One of the foremost voices in politicised, socially conscious hip hop, Mos Def was born and brought up in Brooklyn.
Making the decision to leave the United States, the rapper now lives in South Africa. Attempting to gain entry to the United States to finish a festival date, the MC was told that he would not be allowed to complete his visit.
The Together music festival in Boston wrote on its website: "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."
"I lived in Brooklyn 33 years of my life. I thought I'd be buried in that place" he said. "And 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."
Continuing, Mos Def spoke about his life in South Africa. "I'm not here just for like middle class comfort, you know" he explained. "Sure, it's a beautiful place, you got the ocean, the mountain, the botanical garden, the beautiful people, the history, the culture, the struggle and everything — maaan, let me tell you something, 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."