Regarded as one of the most insightful artists of our time, musician, activist and actor Mos Def has captured the attention of critics and audiences alike with a celebrated body of work that has crossed all artistic genres—from music to the Broadway stage, film and television.
In 1996, Mos Def became an underground favorite in the hip hop world, which lead to his legendary collaboration with Talib Kweli. The two formed Black Star whose debut release would become one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop albums of a generation. The following year Mos released his solo debut, Black On Both Sides, which was certified gold and credited by critics as bringing hip-hop back to its soapbox roots. In 2004 came The New Danger (Good Tree Media/ Geffen Records), Def’s highly-anticipated and critically acclaimed sophomore solo album. Met with praise from both critics and fans alike, Rolling Stone gave the collection 4 Stars and hailed it as “Ghetto rock and righteous hip-hop.” The first single, “Sex, Love and Money” earned Def a 2005 Grammy nomination for Best Alternative/ Urban Performance. Mos Def released True Magic (Good Tree Media/ Geffen Records) in late 2006, which brought the artist another Grammy nomination for Best Alternative/ Urban Performance for the album’s first single “Undeniable.” His latest album, The Ecstatic was released on Downtown Records to critical acclaim in June of 2009, and showcases his intelligence, international fluency and unique ability to keep listeners on their toes.
As with his music, Mos has demonstrated insight and passion with his acting career and has appeared in a variety of film and TV projects including Monster’s Ball, The Italian Job, and in the critically acclaimed HBO movie Something the Lord Made, for which he received nominations for a 2004 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture, Golden Globe Award (Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture), and NAACP Award. Def has also appeared in the feature films The Woodsman, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), 16 Blocks (2006), Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2006), Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind (2008), and Darnell Martin’s Cadillac Records (2008).
Mos completed his Broadway debut in 2002 in the Tony nominated, Pulitzer Prize winning, Topdog/Underdog and re-teamed with playwright, Suzan-Lori Parks and director George Wolfe for the off- Broadway play, Fucking A, for which he was awarded an Obie Award.
In addition to his acting credits Mos has served as the host, music supervisor and co-executive producer for the HBO series Def Poetry, which returned for its sixth season in 2007. Def has also served as a writer, producer and actor on the MTV sketch comedy series Lyricist Lounge.