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Yasiin Bey Addresses Arrest And Retirement In New Freestyle

Ralph Bristout

 // Jan 20, 2016

Darran Armstrong // Darran Armstrong/The Hell Gate/Corbis

Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, shocked the world last night (January 19) after emerging from the shadows of Cape Town to debut a new freestyle and announcing his retirement. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

The elusive emcee, who is being held in South Africa, was recently detained for using a “world passport,” a document that is not commonly recognized by most immigration officials, when he tried to leave the country. Utilizing the platform of his “real friend,” Kanye West, the rapper-and-actor addresses the matter via a freestyle that also announces “effective immediately,” his retirement from music and film.

While the entire message was recorded and released last night on KanyeWest.com, here's a full transcript of Bey's (last?) statement:

That’s just a freestyle, had to let that out. Peace to all, fear of none, this is Yasiin Bey. At this present time, I am currently in Cape Town, South Africa and I’m prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully and without any logical reason. They’re saying that they want to deport my family. They’re making false claims against me, some of these government officials, even to make false claims against me, saying my travel document that I was traveling with is fictitious, which it is not. Anyone can do the research about the world passport, is not a fictitious document.

It is not meant to deceive or derive unlawful benefits from any state to state – at all. In fact, the world passport has been accepted here on numerous occasions, in South Africa, in ports, Johannesburg and in Cape Town as early as 1996 and as late as 2015, you can see the stamps there at the World Service Authority for anyone to investigate. To quote Lil Durk, “I am not a liar.” I’ve made no false claims, I have not misrepresented myself. I’m under unnecessary state supervision and scrutiny and I have reason to believe or suspect there are political motivations behind the way that I’m being treated because this is following no reasonable trend of logic and it’s also umm… it’s serious. I haven’t broken any law and I’m being treated like a criminal. Now I know, I’m not unique in that regard and I am grateful that I’m here with my family, I haven’t been physically harmed or anything like that.

However, I have been detained, people in this state have taken punitive action against me –unnecessarily. There’s no reason I had to spend any time in a cell, there’s no reason I had to have police come to my house damn near six days later for something that happened at the airport, where nobody arrested me and none of that ever happened at all. This is not an administration of justice and all I seek is to leave this state. I’m not looking to state any future claims against them for damages or none of that. People can keep whatever little state jobs that they worried about or concerned about losing because I just wanna go home and I don’t live in America and I have a right to domicile wherever I please, without fear or without interference.

The state of South Africa is interfering with my ability to move or to even fulfill my professional obligations, unnecessarily and that’s fine. We don’t have to be enemies and we don’t have to be friends, either. My family and I are prepared immediately to make whatever move that we need to make outside of this state, never to return to this state again. We don’t have to be here, we’re not pinning to be here and we’re complying in every possible way – reasonably. Just today, the state officials visited my domicile asking questions about me and my family and they had no right to do so. I have legal representation here so they can easily contact. They’re breaking all types of international law and it’s untenable for me to just sit by and just let this go on. And I know there’s been a lot of chatter about what’s going on, you know, people are running to the press because that’s just, you know, a money making machine. So it’s another exploitive measure to try to turn this into some soap opera, some telenovela and I have no interest in it.

Furthermore, related but not directly related to this, I’m retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today and also from Hollywood, effective immediately. I will release my final album this year and that’s that.

Peace to all, fear of none, thank everyone for they time. ‘Much success to you, even if you wish me the opposite,’ as Nas said, and I’m on the side of the right, so people can wish however they want but I ain’t nobody’s—I ain’t no threat or hazard to nobody, I really try to mind my business. What people think about me is none of my business and I’m not here to change people’s opinions about me. You don’t have to like me, you don’t have to like everything that I say. The fact is, is that I haven’t hurt no one, I haven’t injured no parties, and all I require and is my lawful right, is innocent passage to my domicile—that is all.

In summary, I will say this, I will close with a simple prayer. To the one who created the all, you know me better than I know myself, and I know myself better than people know me, so forgive me for whatever they know or do not know. Make me better than whatever is said, and do not make me responsible for whatever is said. Amen, amen, [inaudible], amen.

And I’ll close for you, ‘Ye, with the verse that I kicked for you on December 31st when you was in Atlantic City and you announced that you and Kim were having Nori. And shout out to Madlib and Otis and Michael and his entire family and to Mama Jackson and to the whole Jackson clan in LA, I wish you and your family the best, your mother, you know, reach out to me [inaudible], y’all know how to reach me. Shout out to Corey Smith, shout out to my brother Talib Kweli, Salam to my brother Kamal [inaudible], Ali Shaheed, Mohammed [inaudible], all of the Zulu nation. The Zulu nation, the real Zulus, my brother [inaudible]. All of the people here who have supported me, this is no reflection on you. I love the people of this country. I love this continent. I did not have to sit [inaudible] and just be persecuted unfairly by state. They’re wasting enough of my time and I’m through with you Felicia—we’re through. I don’t want nothing from you, you can keep the records, sweatshirts, everything, it’s no problem.

But I’ll end with this verse that I wanna put on “No More Parties in LA” if you would kindly allow them my dear brother Kanye. And shout out to K Lamar too, I see you my dude.

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