Yasiin Bey, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def, says he's retiring from music and is being "unjustly" detained in South Africa.
Bey makes his claims in an over 10-minute long voicemail message to his friend and collaborator, Kanye West, who posted the somber message on his website on Tuesday night.
"A message from Yasiin Bey," West tweeted on Tuesday.
Bey was arrested last week at Cape Town International Airport in South Africa. The 42-year-old rapper/actor has been charged with violating the country's immigration laws, and is currently out on bail.
"At this current time, I'm currently in Cape Town, South Africa, and I'm being prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully, and without any logical reason," Bey, whose real name is Dante Terrel Smith, says. "They say they want to deport my family, they're making false claims against me ... saying that the document I was traveling with is fictitious, which it is not. Anyone can do the research about the World Passport, it is not a fictitious document."
The World Passport is a document issued by the World Service Authority, a non-profit organization. Many countries have stated that they do not recognize the World Passport because it is not issued by a competent government authority, and thus does not meet the definition of a passport.
It is not known why Bey, who hails from New York, isn't using a U.S.-issued passport.
"Mr. Smith attempted to depart the country from the Cape Town International Airport by producing an unrecognized 'World Passport,'" the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa said in statement, via AFP
. "Further investigation into the matter revealed that Mr. Smith's wife, mother and four children had overstayed and were sojourning in the country illegally."
Bey will appear for trial on March 8 to answer the immigration charges.
Bey says he suspects there are "political motivations" behind his detainment.
"I have reason to believe, or suspect, that there are political motivations behind the way that I'm being treated," Bey says. "Because this is following no reasonable train of logic, and it's also curious. I haven't broken any law, and I'm being treated like a criminal."
He also says he's retiring from both music and film. In addition to his notable rap career, Bey has also been in a number of high-profile films, including 2000's Bamboozled, 2001's Monster's Ball, and 2003's The Italian Job.
"I'm retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood, effective immediately," he says. "I'm releasing my final album this year. And that's that."