Yasiin Bey Won't Star In Biopic Without Estate Approval

By Stereo Williams

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 a verb.The Future has already happened.And 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.”