Mos Def Arrest – Is he giving up music?
The Mos Def arrest has caught the local hip hop community by surprise.
Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey arrived in South Africa on the 30th of November 2015 on a visitor’s visa which expires on the 28 February 2016. According to the Home Affairs Department, he tried to leave South Africa with a world passport instead of his American passport which he had used to enter SA, he was arrested by immigration officials and he is out on R 5000 bail.
“He has entered South Africa 10 times, and has always entered the country on a visitor’s visa [90 days exemption] using a US Passport, not a world passport. As you can see, the world passport is not recognised under Immigration Regulation 2 (4). Proper procedure was followed for his arrest. A warrant was obtained for his arrest. He faces charges of contravening the Immigration Act” said director general Mkuseli Apleni
Yasiin Bey however insisted that he had used his world passport to enter and leave the country before.
The World Government of World Citizens says ‘the world passport represents the inalienable human right of freedom of travel on planet Earth’.
Going by the countries to have accepted the document in the past, South Africa is on that list.
The Mos Def arrest has left the hip hop artist feeling sour and he vented his frustration on a freestyle recording on his friend Kanye West’s website.
He says… “No more parties in SA” referring to Kanye’s latest single “No more parties in LA.”
West recorded the message over the phone with Mos Def while he was detained.
He also says “I didn’t commit a crime. It’s curious. I haven’t broken any law. I’m being treated like a criminal. I just want to leave this state. I just want to go home. South Africa interferes with my ability to move. I want to move and never return to this state again…I’m on the side of the right. People can believe what they want. What people think about me is none of my business.”
Does the Mos Def arrest mean he is giving up music?
He has stated that he will be releasing his final album due out later this year. It seems as though all of this was said while he was in a heightened emotional state, as a reaction to what he feels was unfair treatment. It will be good to hear what he says about possibly retiring from music and how he feels about the incident a few months from now.
What’s disappointing about the Mos Def arrest and his being forced to go back home is that we had one of hip hop’s finest artists rooting for our local scene; and thanks to legal discrepancies he is kicked out of a place he had so much faith in.