Mos Def

American rapper and actor from New York

Dante Terrell Smith (born December 11, 1973)[4] is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated American actor and a Grammy-nominated rapper known by the stage name Mos Def. Mos Def 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, who released the well-received album Black Star in 1998. He was a major force in the late 1990s underground hip hop explosion spearheaded by Rawkus Records. As a solo artist he has released the albums Black on Both Sides in 1999, The New Danger in 2004, and True Magic, 2006.[4]

Mos Def
Bey performing at the 2012 Ilosaarirock festival
Bey performing at the 2012 Ilosaarirock festival
Background information
Birth nameDante Terrell Smith
Also known as
  • Yasiin Bey
  • Mos Def
  • Black Dante
  • Dante Beze
  • Flaco
  • El-Bey the Moor
Born (1973-12-11) December 11, 1973 (age 48)
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • activist
Years active1994–present


  1. Reese, Eric (2018). "Rise of Hip-Hop in the 2000's". The History of Hip Hop: Volume 1. Barnes & Noble Press. ISBN 9781538076798.
  2. Johnson, Josh (May 27, 2014). "Steal This Track from Courier GT". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  3. O'Connor, Christopher (March 29, 2000). "Common Moves Toward a Progressive Hip-Hop". MTV News. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 allmusic Biography

Other websitesEdit