Reports indicate that Yasiin Bey- the artist formerly known as Mos Def– canceled his upcoming US tour as a result of immigration/legal problems. Speculation around the accuracy of those claims has been rampant since the tour’s cancelation was announced.

An organizer of the tour posted that Bey had run into trouble attempting to re-enter the country having moved to South Africa, were he now lives, with a statement which reads:

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 U.S. tour has been canceled, including May 15th, Together Boston’s show at The Wilbur Theatre. Individual ticket refunds for this show are available at point of sale.

Yasiin Bey is no stranger to controversy and previously helped raise awareness around inhumane practices used at Guantanamo Bay in a big way when he was filmed being subjected to a force feeding.  The resulting video was released by The Guardian and has been viewed millions of time.

Prior to moving to South Africa the lifelong Brooklynite told The Rolling Stone:

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.

The reasons for why Bey was barred from re-entering the country remain murky. He was born in the US and so claims that this boils down to an immigration issue seems tenuous.  Additionally, the musician has been mired in a public child support controversy in which he was taken to court by an ex-wife which may have played a factor.

For now, the only thing clear is that the tour has been canceled.

Sara Haile-Mariam

Sara Haile-Mariam