Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) was arrested in Cape Town, South Africa last week for allegedly traveling with a fraudulent passport. Now, he’s speaking out about his detainment via a message posted on Kanye West’s website on Tuesday night (Jan. 19).
In the audio recording, Bey begins with a freestyle that references Kanye’s two most recent songs, “Real Friends” (“thank you, Kanye West, for being a real friend,” he says) and “No More Parties in L.A.” (he changes the words to “no more parties in S.A.”).
“I’ve committed no crime/ Why’s the state wasting my time/ They must be out of their minds,” Bey raps, later adding, “This is not an expression of fear/ This is just to make things clear/ My intentions are pure in coming here.”
Post-freestyle, Bey speaks at length about being “unjustly” detained, and denies he used a “fictitious document” while traveling.
“I'm being prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully, and without any logical reason," he says. "I have reason to believe or suspect that there are political motivations behind the way that I'm being treated because… I haven’t broken any law and I’m being treated like a criminal.”
Bey adds that he has not been physically harmed, but says there has been “punitive action” taken against him.
Toward the end of his nearly 11-minute message, Bey shouts out Madlib, Kendrick Lamar and Talib Kweli, before surprisingly announcing his retirement.
“I’m retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood, effective immediately,” he says. “I’m releasing my final album this year, and that's that.”
See Kanye’s tweet below, and hear the whole message on ‘Ye’s website here.