Yasiin Bey -- also known as Mos Def -- has finally been allowed to leave South Africa, where the rapper has been detained for most of this year. Already planning his retirement, the Brooklyn rapper has announced what will be his final live performances in the United States.
Bey was being held in South Africa after the country's government took issue with his "World Passport," an ID issued by a pacifist advocacy group that Bey used when he entered the country. The "World Passport" is frequently used by refugees and is accepted as valid ID by many countries, but apparently South Africa isn't one of those countries. The South African government put Bey on trial and even went as far as publicly declaring the musician an "undesirable person" due to his idealistic passport. Bey publicly apologized, and now it seems like the South African government has relented and they have finally allowed the rapper to leave the country.
In January, Bey announced that he was retiring from both the music and film industries. Bey's solo debut, Black On Both Sides, released under the name Mos Def, received critical acclaim and was certified Gold by the RIAA. In addition to his long music career, Bey has acted in a number of TV shows and films, including Showtime's hit serial killer drama Dexter, and the 2005 film adaptation of A Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy.
Bey's final shows before his retirement will both be held on the east coast, at the Apollo Center in New York and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Bey is teasing that he will be joined by several special surprise guests for his final shows. The schedule for these shows is as follows:
- 12-21 New York, NY - Apollo Theater
- 12-31 Washington, D.C. - Kennedy Center
- 01-01 Washington, D.C. - Kennedy Center
- 01-02 Washington, D.C. - Kennedy Center
By Michael Lacerna for RAPstation.com