Mos Def

~ Person

Legal name: Dante Smith

Also performs as: Dec 99th, Yasiin Bey


Mos Def (/ˈms ˈdɛf/); born Dante Terrell Smith; December 11, 1973), also known by his recently used stage name Yasiin Bey (/jæˈsn ˈb/), is an American hip hop recording artist, actor, comedian, and activist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. Best known for his music, Mos Def embarked on his hip hop career in 1994, alongside his siblings in the short-lived rap group Urban Thermo Dynamics (UTD), after which he appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. He subsequently formed the trio Black Star, alongside fellow Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli, and Cincinnati producer Hi-Tek and released their eponymous debut album in 1998. He was a major force in late-1990s underground hip hop while under Rawkus Records. In 1999, Mos Def released his solo debut, Black on Both Sides, under Rawkus and Priority Records. His debut was followed by The New Danger (2004), True Magic (2006) and The Ecstatic (2009). The editors at listed him as the 14th greatest emcee of all time on their "50 greatest MC's of our time" list.

Prior to his career in music, Mos Def first entered public life as a child actor, having played roles in television movies, sitcoms, and theater, some of which were under the name Dante Beze. At the age of 14, he appeared in the TV movie God Bless the Child, which aired on ABC in 1988. He played the oldest child in the 1990 family sitcom You Take the Kids, shortly before it was cancelled. In 1995, he played the character "Dante" in The Cosby Mysteries. Since the early 2000s, Mos Def has been well known for his roles in films such as Something the Lord Made, Next Day Air, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 16 Blocks, Be Kind Rewind, The Italian Job, Bamboozled and Brown Sugar, as well as for his portrayal of Brother Sam in the Showtime drama series Dexter. 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 state of African Americans.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1999 Black on Both Sides Mos Def 4.5 3
2004 The New Danger Mos Def 4 4
2006 True Magic Mos Def 3 1
2009 The Ecstatic Mos Def 4.25 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2003 We Are Hip Hop. Me. You. Everybody Mos Def 1
2004 Mos Definite Mos Def 2
2006 Universal B-Boy Mos Def 1
2006 Universal B-Boy, Part 2 Mos Def 1
2008 Universal B-Boy, Part 3 Mos Def 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 Universal Magnetic Mos Def 2
1998 Body Rock Mos Def feat. Q‐Tip & Tash 2
1998 Travellin' Man Mos Def 1
1999 Ms. Fat Booty / Mathematics Mos Def 2
2002 Wylin Out Mos Def, Diverse, Prefuse 73 1
2002 I Against I Massive Attack & Mos Def 1
2004 Sex, Love & Money / Ghetto Rock Mos Def 1
2005 Ah Ha / Bright as the Stars Mos Def / Black Star 1
2006 Undeniable / There Is a Way Mos Def 1
2007 Hey Baby Stephen Marley feat. Mos Def 1
2010 Different Goapele feat. Mos Def 1
2010 Lord Lord Lord Kanye West feat. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson 1
2010 Don't Look Down Kanye West feat. Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco & Big Sean 3 1
2014 You Are Undeniable (Amerigo remix) Mos Def & Marvin Gaye 1

Single + Remix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Oh No: DJ Hype Remix Mos Def & Pharoahe Monch feat. Nate Dogg 1
2001 Oh No (John B Remixes) Mos Def & Pharoahe Monch feat. Nate Dogg 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2004 Mos Def EP Mos Def 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2011 À la modeliste Mark Ronson feat. Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Trombone Shorty, The Dap-Kings & Joseph Modeliste 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2004 Bronx Meets Brooklyn Mos Def & Minnesota 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Jam on It Mos Def 2

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