Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def announces final shows after being allowed to leave South Africa

Rapper had been detained in country since January

Yasiin Bey, the rapper and political activist formerly known as Mos Def, has confirmed what are being billed as his “farewell” shows. It follows news earlier this week that he is allowed to leave South Africa after being detained in the country since January.

Bey, who has lived in Cape Town since 2013, has been allowed to return to the United States after being declared an ‘undesirable person’ by South African authorities. He was arrested in January for attempting to leave the country while using a ‘world passport’, a ‘global citizenship’ document issued by the non-profit organisation World Service Authority. Bey has since “unreservedly apologised to the government of South Africa” and is now free to leave, but has been refused re-entry.


It has now been announced that Bey will play a series of shows in New York and Washington, DC during December and January. Billboard reports that the shows will be the rapper’s last and that he will also be joined on “surprise special guests”. Bey is also scheduled to play two concerts at London’s O2 Forum in January 2017 but it is not clear whether these will still go ahead.

Mos Def/Yasiin BeyWireImage/Getty

Bey announced his plans to retire earlier this year in a message posted to Kanye West’s website. An audio clip posted to the site featured Bey’s ‘No more parties in SA’ freestyle, in which he rapped: “Why these police up in my face? Why they raiding my place? Why I don’t feel safe? This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. My intentions are pure in coming here. And that’s for everything I love or hold dear. Homies in the building. So is my wife and my children. I committed no crime. Why is the state wasting my time?”

Read more: Why Mos Def’s Retirement Is Potentially Terrible News For Music