason, including a 2013 video in which Bey mimics the force feeding procedures endured by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But the rapper has also dealt publicly with problems paying child support. In 2006, his former wife Maria Yepes-Smith, took him to court for failing to make his $10,000 a month payments for two daughters from their 10-year marriage. It’s all speculation at this point, since we don’t know any details about what’s really keeping him out of the U.S.