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Yasiin Bey


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Brooklyn, New York, United States

Dante Terrell Smith (born December 11, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, United States), better known by the stage name Mos Def and Yasiin Bey, is a rapper and actor. He began rapping in a group called Urban Thermo Dynamics in 1994, and then formed the duo Black Star with Talib Kweli in 1998. 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.

In regards to changing from Mos Def to Yasiin Bey, he announced the name change in 2011. According to, “At a performance last August, the deliberate and sharply dressed emcee, who is also well known as an actor, announced his “official transition” to a huge audience gathered in the parking lot of a popular pub and pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska: “My professional name will be my chosen and my legal name, which is Yasiin Bey. … And I don’t want to have to wait for it to be in Source or Vibe or someplace. I figure, we’re all here. We can see each other.” And then he spelled it out for them: “Y-A-S-I-I-N, first name. Last name: B-E-Y.”
When a few Alaskans made some disapproving noises, Bey responded, “I understand. I understand.” Cradling his signature bright red, vintage-style microphone, he then tried to make it clear he knew exactly what, and exactly whom, he was giving up. “No one has a more close relationship to Mos Def than me. I know that guy.



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  • nfalbinolfm

    Comments = all wrong. Do a little simple research and you will learn: 1) He REverted to Islam back in the early 90s; 2) Changed his name in the late 90s to better represent his beliefs; 3) Didn't make the official, professional change until recently as he felt 'Mos Def' had become a product rather than a person. RESPECT.

    4 Aug 2014 Reply
  • FrlSieben

    „Ha! Converted to Island. Well, I guess life's a beach.“ [2] <3

    12 Mar 2014 Reply
  • NaiveAmoeba

    Ha! Converted to Island. Well, I guess life's a beach.

    27 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Tha_Abstract

    His mama call em' Mos...Imma call em' Mos. :D

    28 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Parchina_Ewa

    converted to Island [9] Al-Island :D

    25 Feb 2013 Reply
  • celos87

    dunno y he changed his name but he's still my dude when comes to hip-hop

    4 Feb 2013 Reply
  • MelloSunshine

    Its mos def forever!

    15 Dec 2012 Reply
  • RottenBerry

    I'm with @Xe4ro and @carAnthony . Keeping the old tags the same, using this for anything released under this name.

    11 Nov 2012 Reply
  • sjm26b

    Mos Def

    28 Oct 2012 Reply
  • psychopseudoJA

    converted to Island [8]

    23 Sep 2012 Reply
  • carAnthony

    @Xe4ro so it should be.

    17 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Xe4ro

    Well iam not going to change the Tags for all his old Stuff. Just the new Stuff of course =)

    13 Aug 2012 Reply
  • affectionateMe

    converted to Island [7] xDD

    27 Jun 2012 Reply
  • daseasplitter

    converted to Island [6] The hipsters' religion.

    10 Jun 2012 Reply
  • cracktheskies

    converted to Island [5] haha, took me a minute to get it...

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • Aesthethica

    looking at that play count, it's obvious everyone updated their tags.

    13 May 2012 Reply
  • david-1992

    converted to Island [3] I wonder who the God is on this magical Island!

    11 May 2012 Reply
  • TheLukieBoi1

    Hipsters way of spelling Mos Def? The Dude changed his name you idiot. I believe he converted to Island and that's why.

    3 May 2012 Reply
  • Roc_Melo

    Hipsters way of spelling Mos Def

    15 Mar 2012 Reply
  • tyrealg


    2 Mar 2012 Reply
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