The band originally announced the tour in September last year but cancelled in January due to the ongoing pandemic and fears over the spread of COVID. Puck‘s Eriq Gardner has since detailed how this reasoning may have been a cover-up.
“It wasn’t because Hill and Jean had apparently mended fences after an infamous falling out. Rather, the iconic group’s third core member is dealing with a pretty serious criminal situation,” Puck reported.
Michel is currently facing jail time for his involvement and, according to Puck, was unable to leave the country to perform alongside the hip hop trio for the upcoming world tour dates.
The reunion tour was set to go ahead to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic 1996 record ‘The Score’. The reunion was first postponed in November and later cancelled completely.
"The continued COVID pandemic has made touring conditions difficult, and we want to make sure we keep our fans and ourselves healthy and safe,” they announced in January.
Michel is in hot water over his alleged involvement in the criminal case surrounding Jho Low, the Malaysian financier who became one of the FBI’s most wanted “for allegedly masterminding the theft of billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund”, Puck explains.
Michel has been accused of trying to influence two American officials on Low’s behalf, as well as funnelling $865,000 into Barack Obama’s 2012 electoral campaign. He was also accused of lobbying for Donald Trump to send Chinese dissident Guo Wengui back to China.
Puck reported that the rapper was paid at least $8 million for his involvement with Low, and was promised a further $75 million for further action. Michel refused a lesser charge earlier this year which would have seen him serve 16 months in jail.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter