Yasiin Bey Declares 2016 Album Will Be His Last & Announces Industry Retirement
This week, Yasiin Bey (f/k/a Mos Def) left a very unique voicemail on Kanye West’s phone. West, who signed Bey to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint after years of collaboration, shared the message with the public yesterday (January 19).
The Brooklyn, New York MC reacted to West’s latest song, “No More Parties In L.A.,” with his own voicemail rendition. “No More Parties In S.A.” was Yasiin’s play on the chorus, following being detained in South Africa for allegedly over-staying his Visa one week ago. According to the MC/actor/comedian, he was calling from Capetown when leaving the message (also available for stream below:)
“I’m being prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully and without any logical reason,” he said in the call. “[Officials are] saying that they want to deport my family. They are making false claims against me, some of these government officials even in the press are making false claims against me. [They are] saying that my travel document that I was traveling with is fictitious. It’s not. Anyone can do research on a world passport, it’s not a fictitious document. It’s not designed to deceive or rob any benefit from the state. In fact, the world passport has been accepted here on numerous occasions.” Yasiin stated that he has lived in South Africa since 2009, the same year he released his most album, The Ecstatic. Of his current situation, he said, “I am not a liar. I’ve made no false claims. I have not misrepresented myself. I’m under unnecessary state supervision and scrutiny.”
The MC revealed that even after the detainment, he is being wrongfully profiled. “The state of South Africa is interfering with my ability to move or even fulfill my professional obligations,” said Bey on the call. “We don’t have to be enemies and we don’t have to be friends, either. We don’t have to be here. We’re complying in every possible way reasonably. Just today, state officials visited my domicile, asking questions about me and my family and they had no legal right to do so.”
Perhaps more notably, Yasiin alluded to a forthcoming album (presumed to be his first G.O.O.D. Music release) that is expected this year. In the message, Bey shouted out West, Kendrick Lamar, Madlib, Oh No, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, among others. After which, Yasiin Bey made a bold declaration. “I’m retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today and also from Hollywood, effective immediately. I’m releasing my final album this year and that’s that. Peace to all. Fear of none.”
Since 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, Yasiin Bey has released four solo studio albums, as well as his Black Star effort. His 1999 debut, Black On Both Sides is a gold-certified effort. Additionally, Bey has starred in a number of studio motion pictures, including The Italian Job, 16 Blocks, and Brown Sugar, among others.
Previously, in September, 2011, Yasiin Bey transitioned with a formal announcement of the retirement of his “Mos Def” moniker.