You really can’t go home again. Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known Mos Def, has canceled his U.S. tour after being denied entry into the country of his birth.
The “Mathematics” rapper, who has been living in South Africa for the past year, has been barred by “immigration/legal issues,” according to a statement on the Boston Together Music Festival site flagged by London’s The Guardian.
It’s not immediately clear what the issues keeping out the Brooklyn-born Bey, 40. But in recent years he has been increasingly critical of U.S. policies.
Last July, Bey teamed with the human rights group Reprieve to reenact a force-feeding such as the ones endured by hunger strikes jailed in Guantanamo Bay.
In the graphic video, Bey can be seen begging his team to stop the demonstration and breaking down in tears.
Bey told Rolling Stone Magazine in March that he had found a peace in South Africa that he couldn’t find in the country he once called home.
“I lived in Brooklyn 33 years of my life. I thought I’d be buried in that place,” he told the magazine. “Around seven years ago, I was like, you know, ‘I gotta go, I gotta leave.’ It’s very hard to leave. And I lived in a lot of places. Central America. North America. Europe for a while.
“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. And, you know, I thought about this place every day from when I left. I was like, ‘I’m comin’ back.'”
“For a guy like me, who had five or six generations not just in America but in one town in America, to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America,” he added.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Bey has completely abandoned Hollywood. The actor who has starred in movies like 2005’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide of the Galaxy” and 2003’s “The Italian Job” is starring in the upcoming, “Life of Crime,” a prequel of sorts to “Jackie Brown.”