Rappers turned actors are about a dime a dozen. However there are only a few who are actually good at it. Now everyone knows the staples. There is L.L. Cool J., Ice T and Method Man. However, most people forget about Mos Def.

Rap career

Mos Def is the Brooklyn born rapper who jumped on the scene in the 90's with the song "Miss Fat Booty". The catchy hip hop joint told a story of boy meets girl and then boy finds out girl is a stripper. It sampled Aretha Franklin's"One Step Ahead" and was featured on his Black On Both Sides album.

From there he teamed with Brooklyn based lyricist Talib Kweli and formed the group Black Star.

The group was mildly successful with fans in the hip hop community praising both for producing real hip hop at a time when rap music had given way to promoting designer brands and a flashy lifestyle. However, Mos Def didn't stop there.

Acting career

In 2005, he was featured as Ford Prefect in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Unlike most rappers who play police officers onscreen and while blasting the cops in their records, Mos Def played a British alien, displaying a somewhat convincing British accent.

Name change

It's not the typical role that you would expect from a rapper, but Def has tried to be unconventional his entire career. These days he goes by the name Yasiin Bey. He retired the name Mos Def in 2011.

In an interview with Peter Rosenberg of MTV, he said of the name change, "I didn't want to have to deal with any moniker or separation between the self that I see and know myself as." Mos Def's real name is Dante Terrell Smith.

Other than his film career, Bey has also been featured in the Showtime series, Dexter.

Once again, he didn't play the standard generic cop that most other rappers do. So the best that can be said about the rapper is that he can't be put into a box. The rap industry has tried to put him into a box and he countered with a name change. The acting world couldn't put him into a box, because he was going to play characters that spoke to him.

He may not be as popular as the aforementioned rappers, but he's made a career on his own terms.

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