Mos Def
Mos Def

Birth name

Dante Terrell Smith

Also known as

Yasiin Bey


11 December 1973 (age 42)
Brooklyn, New York, United States


Hip hop


Rapper, actor

Years active



Rawkus, Priority, Geffen, Downtown, GOOD Music, DD172

Associated acts

Black Star, Native Tongues, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Urban Thermo Dynamics, Kanye West

Yasiin Bey (born 11 December 1973), formerly known by his stage name Mos Def, is an American rapper and actor from Brooklyn, New York. He started his hip hop career in a group called Urban Thermo Dynamics, after which he appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. With Talib Kweli, he formed the duo Black Star, and they released the album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star in 1998. He was a major force in late 1990s underground hip hop while signed to Rawkus Records. As a solo artist he has released the albums Black on Both Sides in 1999, The New Danger in 2004, True Magic in 2006, and The Ecstatic in 2009. Bey has been active in several social and political causes.


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