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Mos Def

Mos Def
Mos Def at YBCA in San Francisco on December 31, 2008
Personal information
Birth nameDante Terrell Smith
BornDecember 11, 1973(age 42)
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
OriginBedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City
GenresHip hop
OccupationRapper, actor, singer, activist
Years active1994 present
LabelsRawkus, Priority, Geffen, Downtown, GOOD Music
Associated actsSoulquarians, Black Star, Talib Kweli, Native Tongues Posse, Kanye West, Gorillaz, Massive Attack

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Dante Terrell Smith (born December 11, 1973) is an American actor and MC known by the stage name Mos Def (c-eniconˌmoʊsˈdɛf). He 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, which released the 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, True Magic in 2006, and The Ecstatic in 2009.

Although he was initially recognized for his musical output, since the early 2000s, Mos Def's screen work has established him as one of only a handful of rappers who have garnered critical approval for their acting work. Mos Def has also been active in several social and political issues.

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