Mos Def Tour Barred in US Because of 'Immigration, Legal' Issues

Image: Mos Def Tour Barred in US Because of 'Immigration, Legal' Issues

Friday, 23 May 2014 10:08 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Mos Def, the rapper and actor now know as Yasiin Bey, has been barred from the U.S. and forced to cancel his upcoming tour because of "immigration/legal issues" that are preventing him from traveling back into the country.

It's not clear why the Brooklyn, New York-born Bey, 40, is being denied entry into the U.S., the New York Daily News reported, noting that the musician and actor has made headlines in recent years by speaking out against U.S. policies.

Bey, who has lived in Cape Town, South Africa, since 2009, is known for his outspoken political views. Last summer, he was voluntarily force-fed in order to demonstrate procedures used on the Guantánamo Bay prisoners who were on a hunger strike. The experience was featured in a four-minute film produced by the human rights group Reprieve, the Daily News noted.

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Bey announced his U.S. tour cancellation earlier this month via a statement on the website Together Boston.

"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," the statement read. "Individual ticket refunds for this show are available at point of sale."

Bey told Rolling Stone magazine in March that even though it was hard to leave Brooklyn, he found a certain connection in South Africa.

"I lived in a lot of places — Central America, North America, Europe for a while," Bey said. "And I came to Cape Town in 2009 and it just hit me. I was like, 'Yeah.' I know when a good vibe gets to you."

Bey, born Dante Terrell Smith, has appeared in such movies as 2013's "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston and Tim Robbins, "Cadillac Records" in 2008, and "The Italian Job" with Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron in 2003. He also had a role in the television series "Dexter" in 2011.

He was nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe awards in 2004 for his portrayal of Vivien Thomas in the television movie "Something the Lord Made."

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