“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.