A statement posted on one of the organizers’ website last week announced the scrapped shows. “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 U.S. tour has been canceled, including May 15th, Together Boston’s show at The Wilbur Theatre. Individual ticket refunds for this show are available at point of sale.”
Bey moved to South Africa last year. He recently spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about relocating. “I lived in Brooklyn 33 years of my life. 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,'” he shared. “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.”
In May 2013, Bey, whose birth name is Dante Terrell Smith, made the official move with the help of friend/manager Abdi Hussein (aka Whosane). “So, I came and I said I’m not leaving, I’m staying,” continued the 40-year-old lyricist. “And I’m not here just for like middle class comfort, you know. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, you got the ocean, the mountain, the botanical garden, the beautiful people, the history, the culture, the struggle and everything — maaan, let me tell you something, for a guy like me, who had five or six generations not just in America but in one town in America, to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America.”
It is unclear what kind of discrepancies are holding up his re-entry into the U.S.