Mos Def - Mos Def To Change Name
Mos Def is set to change his name by the end of the year and will call himself Yasiin.
"I'm actually doing it, I'm retiring the name Mos Def after 2011" he told Mtv.com "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." Born Dante Smith, the rapper converted to Islam in his teens and has taken his new name from his religion as Yasiin is a name in the Qur'an 36th surah.
The 37-year-old rapper was born in New York City and began his music career in 1994 with short-lived group Urban Thermo Dynamics along with his younger brother and sister. He later emerged as a solo artists and worked with other groups including De La Soul. He has since released four studio albums as well as starring in several movies including The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and comedy Be Kind Rewind alongside Jack Black. The rapper is also an outspoken activist on a variety of subjects including racism in America and social injustice following Hurricane Katrina and it's after effects on American society.