September 7th, 2011
05:46 PM ET
A Mos Def by any other name will of course still be as fresh, and the 37-year-old rapper/actor has decided to switch it up.
Born Dante Terrell Smith, the Brooklyn MC revealed to MTV's Sucker Free at last weekend's "Rock the Bells" that he's planning to put the name Mos Def out to pasture, and instead go by "Yasiin."
"I'm retiring the Mos Def name after 2011," he told MTV. "I didn't want to have to deal with having any moniker or any separation between the self that I see [and what people refer to me as]."
And if you see him in the streets and accidentally yell out "Mos!," don't worry about it - the artist says he'd understand.
"Mos Def is a name that I cultivated over the years, and it's a name that the streets taught me," he says. "A figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment. I feel I've done quite a bit with that name. It's time to expand and move on."
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