Dante Terrell Smither, also known as Mos Def, was born in Bedford Stuyvesant in 1973. He has been acting and rapping since he was 9 years old. His parents were politically and culturally active and it paved the way for Mos Def to also be involved in activism.
He was a natural performer who used his rapping and acting to make others think and educate people. He has always refused to be defined by titles and boxed into one category.
In 2016, Yasin (as he is now known) announced his retirement from the industry. He took his shahadah at 19 because of his father, who was involved with the Nation of Islam and so he has always remained steadfast in his faith. He always started his live performances with “bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim.”
In 2011 he changed his name to Yasin Bey because he felt Mos Def was only being used as a product. He has been known as Yasin since 1999 in his personal life. He has always worked for a purpose and that is to educate the unaware.
Check out this American rapper’s journey to Islam!