As reported by Rolling Stone a few months back, Yasiin Bey — better known as the rapper/actor Mos Def — has been living in Cape Town for the past year, a move that was meant as a permanent break from his longtime home Brooklyn. Now it appears he may be unable to leave South Africa. According to promoters for Boston’s Together Festival, “immigration/legal issues” have forced the cancellation of an upcoming U.S. tour and kept Bey from reentering the country. An official statement has yet to be released on the matter, although it should be noted that Bey underwent force-feeding procedures similar to the ones in Guantanamo Bay last July for a widely publicized Guardian feature.
“I’m not here just for like middle class comfort, you know,” he said during a keynote speech at Cape Town’s Music Exchange conference last March. “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… 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.”
Bey is set to appear in two movies later this year: Life of Crime, a film loosely related to Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown) and writer Elmore Leonard (The Switch), and Begin Again, a musical drama that also stars CeeLo and Adam Levine. It’s unclear whether he’s set to shoot any other features in the months ahead.