Yasiin Bey is continuing to shine his light for the world to see through art and fashion.
The rapper, social activist and now South Africa-based creative has been selected to direct Unknown Union, a African clothing brand. As the brand’s new creative director, Bey will “help to oversee new design concepts and collaborations.” Yasiin, who has only been in South Africa since 2013, landed the opportunity after the clothing company decided to take a new direction whilst introducing ‘The Original Royals Collection’. “We’ve definitely embarked upon an inspiring venture,” said the Founder and CEO, Jason Storey via the Unknown Union website.
Yasiin Bey hasn’t stopped creating or performing in the midst of his own personal strife. Most famously known by his rap name Mos Def, Yasiin Bey gave up his U.S. citizenship before moving to South Africa. Bey tried to leave from South Africa to head back to the United States in January 2016 and was faced with backlash from the Cape Town International Airport. The agency reported Bey was “violating local immigration laws while trying to leave the country” because he was traveling with a World Passport as opposed to a valid visa or U.S. passport. As a result, he has been banned from entering a number of zones like the U.S., The European Union, Russia, China, and Japan.
Ever since the news broke of Yasiin’s situation, people all over the world have been curious as to what’s really going on. Bey let the world know his side of the story via an audio recording posted to Kanye West’s website. He recited the following over an instrumental to “No More Parties In LA”:
Peace, This is Yasiin /No more parties in S.A., please tell ’em no more parties in S.A. /Ain’t home arrest, I don’t need to stay /I’ll leave and I’ll stay away /I committed no crime any place /Why 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 why everything I love I hold dear /Umi’s in the buildin’ /So is my wife and my children /I committed no crime /Why is the state wastin’ my time /They must be out of their minds /I forgive ’em that’s the spirit of divine. I just want to go where I’m wanted, where I’m loved /Stop frontin’ /Where I live is my choice /You cannot mute my voice /Thank you Kanye West for being a real friend.”
The rapper also announced after his next album release, “that’s that.” He also said, ”I’m retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood, effective immediately.”
No word has gotten out on whether Yasiin Bey’s travel situation has improved however he’s showing that making lemons out of lemonade will never go out of style. Unknown Union’s ‘The Original Royals Collection’ has already been released, with select items available for purchase via their website. For more information on Yasiin Bey and the Unknown Union’s official clothing, visit their site here.