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Mos Def

Regarded as one of hip-hop's most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends music genres and artistic medium. A child of hip-hop's golden era, the native Brooklynite spent his childhood imbedded in the culture surrounding him as well as absorbing knowledge from across the music spectrum.

With the release of Universal Magnetic, Del' became an underground favorite, leading to his legendary collaboration with Talib Kweli. The two formed Black Star whose debut album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star, would become one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop albums. Def followed that with the release of his 1999 solo debut Black on Both Sides, which was certified gold and credited by critics as bringing hip-hop back to its soapbox roots.

As with his music, Def has demonstrated insight and passion in his acting career, appearing in Spike Lee's Bamboozled, MTV's Carmen: A Hip Hopera, the critically acclaimed Monster's Ball, Showtime and the romantic comedy, Brown Sugar, for which he received an NAACP Image Award nomination. In addition,

Def has hosted, co-executive produced and served as musical director for the HBO series, Def Poetry Jam, and served as a writer, producer and actor on the MTV sketch comedy series, The Lyricist Lounge Show . Def also recently completed his Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated, Pulitzer Prize-winning, Topdog/Underdog.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Mos Def Facts

Birth Name Dante Terrell Smith
OccupationActor, Musician
BirthdayDecember 11, 1973 (44)
SignSagittarius
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is Mos Def compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Prince Among Slaves
Chappelle's Show 211
Monster's Ball
Cadillac Records
Civil Brand
The Italian Job
Something the Lord Made
Brown Sugar
Be Kind Rewind
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