33 Facts About Mos Def

1. In January 2016, Mos Def was ordered to leave South Africa and not return for five years, having stayed in the country illegally on an expired tourist visa granted in May 2013.

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2. Mos Def married Maria Yepes in 1996, and has two daughters with her: Jauhara Smith and Chandani Smith.

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3. Mos Def has influenced numerous hip hop artists throughout his career, including Lupe Fiasco, Jay Electronica, Kid Cudi, and Saigon.

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4. In September 2011, Mos Def joined the cast of the environmental children's hip hop musical—Pacha's Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature—as narrator.

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5. Mos Def appeared on Real Time again on March 27, 2009, and spoke about the risk of nuclear weapons.

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6. In October 2006, Mos Def appeared on 4Real, a documentary television series.

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7. Mos Def was arrested despite having a public performance permit in his possession.

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8. Mos Def is well known for his left-wing political views.

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9. In 2000, paired with Talib Kweli, Mos Def organized the Hip Hop for Respect project to speak out against police brutality.

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10. In January 2016, Mos Def announced his retirement from both the music and the film industry on Kanye West's website.

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11. In 2008, Mos Def starred in the Michel Gondry movie Be Kind Rewind, playing a video rental store employee whose best friend is played by co-star Jack Black.

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12. Mos Def made a cameo appearance as himself in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

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13. Mos Def is set to be in Toussaint, a film about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture, opposite Don Cheadle and Wesley Snipes.

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14. Mos Def has a recurring guest role on Boondocks, starring as Gangstalicious.

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15. Mos Def starred in the action film 16 Blocks alongside Bruce Willis and David Morse.

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16. Mos Def was featured as the banjo player in the Pixie Sketch" from Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes, though his appearance was edited out of the DVD.

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17. In 2006, Mos Def appeared in Dave Chappelle's Block Party alongside Black Star partner Talib Kweli, while contributing to the film's soundtrack.

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18. Mos Def appeared on the sitcom My Wife and Kids as the disabled friend of Michael Kyle.

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19. Mos Def played the oldest child in the 1990 family sitcom You Take the Kids shortly before it was cancelled.

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20. In February 2018, Mos Def announced, on stage, a new Black Star studio album to be released in 2018.

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21. On January 19, 2016, Mos Def announced his retirement from both the music and film industries on Kanye West's website: "I'm retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and Hollywood, effective immediately.

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22. In September 2011, Mos Def announced that he legally changed his name to Yasiin Bey, and would continue to go by that name.

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23. Mos Def features on the first single, "Stylo", from the third Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, alongside soul legend Bobby Womack.

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24. Mos Def has designed two pairs of limited edition Converse shoes.

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25. Mos Def appears on the debut album from fellow New Yorkers Apollo Heights on a track titled, "Concern.

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26. On November 7, 2007, Mos Def performed live in San Francisco at The Mezzanine venue.

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27. Mos Def released his solo debut album Black on Both Sides in October 1999, through Rawkus.

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28. Mos Def signed with Rawkus Records and formed the rap group Black Star with Talib Kweli.

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29. In 1996, Mos Def emerged as a solo artist and worked with De La Soul and Da Bush Babees, before he released his own first single, "Universal Magnetic" in 1997.

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30. Mos Def attended middle school at Philippa Schuyler Middle School 383 in Bushwick, Brooklyn where he picked up his love for acting.

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31. Mos Def was not exposed to Islam until the age of 13.

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32. Mos Def is known as the host of Def Poetry Jam, which aired on HBO between 2002 and 2007.

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33. Mos Def was featured on the roster of Rawkus Records and in 1999 released his solo debut, Black on Both Sides.

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