Congratulations are in order for Mos Def, err, Yasiin Bey, whose real name is Dante Smith. The Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn native has been named to George Washington University’s list of the most influential Muslim people of 2011. I DONT THINK YOU HEARD US…Out of over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, Mos Def is one of the most influential. This comes from the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, which has compiled their third annual list of the 500 most influential Muslims.
Citing his acclaimed music and acting careers, Mos’ entry reads:
“Mos Def (born Dante Terrell Smith) is a hip hop artist who has recently become more popular for his acting career where he received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He is noted for his stance against the misinterpretation of the Qu’ran.”
Mos, who now goes by Yassin Bey, is categorized under “Celebrities & Sports Stars,” along along with only three other Americans,boxing legend Muhammed Ali, NBA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Dr. Oz. The rest of the list focuses primarily on clergy, royalty, statesmen and activists.
Mos Def was introduced to Islam by his father at the age of 13. He took his shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, six years later and the rest is history. Expect to hear new music from Yasiin Bey, he may head to Africa in 2012 with Talib Kwali to record new music and possibly their sophomore release – though concrete plans are pending.
What do you think of Mos Def recent honor?
Spotted @ BET