So here’s some pretty intriguing news from Mos Def’s camp. In an interview with MTV this past weekend at Rock The Bells, the rapper announced that he is retiring the “Mos Def” moniker at the end of this year. And in 2012, he will henceforth be known as Yasiin, which is apparently his first name. While most sites list his given name as Dante Smith, the Brooklyn native has been calling himself Yasiin Dante Smith Bey for a minute now. You might remember that he used that name in his letter to the editor of the New York Observer.
Yasiin explained that he’ll no longer be using Mos Def because even though he’s “done quite a bit” with that name, he feels that “it’s time to expand and move on.” He also doesn’t want to have to deal with using a “moniker” anymore, which could be a sign of maturity on his part as an artist. It certainly makes sense and it’ll be interesting to see if it sticks.
Of course, we’ve seen plenty of name changes in the past that haven’t stuck. See Killer Mike becoming Mike Bigga and Young Jeezy dropping the “Young.” While we still call him just Jeezy here at Prefix, every project he’s released since then has been under the alias Young Jeezy.
You can watch the interview below.