EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Craig Clemens

January 20, 2016

Yasiin Bey, who was detained last week in South Africa for attempting to leave the country with an illegal passport, has announced his retirement from film and music “effective immediately” following the release of his final album, due out later this year.

In a freestyle and statement sent to Kanye West, and posted to Kanye’s Soundcloud, Bey protests his treatment in South Africa, repeating the phrase “no more parties in SA.” “Why are these police up in my face? Why they raiding my place? Why I don’t feel safe? This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. My intentions are pure in coming here. And that’s for everything I love or hold dear. Homies in the building, So is my wife and my children. I committed no crime. Why is the state wasting my time?”

Having overstayed his visitors permit, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), tried to leave the country via Cape Town last week using a “world passport.” Suggesting “political motivations” behind his troubles, Bey claimed that “People in the state had taken punitive action against me, unnecessarily.”

The idea of a world passport was initally brought forward and intevented by Garry Davis in the 1950’s. In 1954, Davis created the World Service Authority (WSA) to promote ‘world citizenship’, issuing the first world passports to help stateless people and refugees. Garry Davis used a world passport himself and was arrested for doing so.

The WSA says six countries – Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia – recognize world passports. Current world passport holders also include Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.