Mos Def Changing Name to Yasiir in 2012

7:11 PM PST 09/07/2011 by THR Staff
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The hip-hop artist and “Dexter” actor says that “it’s time to expand and move on.”

Mos Def (real name: Dante Terrell Smith) will take a cue from P.Diddy by changing his famous moniker.
 
“I’m retiring the Mos Def name after 2011,” the MC-turned-actor told MTV’s Sucker Free at the Bellator Fighting Championship.
 
When pressed by MTV’s Peter Rosenberg, Mos Def insisted that the change was not a joke, and that he will go by the name Yasiir beginning in 2012.
 
As for his current alias, Mos explained that there were no hard feelings and if called by it, he would continue to answer.
 
“Mos Def is the name that I built and cultivated over the years.  It’s the name that the streets taught me -- A figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment,” he explained. “I feel I’ve done quite a bit with that name and it’s time to expand and move on.”

The new pseudonym stems from the Arabic name Yasir, which can mean rich, or one who goes against the tide.
 
Mos Def can be seen on the upcoming sixth season of Dexter as Brother Sam, an ex-con who claims to have found religion, yet is continually surrounded by violence. Dexter returns to Showtime on Oct. 2.

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