By Hayden Wright
It’s been a hell of a year for Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def. He was arrested in South Africa back in January for attempting to travel with a dodgy “World Passport” and released on bail shortly thereafter.
The rapper and Emmy-nominated actor subsequently announced his retirement from the entertainment industry This week, Bey learned that he can finally leave South Africa, where he’s lived since 2013. Amid the tumult, Bey has announced some farewell appearances in the United States before he makes good on the retirement promise.
On December 21, he will perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Then he’ll take his final bows during shows at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in D.C. between December 31 and January 2. For each show, he’ll perform songs from a different album: 1999’s Black on Both Sides, 2004’s The New Danger, 2006’s True Magic and 2009’s The Ecstatic. For the New Year’s Eve show, Bey will host an afterparty at the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer.
Rolling Stone reports that in retirement, Def will return to Africa (but, presumably not the country of South Africa) to focus on an “arts, culture and lifestyle collective” named A Country Called Earth. Artwork by the collective will be exhibited in DC and NYC during his farewell performances.