Rapper Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) is denied entry to the United States

Rapper formerly known as Mos Def forced to pull tour dates as a result

Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, has been denied entry to his native United States ahead of his upcoming tour.

The Together Music Festival in Boston posted a note on their website saying: “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 tour has been cancelled.”

Bey no longer lives in the US, and recently explained the reasons for his move to South Africa to Rolling Stone, saying: “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.”

Bey has also rapped about immigration issues on tracks such as ‘Mr Nigga’, on which he says: “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“.

In July 2013 Bey underwent the force feeding procedures used in Guantanamo Bay, in a video for The Guardian, which went on to become one of their most-watched ever videos. You can see the video below, although some viewers may find it distressing.