M1, rapper with Dead Prez, denied entry at Montreal airport

Mutulu Olugbala, otherwise known as M1 from rap duo Dead Prez, was turned away by Canada Border Services Agency late Friday night in an incident he attributed to "racial profiling."

M1 was supposed to make appearance at FRO Foundation event Jan. 31 in Montreal

Rapper M1 was denied access into Canada this weekend. He was supposed to perform at Montreal's Fro Festival. Now he's criticizing Canadian policy. 2:29

Mutulu Olugbala, otherwise known as M1 from political rap duo Dead Prez, was turned away by Canada Border Services Agency late Friday night in an incident he attributed to "racial profiling."

  • Watch M1's video to fans below

M1 was scheduled to appear at an event held by FRO Foundation on Jan. 31 at La Grande Bibliothèque in downtown Montreal. The event was meant to kick off the FRO Festival's Black History Month activities.

"I'm here today to report to you that I have been denied entry into Canada because of their miscellaneous policies which I can sometimes attribute to racial profiling," M1 said in a smartphone video he recorded at the Montreal airport on Saturday morning.

The rapper said he was "livid" at CBSA's "inconsistent policies."

FRO Foundation co-founder BerekYah Yergeau said she didn't know the exact circumstances surrounding M1's border denial.

She said to her knowledge M1 may have had an infraction on his criminal record dating back to 2006. However, she said, he had successfully made it into Canada on several occasions since then.

Additionally, Yergeau said she did not arrange for a work visa for M1 because he was donating his time for free to the FRO Foundation.

M1 still participated in Saturday evening's event at the library via Skype

CBSA said it could not comment on the details of M1's refusal of entry at Montreal's Trudeau airport, citing privacy concerns.

However, spokeswoman Jacqueline Roby did offer a general statement, part of which is below:


Admissibility of all travellers is decided on a case-by-case basis and based on the information made available at the time of entry.

Several factors are used in determining admissibility into Canada, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations, in organized crime, security, health or financial reasons.

The assessment of travellers is solely based on the legislation. Every year we welcome millions of travellers from every race and religion and from all parts of the world.


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