Date of Birth : Dec 11th 1973
Began his music career in 1994 in the short-lived group Urban Thermo Dynamics with his younger brother DCQ and his younger sister Ces. Despite their contract with Payday Records, the group only released two singles, and their debut album Manifest Destiny was not released until 2004, when it was distributed by Illson Media. In 1996, he emerged as a solo artist and worked with De La Soul and da Bush Babees, before he released his own first single, “Universal Magnetic”, which was a huge underground hit.
Mos Def’s background in film and theater date back to his days at New York University, studying experimental theater. He began his professional acting career at the age of 14, appearing in the TV movie God Bless the Child, starring Mare Winningham. He then played the oldest child in the short-lived family sitcom, You Take the Kids, starring Nell Carter and Roger E. Mosley. His most notable acting role before his music career was that of Bill Cosby’s sidekick on the short-lived detective show, The Cosby Mysteries.
In television, Mos Def has appeared on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, and has hosted the award-winning HBO spoken word show, Def Poetry since its inception. The show’s sixth season aired in 2007. He also appeared on the sitcom My Wife And Kids as the Uncle of Michael Kyle’s (Damon Wayans) children.
Mos won Best Actor, Independent Movie at the 2005 Black Reel Awards for his portrayal of the skeptical Detective Sgt. Lucas in The Woodsman. For his portrayal of Vivien Thomas in HBO’s film Something the Lord Made, he was nominated for an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and won the Image Award. He then landed the role of Ford Prefect in the 2005 movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In 2006, Mos Def appeared in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party alongside fellow Black Star companion Talib Kweli, while also contributing to the film’s soundtrack. Also, Mos Def was featured as the black banjo player in the infamous “Pixie Sketch” from Chappelle’s Show: The Lost Episodes. He was later edited out of it on the DVD. Additionally, Mos Def is in the motion picture 16 Blocks along with co-stars Bruce Willis and David Morse. During the first season of Boondocks, Mos starred as “Gangstalicious”. He is also set to be in Toussaint, a film about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture, opposite Don Cheadle and Wesley Snipes. He made a cameo appearance playing himself in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.