Today in Hip-Hop: Yasiin Bey Announces His Retirement
On this day, Jan. 20 in hip-hop history...
2016: Two years ago today, Yasiin Bey, the rapper formally known as Mos Def, announced his retirement from the rap game.
Yasiin announced he was hanging up the mic for good via satellite call from South Africa. Yasiin had been arrested and detained in the country earlier in 2016 for attempting to use an invalid passport to leave. It was Bey's old friend Kanye West who put the call on SoundCloud and directed fans to it. In the 10-minute audio clip, which sounds spoken through a telephone, Bey seemed disgruntled but composed.
“At this present time, I am currently in Cape Town, South Africa and I am being prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully and without any logical reason," Bey started off, going on to say that the document he presented does not give the South African officials the right to hold him.
“Related but not directly related to this," Bey continued, "I’m retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today. And also from Hollywood, effectively immediately. I will be releasing my final album this year and that’s that.”
As the news of Yasiin's retirement began to ripple throughout the Internet, many naysayers believed this was a way for the Brooklyn-born rapper to solicit attention to his detained status in South Africa. But even once he was let go, Yasiin still asserted that he was retiring. In December of 2016, Bey dropped what he said was his last album. A collab project between himself and Ferrari Sheppard, Dec. 99th was released on Dec. 21, 2016 via Tidal.
Revisit Yasiin's retirement speech via SoundCloud below.
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