Yasiin Bey A/K/A Mos Def
May 15, 2014
Regarded as one of hip-hop’s most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends music genres and artistic medium. With the release of Universal Magnetic, Mos became an underground favorite in the hip-hop world, leading to his legendary collaboration with Talib Kweli. The two formed the group Black Star, whose debut album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are…Black Star, would become one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop albums. Mos followed that release with his 1999 solo debut, Black On Both Sides, which was certified gold and credited by critics as bringing hip-hop back to its soapbox roots. As with his music, Mos has demonstrated insight and passion with his acting career. He has appeared in the critically acclaimed projects Monster’s Ball, The Italian Job, the HBO movie Something the Lord Made, The Woodsman, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and 16 Blocks, among others. He has received Grammy, Golden Globe, EMMY, NAACP Image Award nominations for his work. Mos Def recently began going by the moniker Yasiin Bey, stating "Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated over the years, it's a name that the streets taught me, a figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment, and I feel I've done quite a bit with that name. But, it's time to expand and move on."