Mos Def


Yasiin Bey (; born Dante Terrell Smith, December 11, 1973), previously and more commonly known by his stage name Mos Def (), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor. He began his hip hop career in 1994, alongside his siblings in the short-lived rap group Urban Thermo Dynamics (UTD), after which they appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. He subsequently formed the duo Black Star, alongside fellow Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli, and in 1998 they released their eponymous debut album, featuring the singles "Definition" and "Respiration". He was featured on the roster of Rawkus Records and in 1999 released his solo debut, Black on Both Sides. His debut was followed by The New Danger (2004), True Magic (2006), and The Ecstatic (2009). The editors of listed him as the 14th greatest rapper on their "50 Greatest Rappers of All Time" list. Some of his top hits include "Oh No", "Ms. Fat Booty" and "Mathematics".Prior to his career in music, Mos Def entered public life as a child actor with roles in television films, sitcoms, and theater. Since the early 2000s, he has appeared in the films Something the Lord Made, Next Day Air, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 16 Blocks, Be Kind Rewind, The Italian Job, The Woodsman, Bamboozled, and Brown Sugar and in television series such as Dexter and House. He is also known as the host of Def Poetry Jam, which aired on HBO between 2002 and 2007.

Mos Def has been vocal on several social and political causes, including police brutality, the idea of American exceptionalism and the status of African Americans.


September 1, 2022

Exclusive: JID Talks Paying Respect to Rappers That Came Before Him and How Mos Def Influenced Him

Following the release of 'The Forever Story,' JID sat down with Ebro Darden to talk about paying respect to the rappers who came before him and much more.

April 8, 2022

Black Star Announce No Fear of Time, First New Album in 24 Years

Madlib produced Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli’s long-awaited follow-up to 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star


Sensei On the Block

August 28, 2015

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You Are Undeniable (Amerigo Remix)

January 1, 2014

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December 29, 2006

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Monster Music featuring Cassidy

January 1, 2005

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The New Danger

October 19, 2004

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Sex, Love & Money

January 1, 2004

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Mos Def - Live at Benaroya Hall

January 1, 2004

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Black On Both Sides

October 12, 1999

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