Celebrated MC and successful actor, Mos Def began his journey to stardom acting in numerous TV shows. He chose an actor career right after finishing high school and expected to achieve much in this role, but in several years, disenchanted with acting, he switched to rap music. The young man started brilliantly. After his participating in De La Soul’s Big Brother Beat, and the song by Da Bush Babees, S.O.S., both released in 1996, he gained the reputation of one the most promising rap performers. In a year, Mos Def released his own single, Universal Magnetic, having a big stir in hip-hop circles. This release was followed by making an agreement with the beginning label Rawkus Records. First, the young artists cooperated with rapper Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek to record the Black Star album. Issued in 1998, this work became a sensation in the rap music world. A year later, Mos Def released his debut solo album Black on Both Sides (1999), paving him the way to glory.

Mos Def chose the right moment and the right place to give his career a huge boost. In the late nineties, by the moment when he made his first step on the big stage, the like-minded acts De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Brand Nubian had already passed their best times, but the sophisticated rap they performed remained highly demanded. Therefore experts and listeners who praised the young artist’s debut work, considered him a perfect heir to the traditions and style of the above mentioned stars. Just like Common and Kweli, Mos Def was the foundation of hopes and expectations for preservation and development of the new wave rap contrary to the gangsta rap. However, Mos Def, for some reasons, failed to fulfill these wishes. He did not come back to the studio to prepare another album and went in for other activities.

At beginning of the new decade, Mos Def resumed his acting. This time, he appeared in movies hardly considered of the highest level. At the same time, he participated actively in the Black Jack Johnson project aimed at restoration of the lost interest to the rock-rap trend forming the sound of the well known band Limp Bizkit. The idea was of much attention due to the deficit of the groups playing such music. Although the roster of the project members was formed by big figures, Mos Def became an undisputable leader. Besides, he came back to the solo career and went looking for backup. With the new band, Mos Def held a streak of performances in the New York area and then released his second long player The New Danger (2004), featuring few songs recorded with Black Jack Johnson. The purpose of the release was the unification of rap and rock styles, the representation of black culture in the traditionally white rock music.

In two years, Mos Def reached recognition in cinema after playing in the Golden Globe winner Lackawanna Blues, and Emmy owner Something the Lord Made. He continued working heard as a musician too. 2006 saw him hit the stores with the third solo album, True Magic. The release was poorly promoted and issued without a cover, simply in a plastic box. However, its single Undeniable grabbed the Grammy nomination. In a few months, the album was re-released with slightly different track listing and finally an artwork. The release of the subsequent album was postponed on many occasions and finally saw the light of days in the summer of 2009. Mos Def called his new studio work The Ecstatic.

Studio Albums

Mos Def, The Ecstatic mp3The Ecstatic
  • Neo-Soul
  • Hip Hop
  • Conscious Hip Hop
  • East Coast Hip Hop
Mos Def, True Magic mp3True Magic
Mos Def takes a departure from his acting roles and returns with True Magic. Although it lacks the cohesiveness of a consistent album, it is nonetheless laced with a diverse mix of meaningful tracks that seem to rely on their own individual greatness
  • East Coast Hip Hop
Mos Def, The New Danger mp3The New Danger
  • Rap Rock
  • Hardcore Punk
  • Neo-Soul
  • Conscious Hip Hop
  • East Coast Hip Hop
  • Hardcore Hip Hop
  • Boom Bap
  • Blues