Yasiin Bey Announces His Retirement – Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Jan. 20 in hip-hop history...
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.
He has since mentioned he will be dropping two more albums, Negus in Natural Person and As Promised with Mannie Fresh. When Bey does finally wrap it up, he doesn't plan on disappearing completely. In fact, He actually broke his rapping fast when he collaborated on experimental rap group Buy Muy Drugs' record, "Buy My App," in the fall of 2017. During that same period of time, Gorillaz brought him out onstage to perform their collab, "Stylo," off their 2009 album, Plastic Beach. That same month, he delivered a "farewell" performance at the One Musicfest in Atlanta. Since then, however, Bey stood on stage during a Madlib set and hinted that the rap game can expect a new Black Star project at some point.
Revisit Yasiin's retirement speech via SoundCloud below.
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