Yasiin Bey has been living in Cape Town, South Africa since May 2013, according to an article in Mail & Guardian.
“Last year May, I came [to Cape Town] and I said I’m not leaving,” the rapper formerly known as Mos Def says. “I’m staying. It’s a beautiful place. It has the ocean, mountain, botanical gardens and beautiful people.”
Bey first visited Cape Town in 2009 and decided to move because of his dislike for certain aspects of the United States.
“For a guy like me, with five or six generations from the same town in America, to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America,” he says. “There are some beautiful places in America. I love Brooklyn. New York City needs to thank Brooklyn every day just for existing. That’s how I feel about it. It was a hard thing to leave home. But I’m glad I did.”
Bey says that he is working on a tribute album to Gil Scott-Heron and that still loves Hip Hop culture.
“I love its vitality and the way it speaks to young people, the way it spoke to me,” he says. “It told me don’t cry, don’t despair. I got something for you to do with all the despair, anger and sadness inside of you. I got a way for you to turn that around.”