Goodbye Mos Def, Hello Yasiin Bey

February 23, 2012  |  

I guess it’s time to accept that at some point in a celebrity’s career he’s going to change his name. Dante Smith, formerly known as Mos Def, is the latest rapper to do so, now going by the name Yasiin Bey.

Last fall, Mos said he had plans to change his name to Yasiin in 2012, but neither he nor his publicist confirmed what his full name would be at the time. Now with the release of a video for his new track, “N****s in Poorest,” Yasiin Bey is debuting his new moniker to the world. He told Entertainment Weekly in September:

“Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated through the years… I feel that I’ve done quite a bit with that name. It’s time to expand and move on.”

In moving on, Yasiin has released the “Top 40 Underdog” series which features this new song as a play off of Jay-Z and Kanye’s highly successful “N****s in Paris.” Yasiin’s track takes a more serious look at what’s really going on in society today, particularly economically, as he tells listeners “Dont Get Caught Up in No Throne.” Yasiin dropped the video on Tuesday to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Listen here and tell us what you think about the song and Mos Def’s new name.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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