Yasiin Bey performs during the Black on Both Sides 20th Anniversary concert at The Greek Theatre on October 25, 2019 in Berkeley, California

Yasiin Bey Won't Star In Biopic Without Estate Approval

Yasiin Bey may be backing out of a highly-anticipated biopic about jazz legend Thelonious Monk. After it was widely reported that the rapper/actor would be in the movie, a controversy involving Monk's family and his estate has emerged.

“A leader.A Lord.A shape in space.A man from a community of devotion who lives a simple life distant from society,” Bey initially said of Monk in an emailed statement to Rolling Stone. “The adjectives.can never be nouns.Love.is a verb.The Future has already happened.And Forever.is a current event.Jupiter and team.”

But Monk's son, T.S. Monk, blasted the proposed film.

“This project and its announcement are totally unauthorized! I hate the script and I control the music in Thelonious’s catalog,” he said. “There is no involvement by anyone in the Monk family with this project, and we actually condemn the effort.”

Bey posted a message via Instagram explaining his position with the project. 

"To be clear, I was given every indication by the production company that the family was onboard,” Bey says in the clip. “It was one of my primary questions — just as important as the music, if not more important, that the family supported the project. I took them at their word, and clearly that wasn’t the case.” Bey remains “super-excited” to tell the story “in the right way.

“Perhaps another time,” he added. “Under better auspices, but not right now.”


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