Mos Def

Also Credited As:

Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Mos Def BIO

Mos Def, also known as Yasiin Bey, is an American rapper, actor, and activist. Born Dante Terrell Smith on December 11, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York, Mos Def began his career in entertainment as a rapper in the late 1990s. He quickly gained recognition for his unique style and socially conscious lyrics.

In 1998, Mos Def released his debut album, "Black on Both Sides," which was met with critical acclaim. The album featured hits such as "Ms. Fat Booty" and "Mathematics." Mos Def's music often addressed political and social issues, including police brutality and racial inequality.

Mos Def's success as a rapper led to opportunities in film and television. He made his acting debut in the 1998 film "Where's Marlowe?" and went on to appear in several other films, including "Brown Sugar" and "The Italian Job." In 2004, Mos Def received critical acclaim for his performance in the HBO film "Something the Lord Made," for which he received an Emmy nomination.

In addition to his work in film and television, Mos Def has also appeared on Broadway. In 2002, he starred in the Tony Award-winning play "Topdog/Underdog" alongside Jeffrey Wright. The play, written by Suzan-Lori Parks, explores the complicated relationship between two African American brothers.

Mos Def's music career continued throughout the 2000s, with the release of several successful albums, including "The New Danger" and "True Magic." In 2006, he collaborated with Talib Kweli to release the album "Black Star," which was a critical and commercial success.

In recent years, Mos Def has become increasingly involved in activism and social justice issues. In 2013, he made headlines when he underwent a force-feeding procedure to protest the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He has also been an outspoken advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Most recently, Mos Def appeared in the 2016 film "The Get Down," a Netflix original series set in the Bronx during the rise of hip-hop in the late 1970s. Mos Def played the role of "The Books," a graffiti artist and mentor to the show's main character, Ezekiel.

Overall, Mos Def's career has been marked by his commitment to social justice and his unique style as a rapper and actor. He continues to be a powerful voice in the entertainment industry and beyond.


Special Benefit Production, 2005


Original Broadway Production, 2002

Mos Def Awards and Nominations

Mos Def News

Photos: Brooklyn Botanic Garden's LIGHTSCAPE Opens to the Public

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) officially opened Lightscape, the stunning, mile-long illuminated trail on Friday, November 17. Returning for its third year in Brooklyn and featuring one million-plus lights in immersive installations across the Garden, Lightscape has fast become the city’s contemporary classic for the holidays, offering an imaginative, joyful spin on winter tradition. Check out photos here!

Emmy Nominated Filmmaker Randy Simon Makes NY Stage Directing Debut With THE DUCHESS OF LES at The Kraine Theatre

Emmy nominated filmmaker Randy Simon makes his New York stage directing debut with 'The Duchess of LES: An AI Musical From Little Ukraine.' Set in 1980s Little Ukraine, the musical tells a story of love, betrayal, and temptation.

Grant Gustin Will Make Broadway Debut in WATER FOR ELEPHANTS; Additional Cast Revealed

Grant Gustin will make his Broadway debut in the upcoming new musical Water For Elephants, which is set for come to Broadway in February 2024! Plus, find out who else will appear in the production.

THE DUCHESS OF LES: An AI Musical From Little Ukraine to Have World Premiere At The Kraine Theatre

Step into the electric era of the 1980s with The Duchess Of LES: An AI Musical From Little Ukraine. Premiering at The Kraine Theatre, this innovative production blends AI music with original compositions to transport audiences back in time. Don't miss this immersive musical experience that captures the essence of Little Ukraine in the 1980s.

Violinist Kersten Stevens Will Perform at City Winery Next Month

City Winery presents Kersten Stevens, queen of the violin, who will perform live with special guest 8x- Grammy award-winning bassist and one of the world's best jazz musicians and innovators, Christian McBride on Monday, November 27 at 7:30 pm. Learn more about the concert here!

Feature: SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at The Garden Theater

What did our critic think of SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at The Garden Theater? As she gets ready to perform in SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, Stephanie Amber admits presenting Stephen Sondheim’s works leaves her stomach, as well as her tongue, in knots.

Cast Confirmed For the London Return of Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS

Bad Victims, written and performed, by award-wining Joanna Pickering, and directed by Erica Gould (world premiers of Neil LaBute and Theresa Rebeck) confirms its cast and returns to stage at The Courtyard Theatre, London with three more special dates on April 26th, 27th and 28th.

Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS to Return to the London Stage in March

Bad Victims, written and performed, by award-wining Joanna Pickering, and directed by Erica Gould returns to stage, with its original cast, at The Courtyard Theatre, London by popular demand, adding two special dates on March 14th and 15th.

Jabee Pays Homage to Mos Def and Talib Kweli on 'Black Star'

OKC-based rapper Jabee is proud to share details on his upcoming EP “Good.' “Good” is produced entirely by Grammy award winning producer Conductor Williams and includes features from Boldy James and Blu. Along with the announcement, Jabee shares the project’s first single “Black Star.”

Santigold Announces 'Noble Champions' Podcast Featuring Idris Elba, Olivia Wilde & More

The first season features guests: Tunde Adebimpe, Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def), Sanford Biggers, Bun B, Idris Elba, Mary Anais Heglar, Dan Kovalik, Resmaa Menakem, Questlove, Rebecca Walker, Olivia Wilde, Saul Williams, and Angela Yee. Listen to the podcast trailer now!

Cast Announced For Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS At The Courtyard Theatre

Casting has been announced for Bad Victims, a new play from award-nominated playwright Joanna Pickering at The Courtyard Theatre, directed by Erica Gould. 

Film Takes Center Stage at Festival O22

On the heels of a successful opening weekend and rave reviews for live productions of Rossini's Otello and Toshio Hosokawa's The Raven, Opera Philadelphia's Festival O continues this week with the first Opera on Film series, featuring more than 30 cinematic operas presented in 12 screenings at the Philadelphia Film Center.

Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS Comes to The Courtyard Theatre Next Month, Directed by Erica Gould

Bad Victims, a new play by award-nominated British US-based playwright Joanna Pickering will have its London Exclusive Preview at The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, UK. 

Photos: First Look At the Cast of BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY At Stage West

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s brilliant Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy begins a 4-week regional premiere run at Stage West on Thursday, August 18. See photos from the production.

Levitt Pavilion LA Presents WONDER-FULL IN THE PARK: A Tribute To The Music Of Stevie Wonder

Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park, Footlong Development & Keistar Productions present Wonder-Full In The Park: A Tribute To The Music Of Stevie Wonder Ft. DJs Spinna, Monalisa, Cognito.

Seinabo Sey Shares New Single 'Blessed' & B-Side 'Blackstar'

Seinabo Sey returns with her first new music of 2022 – “Blessed,” her new single, and B-side “Blackstar.” With sparse and danceable production by Carli Löf and Simon On The Moon, “Blessed” is imbued with the joys of everyday life and finds Seinabo grateful for the little things.

Drummer Will Calhoun Debuts Selections From His Rhythm Art/AZA Collection At The National Museum Of Mathematics

For the past four decades, Bronx-born drummer Will Calhounhas been one of the most distinctive and sought-after drummers as a member of the legendary rock group, Living Colour, and as a solo artist with six recordings as a leader. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, with a BA in Music Production and Engineering, Calhoun combines his love for sound and science when he brings his revolutionary Rhythm Art/AZA collection to the National Museum of Mathematics(MoMath), 11 E. 26thStreet in New York City, April 30 - July 31 in the Museum's Composite Gallery.

Drummer Will Calhoun Debuts Selections from His Rhythm Art/AZA Collection at the National Museum of Mathematics

For the past four decades, Bronx-born drummer Will Calhoun has been one of the most distinctive and sought-after drummers as a member of the legendary rock group, Living Colour, and as a solo artist with six recordings as a leader.

Hi-ARTS Artist-in-Residence Friday Lynton Will Present Her Work in East Harlem

Hi-ARTS, New York City's premiere incubator for urban art, recently announced its new cohort of artists-in-residence. The East Harlem nonprofit helps artists — like Radha Blank, Ebony Noelle Golden, Nona Hendryx, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Dominique Morisseau — develop their works of art into masterpieces, whether they be theater, music dance, visual arts or multi-media.

DJ Kenny Dope Brings Full Spectrum Radio To Apple Music Hits

Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez is opening the vault to his legendary record collection and taking Apple Music listeners along for the ride on his brand new radio show on Apple Music Hits, Full Spectrum Radio. As the title suggests, listeners can expect a spectrum of genres, including house, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, Latin, jazz, disco, funk, soul, and more. 


Mos Def has appeared on Broadway in 2 shows.

Mos Def has not appeared in the West End

Mos Def has been nominated for several awards in the Broadway world. He received a nomination for Performance at the Obie Awards for his role in "Fucking A". Additionally, he was nominated for Outstanding Featured Actor at The Lortels for his performance in "Fucking A". Mos Def also received a nomination for Performance at the Theatre World Awards for his role in "Topdog/Underdog". These nominations highlight his talent and contributions to the Broadway stage.

Mos Def has won several awards for his performances in Broadway shows. He received an Obie Award for his performance in "Fucking A" and a Theatre World Award for his performance in "Topdog/Underdog".

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