Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is an eloquent and intelligent rapper born in Brooklyn. He has made a much greater impression through his acting and activism than in his recent musical releases. Let us know what is happening with this artist and learn so many other interesting facts about him.
Who is Yasiin Bey?
Yasiin Bey is an American hip-hop recording artist, actor, and activist, but he is best known for his music. He was born Dante Terrell Smith on December 11, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Sheron Smith and Abdulrahman. He is best known by his stage name Mos Def. He is the oldest of twelve children (plus stepchildren) of his parents. Yasiin Bey attended middle school at Philippa Schuyler Middle School 383, Bushwick, Brooklyn, where he developed his love of acting. He dropped out of high school in the second year. He is Muslim, but he was exposed to religion until he was 13 years old, and at the age of 19 he publicly professed his faith in Islam.
His music career began when he and his siblings – his brother and sister (DCQ and Ces) – formed a rap group called Urban Thermo Dynamics (UTD) in 1994. And although the group did not last long, it signaled the beginning of Yasiin Bey’s hip-hop career. Later, together with Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli, he formed a rap duo called Black Star, whose debut album was released on Rawkus Records in 1998. His first solo album entitled “Black on Both Sides” was released in 1999, his second solo album entitled “The New Danger” was released in 2004, and the album reached number 5 on the Billboard 200 and has been his most successful album to date.
Mos Def began his acting career when he was a child and has played roles in TV movies, sitcoms, and theatre. At the age of 14, he starred in the television movie “God Bless the Child”, which was broadcast on ABC in 1998. He played the role of Dante, who was Bill Cosby’s henchman in the short-lived detective series The Cosby Mysteries, produced in 1995. He also played the role of Damon Wayan, Michael Kyle’s disabled friend, in the sitcom My Wife and Children.
Yasiin has won several awards in acting. At the 2005 Black Reel Awards, he won the “Best Actor Independent Movie” for his role as Detective Sergeant Lucas in the Woodman, and also won the Image Award.
What Happened to Mos Def? Where is He Now?
Many fans ask what happened to Yasiin Bey and where he is now. It wasn’t until the end of 2011 that Yasiin Bey, then known as Mos Def, publicly announced that he had plans to legally change his name to “Yasiin Bey” and that he was planning to use the name for his recordings and live performances, as he has been using the name privately among friends and family since 1999. He also decided to move to South Africa with his family and to distance himself from the Hollywood universe on which he had built his film career.
He moved to South Africa on a visitor’s permit and his tourist visa had expired. On January 14, 2016, Yasiin was arrested at Cape Town International Airport when he tried to leave the country on a world passport that is not recognized as legal in the country. He was charged in court with violating local immigration laws. The court ruled that he had 14 days to leave the country and that he is banned from entering the country for five years.
Yasiin Bey had already announced in January 2016 that he would retire from both acting and music. He conveyed this message in a freestyle rap, which he released on January 20 by mobile phone. The recording was published on kanyewest.com – the website of Kanye West – who happened to be his long-time friend.
He gave another reason for his resignation in an interview in which he said he didn’t want to bring problems home to his family or allow them to expose themselves to the post-traumatic stress (PTSD) from rap playing, where people fight each other and have a hard time getting along. In the interview, the rapper also revealed his displeasure at the role technology has played in the music industry and how so many platforms give away music without compensating the artist who made the effort.
He went on to say that the technical process had taken over the content and that people had also adapted the content to the technical process. In a confusing turn of events following the announcement of his resignation, Yasiin Bey announced in 2018 that he would make another Black Star studio album, which would be his last album and be released later this year.
Who Was Yasiin Bey Married To?
Yasiin Bey married Maria Yepes in 1996. The couple had two daughters named Jauhara Smith and Chandani Smith. They divorced in 2006, and shortly after the divorce he married Alana Wyatt, but they also separated after two years. He had four more children.