Yasiin Bey

  • Birth Name: Dante Terrell Smith
  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Hip-hop artist
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Fast Facts

  • While still in high school, he got his first acting role in the 1988 made-for-TV movie God Bless the Child.
  • In 1989, he landed a regular role as Nell Carter's son on the short-lived CBS sitcom You Take the Kids.
  • In his early 20s, he changed his stage name to the shortened version of his favorite saying, "Most definitely."
  • With the help of his brother and sister, he formed his first group, called UTD (Urban Thermo Dynamics). In 1994, the group released a single, "My King Fu."
  • Released his first album, a collaborative effort titled Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are...Black Star in 1998. His solo album, Black on Both Sides, debuted one year later.
  • In 1999, along with his rap duo partner, Kweli, he bought Nkiru Books and developed the Brooklyn-based bookstore into a not-for-profit company that supported literacy.
  • Appeared on Broadway in 2002 in the two-character play Topdog/Underdog opposite Jeffrey Wright.
  • Served as host and co-executive producer of HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.

Awards

  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee

Relationships

  • Maria Yepes-Smith — Ex-wife
  • Sheron Smith — Mother
  • Abdul Rahman — Father

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