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Mos Def to Retire the Name 'Mos Def'

Rapper says he will be known as Yasiin

September 7, 2011 8:30 AM ET
mos def yasiin
Mos Def
Araya Diaz/WireImage

Mos Def has announced that he will be dropping the name "Mos Def" by the end of this year, and will henceforth be known on record as Yasiin.

"I’m retiring the Mos Def name after 2011. I’m actually doing it. Yasiin. That’s it," he told MTV2's Sucker Free. "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 and it’s time to expand and move on. Also, I didn’t want to have to deal with having any moniker or separation between the self that I see and know myself as."

The rapper, born Dante Terrell Smith, has built a career in hip-hop and film on the name Mos Def. It's unclear whether or not he intends to use the Yasiin name for his future screen credits.

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