Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)
Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is among the best emcees to ever do it, never once compromising his artistic integrity for mainstream recognition (although he’s achieved it nonetheless). Since his beginnings with the Urban Thermo Dynamics collective in the early nineties, he’s gone on to release four studio albums, three compilations and a collaborative album (that being Black Star’s self-titled debut with Talib Kweli), having collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Da Bush Babees, N’Dea Davenport, The High & Mighty, Skillz, DJ Honda, Ronny Jordan, DJ Shadow, Floetry, Immortal Technique, The Gorrilaz, Bobby Womack, Reflection Eternal, Jay Electronica, J. Cole, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Fat Joe, Miguel, Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes and many more throughout his storied 23-year career. Most recently, he teamed up with director Asif Kapadia and Human Rights organization Reprieve and underwent the standard force-feeding procedure for Guantanamo Bay detainees to raise awareness of the 100 inmates who’d been holding a hunger strike there during the summer of 2013. Also, he performed in Africa on January 17th, 2014 in remembrance of the great Muhammed Ali, also releasing three new singles as part of the “The Time Is Always Now” initiative spearheaded by the A COUNTRY CALLED EARTH collective. Stay tuned for updates on this hip-hop hero’s career.