42-year-old American hip-hop superstar Yasiin Bey has announced that he would quit the music and film industries following his detention in South Africa.
Yasiin Bey, popularly known by his stage name “Mos Def” has been detained since January 14th in South Africa. The hip hop artist, actor and comedian, whose real name is Dante Terrel Smith is said to have been arrested with an illegal “World passport”. The arrest was made in Cape Town when he attempted boarding a flight to Ethiopia.
Yasiin Def (Mos Def) said he would quit acting and singing anytime he releases his final album this year. This plan, he said would be “effective immediately” after the release of the said upcoming album.
Reacting, South Africa’s home affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said “the major problem why he (Yasiin) could not get on the Ethiopian flight was the document he produced at the immigration counter, the World Passport, which South Africa does not recognize.”
Furthermore, Apleni buttressed the fact that Smith’s “world passport” was invalid and illegal, he said,
“Smith attempted to leave the country using a ‘World Government of World Citizens’ passport”.
“Immigration officers had also detected that his spouse and minor child had overstayed their visit to the Republic”.
Officials said that investigations revealed that Mos Def’s family moved into the country in 2013 with a visitor’s permit and are overdue for their stay in South Africa by some years. South African officials also maintained that Yasiin Bey’s family visas expired since 2014 and that the superstar has visited South Africa ten times since 2013. According to them, he has entered the country using a US passport usually for his 90-day tourist show.
Be that as it may, the South African Government has said that Yasiin Bey would be prosecuted in Court. Officials said,
“Mister Smith will appear in court for trial on the 8th of March 2016 to answer the immigration charges”. He would be charged for “aiding and abetting his family to stay illegally in South Africa”
Reacting through a voice message released through his Kanye West’s website, Yasiin Bey made it known to all and sundry that he committed no crime. He said,
“People in the state have taken punitive action against me, unnecessarily. I don’t live in America and I have a right to domicile wherever I please. Without fear, or without interference.”
Kanye West is Yasiin Def’s friend who has stood by him. And through his website, Mos Def cried out,
“I haven’t broken any law and I’m being treated like a criminal”. “No more parties in SA”. “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?”
He said this through West’s Twitter feed. The superstar also suggested “political motivations” were behind his plight.
Mos Def was brought to limelight following the released of his powerful debut solo album, Black on Both Sides, featuring the hit singles “Ms. Fat Booty” and “Mathematics”. It is paramount to note that the superstar hails from Brooklyn in New York. He started his career in 1994 with the rap group Urban Thermo Dynamics with one of his brothers and a female rapper called Ces. Their performances was mainly in small venues and underground showcases. Later on, he formed a duo called Black Star together with another famous Brooklyn-based superstar Talib Kweli. Imperatively, he first featured in singles by superstar rappers De La Soul and Da Bush Babees.
Yasiin Def has also starred in movies like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Italian Job and Life of Crime, The Monster’s ball. Mos Def is considered the mouthpiece of hip-hop fans around the world, considering his brilliant social observations. No wonder he once said;
“My work is a reflection of the human condition”. “I don’t want to hurt anybody. I don’t want to mislead people. I want to tell the truth. All my songs are not happy. Some of them are even aggressive—some may say mean, but we all experience these feelings in life. I’m just being honest about what I feel and what sounds and ideas were motivating me at the time.”