The rapper formerly known as Mos Def, Yasiin Bey, will end his performing career in December with special shows on the East Coast. Bey will perform at New York City’s Apollo Theater on December 21st and at Washington D.C.’s the Kennedy Center Concert Hall from December 31st through January 2nd.
To make his farewell special, the rapper will perform songs from a different album each night, including 1999’s Black on Both Sides, 2004’s The New Danger, 2006’s True Magic and 2009’s The Ecstatic. He has not yet disclosed which nights he’ll be performing which album. He will also be performing new material at the dates and will welcome surprise special guests at each show. The New Year’s Eve gig will feature a post-show party in the Grand Foyer of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Upon retiring from music, Bey will relocate to Africa to focus on an arts, culture and lifestyle collective named A Country Called Earth. He will also explore painting and the visual arts. Some of the artworks created by the collective will be displayed anonymously at both the Apollo Theater and Kennedy Center performances.
The shows also represent a homecoming for Bey. The rapper was arrested in South Africa for attempting to leave the country with a “world passport” in January and was barred from leaving the country. During his detainment, he recorded and released the songs “Local Time” and “Dec. 99th – N.A.W.,” and collaborated with A Tribe Called Red and other artists. In late November, he apologized for violating the country’s immigration laws and was permitted to leave.