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2015 Billboard Music Awards - Show

Travel issues: we all have them, and most of the time they are nothing more than an extended headache. But for an entertainer, travel issues and customs problems can lead to lost checks, missed performances, disappointed fans and can even level a blow to a promising or successful career. Chris Brown learned that lesson last week when a missed performance from over a year ago came back to bite him and landed him stuck in the Philippines, unable to leave until he sorted things out with the jilted promoter.

Brown eventually worked things out and made it to his show two days later, but it got us thinking about other rappers banned or trapped in countries around the globe. From Slick Rick to MF DOOM and more, here are six instances where MCs couldn't break through customs. —Compiled by Miranda J.

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When Mos Def Couldn't Get Back In The U.S.

Back in May of 2014, Yasiin Bey, known to the hip-hop world as Mos Def, had some trouble entering the United States. The rapper eventually had to cancel a forthcoming tour, citing "legal" reasons as the issue. One of the stops on his tour at the Together Music Festival in Boston even went as far as releasing a statement on the matter, which read, "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 US tour has been canceled."

After failing to pay his wife $10,000 a month in child support back in 2006, Mos Def told a judge he could not afford the payments, citing business commitments and obligations to his other children as the cause. The rapper then moved away from his hometown of Brooklyn not long after, relocating in Cape Town.

"I lived in Brooklyn 33 years of my life," he told Rolling Stone in 2009. "I thought I'd be buried in that place. 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."

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When Slick Rick Was Threatened With Deportation

Slick Rick was never actually deported, but he was trapped abroad and jailed back in the early 1990s. The first case popped up in 1991. Even though the legendary MC lived in the U.S. since the age of 11, after being convicted on attempted murder and weapons charges and serving five years in prison, the States tried to give the British-born storyteller the boot.

In 2002, the icon was arrested again on a docked Caribbean cruise ship and spent a year behind bars fighting for his freedom. The Immigration and Naturalization Service again claimed his felony record prevented him from living in the U.S. The most recent run-in came in 2008, when Slick Rick was able to finally bury the hatchet once and for all. It took a pardon from New York Governor David Paterson to confirm that The Ruler could stay in the United States for good.


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When Shyne Was Deported To Belize

Shortly after being released after serving nearly nine years in prison for his involvement in the infamous 1999 NY nightclub shooting that involved Diddy and J. Lo—which also nearly cost Diddy his freedom—the Belize-born Shyne was detained by immigrant officials. In October of 2009, the former Bad Boy rapper “temporarily accepted deportation” to the country of Belize.

The rapper was recently still fighting to get back in the U.S. for good, but in 2011 he clarified with XXL that he’s actually allowed in the country, but only under strict conditions. “I can come to the U.S. as a Diplomat because I’m a Goodwill Ambassador for my country Belize,” Shyne, whose father serves as the Prime Minister of Belize and the leader of the United Democratic Party, told XXL. “My job is really to go around the world for Belize and get people to invest in the country and to promote the country.”

Shyne is still attempting to revive his music career and is using the setback as time to promote his brand globally.


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When P. Reign Couldn't Leave Canada

OVO signee P. Reign can't leave his native country of Canada. After being arrested on cocaine trafficking charges in 2004, the rapper signed off on a conditional discharge. This means although there was no jail time served and he can legally say he doesn't have a criminal record when applying for jobs, he still cannot get into the U.S.

That puts a hurting on P Reign's music hitting the U.S. because the rapper is not able to spread it by touring. The country is very strict and does not allow the OVO rapper to enter the States despite his basically non-existent record. “If you’re going to America, anything you plead to is considered a record,” Reign explained to Noisey as the reasoning.

In 2014, the rapper released his album titled Dear America and as of this April has finally been allowed back into the U.S.

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When MF Doom Was (Maybe) Deported To The UK

London-born, Long Island-raised shadowy MC MF DOOM has a checkered history with the law, including a possible deportation from the United States in the mid-to-late-2000s. The masked crusader is possibly the most mysterious MC to have walked this earth—he even reportedly has a history of sending stunt doubles in his place to performances—which has led to the persistent though unconfirmed rumors that DOOM is not allowed back into the United States. Maybe he just likes spending time in London? He's consistently skirted around the question multiple times, with the only indication a lyric from his track "Banished," which goes, "No not deported/Be a little minute before things get sorted."

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2015 Billboard Music Awards - Show

When Chris Brown Couldn't Leave The Philippines

This was a strange one—Chris Brown showed up in the Philippines last week to perform a show in the country, only to be stopped after his performance and denied permission to leave. According to reports, CB was billed to play in the nation last New Year's Eve but bailed on the performance, leaving Philippines officials with no choice but to detain the singer until he settled up with the previously jilted promoter. Brown was forced to cancel a show in Jakarta, Indonesia due to safety concerns, but cleared things up in time to make it to Hong Kong two days later, eventually performing a show in neighboring Macau.