Mos Def To Retire His Name At The End Of 2011, Renaming Himself Yasiin

Mos has revealed that he wants to dead his rap moniker in a few months.

Mos Def has announced that at the end of 2011, he will no longer go by "Mos Def" and will instead release music under the name "Yasiin." Speaking with MTV2's Sucker Free, the Black Star member explained that he appreciates his current rap name, but that it's time to move on.

"I’m retiring the Mos Def name after 2011. I’m actually doing it. Yasiin. That’s it," he revealed. "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."

Watch Mos make the announcement below.

RELATED: Mos Def To Join Cast Of Showtime's "Dexter"


  • Hassan

    Masha-Allah...Yasin is a noble name. For those who KNOW...! I support the brother. In all reality, it is not a name change, his real name IS YASIN!! Keep on progressing Aki...Salaam.

  • MarsKG

    It's called self-progression, and by expanding his skills and polishing up his public image, he'll be able to do it bigger than life...Yasiin may end up being able a problem in the game, just don't forget that Blackstarr album...

  • The Conformist

    Not interested in responding to some of the negative comments below, we all have an opinion and a right to express it. So here's mine: Mos is one of my 5 favorite hip hop artists of all time (yes, all time). At first glance I wasn't completely sold on the name change until I heard him pronounce it, sort of similar to how his name is pronounced in a similar fashion to "most def". In the end, it's not the name that matters, it's the music, so as long as I hear some more great stuff out of him soon I'll be satisfied.

  • Dom

    Problem with rappers with any sense of artistry is that they eventually feel that hip-hop is 'beneath them' and start singing or picking up a guitar. Andre 3000, Sage Francis, Mos Def, for instance. Mos Def is a dumb example. While he was a good rapper, his inflated sense of what he has achieved in hip-hop is only equalled by his fans. Black on Both Sides was alright, as was the Ecstatic, but most of his work is ruined by misguided 'experimentation'. YOU'RE A RAPPER. RAP.

    • me

      aaah, and hence the reason so many people think hip hop is dead... the idiots that can't accept anything unless it's been processed through that same tired formula, and packaged up in the nice little box they recognize. Thank god for people like you, now we can listen to 20 new Jay-Z cl ones come out every few months....

  • Doubl Negative

    Diamond and Notorious BIG will always be referred to as Diamond D and Biggie, Mos Def will always be called by his original moniker as well.

  • O)9

    mos def should RETIRE altogether. this dude is pathetic. he dropped 2 classics out the gate, and hasn't done ANYTHING since worth talking about. lame actor, gets credit just cuz he gets work. lazy rapper. put out a whole heap of average/garbage shit. yet he still gets gassed by these little artisan, flip flop, frat boy, rap fans. i know so many kids that front like they like mos def just to seem like they know hip hop. i'll be like, "word? what's ya favorite joints?"... "uhh, i'm not sure, i just listen to his freestyles on youtube". mos def went from god like rapper to someone i shake my head at. he lost his edge 10 years ago, name change won't fix that. i await the angry mos def fans, who think his last album was incredible. lazy mos def verses over old madlib beats is not incredible, blackstar and black on both sides was incredible.

    • Anonymous

      Your first couple records are composed of a lifetimes experience, the following are a year or two max. It's not easy to follow your initial stuff, he's done a pretty good job, experimentation shoulden't be frowned upon.

    • Anonymous


  • SirBuddyLong

    To me this is what it is... MOS DEF/YASIIN is moving to a new label (he's on or will be on g.o.o.d music/defjam right)his old label/record company are not allowing him the use of that name...seen it done before.. guy I knew had to go the legal route so he could reclaim the right to release music under his very own name.. ..reaching??? ok check out every time diddy has chnaged his name and see how often it has coincided with label changes/shifts...

    • EddieMurrrphy

      diddy's a little bitch i do not support any action he does. at all. but i have a feeling he's a little smarter than that? i mean he's not a genius but he came up the real way he earned his spot running bad boy. he worked hard as fuck under some dickheads at record labels for a while. speaking of, bad boy really hasnt moved around that much...

  • King of Kingz

    Straight up...."Mos Def" is the dopest name for a rapper. Why the fuck is this nigga changing is name. ALthough I respect him if he wants to...i jsut think, for years...uve been rocking and acting being known as Mos Def, and then he pulls this weird shit. And it aint against any Islamic name...coz I got love for muslims, but this is just DUMB. You can thank Puffy,buffy p.diddy muthafucka for this trend!

  • JihaD

    Nigga shoulda just went with Black Dante if he was gonna change his name. Yaasin or whatever the fuck sounds kinda stupid. SMH. JihaD

  • MosDef

    This is a dumb idea, ask puff daddy

  • Phil House

    youll always be mos def nobodys is calling you yasiin homie sorry

  • Crystal

    I'll always call him Mos Def.

  • Schweinepriester Helmut Smith

    He can do what he wants to do. Cassius Clay did the same shit.

  • Mark Seven DaIssue

    I'm still gon call dat nigga Mos Def.

  • Chris Jones

    He should focus less on his name and more on making decent music.

    • mason killa

      chris jones - well said - mos def you mason bastard i loved ya old music but ya turned into a blood sucking devil in the end. changin to islamic name dont change you, you sold ya soul to make a sale - end of.. ya old music had potency in the lyrics and beats, together making it poetic.. ya just pushin chart toppers these days yaaasin.

    • Real Talk

      Ecstatic was pretty decent. Pretty good actually. The New Danger was garbage tho

    • Anonymous

      Shut the fuck up. He makes great music.

  • James Robinson

    I do although find the whole name change thing to be silly. We've known you as Mos Def forever, this isn't like the end of some cool movie where you can just change your name and we'll all suddenly want to pick up your album.

  • Rosie

    LAME that I can't watch this from Canada. What's up with that???

  • SuperGucciRap

    Mos Def sucks anyways. What makes a difference with a new name? Another boring "concious" rapper that only pussies who can't talk to girls and still live in their moms basement like faggots like Mos Def, Talib Kweli or any of those niggaz. Gucci Mane and Justin Bieber will murk the Black Star. It's Gucci Time!

    • anon

      You're a little troll, aren't you? I certanly hope so.

    • Anonymous

      hahaha ive missed you! your comments disappeared for a while

    • James Robinson

      You know I've found the guys listening to "conscious" (If you can't spell it you don't get to use it.) do pretty well in life and generally go out of their way to find girls who like the same music. At least 60% of the best MCs alive right now listened to consciousness pioneers A Tribe Called Quest who are to this day galaxies beyond Justin Bieber and gag me Gucci Mane.

    • Everett Da Amin Rucker

      Trolling much?

  • Damn

    Damn, hip hop fans are some real ungrateful dumbasses huh? What the fuck does it matter if he changes his damn name? As long as he puts out quality music, what's the fucking problem? Respect the man's personal decision and shut up and just enjoy the music. Y'all some whiny bitches.

    • James Robinson

      Pfft. Ungrateful? I didn't know having an opinion on someone I may consider spending money on was against the rules. Musicians and their rabid fanboys&girls need to understand if they don't like hearing something from other people they shouldn't go public with it.

  • Omar

    You guys do understand that his Muslim name is Yasiin...right? Hahaha. Dumb rap fans.

  • Leo Tavarez

    Get the hell out of here, thats not gonna work.

  • Dumbell

    Yasiin? No, I haven't seen. Where'd he go, that ole Def?

  • justsoyouknow

    Yasiin is a surah from the Qur'an. It's meaning is unknown but it is known to be helpful when u recite it when u r going thru some kind of adversity. Maybe the change in his name is a reflection of some personal things thats going on with him. Just saying...

  • Anonymous

    It takes a special kind of elitest backpacker to say mos def is a sellout. Theyre also the same fags that download everything and listen to rock mostly.


    Yasiin Dante huh? I don't mind the name, just keep putting out bagging albums.

  • Anonymous

    I don't blame him for being an actor. Fuck hip hop. It died because of all the so called "fans" who steal music. Bootleggers need to be arrested.

  • Malik

    I don't care. Just put out more material more frequently. The Ecstatic is a better album than Black on Both Sides. It has better production, better rhymes, flows better from track to track and there isn't any filler. The Ecstatic is pretty much the best marriage of Dante's more eclectic side and his Rawkus Records beginnings.

    • EddieMurrrphy

      yeah malik i'm sorry i disagree too. i think you're way off. but i'll respect the opinion. although i would not wipe greasy light brown shit from my asshole with it.

    • Rival X Jordan

      The Ecstatic is nowhere near the quality that is Black on Both Sides. What the hell you on? Need to get off that.

  • Anonymous

    He on MTV tellin THEM that, FUCKIN SELLOUT. Go Make a record with Wayne faggot acting ass nigga.

    • Leo Tavarez

      He became famous first from lyrics, and then who those lyrics belong too?...the rapper known as Mos Def.....this is a stupid move.

  • Anonymous

    Yasiin?? This nigga gone hollywood. Dissing Mos Def huh? Well fuck u then, This nigga wanna be in movies, he ain't interested in hip hop #rappinactor

  • Mike Meraz

    he's always gonna be referred to as Mos, ya can't change that. He won't go through with it..this all just sounds a little silly. no disrespect

  • ya sir

    the ecstatic and doom's "born like this" were two best albums of 2009..i'm sorry but its the truth.

    • Dizzog

      @Anonymous What do you mean when you say hot though? When people say that they usually really mean "the peak of their popularity" which shouldn't have anything to do with their material. I'm not saying you're right or wrong but just saying.

    • Anonymous

      Both albums were garbage. Doom aint been hot since madvilliany and MM...Food. Mos aint been hot since Black Star. Its a real shame, both rappers are comming out with weaker material as they get older.

    • wow

      Ecstatic garbage? now ive heard it all..we are doomed

    • Anonymous

      ecstatic is garbage ?? FUCK OUTTA HERE !!! both of yall ! this album is dopeness from the start. if you aint appreciating it, it just means you dont have any ear for music in general

    • Anonymous

      that shit was butt, he's too hollywood now, get over it backpackers, he's a fraud

    • anonymous

      The ecstatic was garbage, stop living in denial.

  • I'm At Work And Bored

    Yeah? Why not just retire altogether. Mos De... I'm sorry, YASIIN haven't made anything dope since Black on Both Sides.

    • Schweinepriester Helmut Smith

      I agree with Akil. Look at Dr. Dres Detox-Shit. DOC said, it was originally about actually detoxing their asses after "Chronic" and "2001". But he did not have the balls to bring progress to his musical career. He puts out crap like Kush... Mos will be allright.

    • Akil Clark

      One problem with rap fans and labels is that they do not like to see people grow and change for some reasons. As much as we blame labels for messing up rap, we are quick to diss rappers for growing up. You are not the same man at 30 as you were rapping outside of schools at 17. Just listen to the music and let it speak for itself. Who cares what he wants to be called.

    • Anonymous

      He can't make another Blackstar album, that was Mos Def and Talib! Not Talib and Yasiin. get outta here fool lol

    • Anonymous

      thats his claim to fame and he shits on it.

    • the black star

      album will never see the light of day and ur right duke has been wack ever since black on both sides

    • Anonymous

      cause his making another blackstar album

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