Mos Def has had a lot of careers. He was a child actor, a rapper, transitioned into adult acting, and is known around the world for his prowess in the entertainment world. However, he’s not known for his political and personal beliefs, which are… well, unusual. Mos Def has been arrested in South Africa for attempting to leave the country using something called a ‘world passport,’ which apparently isn’t a legal document. Mos Def, born Dante Terrell Smith and currently calling himself Yasiin Bey, has lived illegally in South Africa since 2014.
In an audio message posted without interruption on Kanye West’s website, Mos Def said, “I’m retiring from the musical recording industry … and also from Hollywood effective immediately. I am releasing my final album this year and that’s that.” He added, “They are making false claims against me, a world passport is not a fictitious document. It’s been accepted here in South Africa on numerous occasions…as early as 1996 and as late as 2013. […] I have reason to believe and suspect political motivations behind the way I’m being treated. I am not a liar, I’ve made no false claims, I have not misrepresented myself.”
Bey has a court date on March 8; meanwhile, his family has been ordered to leave South Africa by the end of January. He’s charged with using a false identity, helping his family stay in the country illegally, and using unrecognized travel documents.
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