The night of the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, Yasiin Bey was behind bars.
Earlier that evening, fans who wanted a glimpse of Justin Timberlake, T.I. or Avenged Sevenfold had gathered on the sidewalk around the entrance of Radio City Music Hall. It was Aug. 31, almost exactly a year since Hurricane Katrina had touched down in New Orleans. Bey, then still known as Mos Def, wanted to send a message to the Bush administration, as well as the celebrities cozying up inside the venue, about their response to the disaster.