Mos Def Will No Longer Go by Mos Def

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Mos Def performs at the 2011 Fort Greene Festival at Fort Greene Park Brooklyn on June 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images) Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Mos Def is changing his name (or, more accurately, the name that people know him by, since his real name, Dante Terrell Smith, will stay the same), and he's not going the Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, take-your-name-and-try-out-various-variations-on-it route. Instead, he's going for a full-scale overhaul and will begin going by Yasiin in 2012. He told MTV, very seriously: "I’m retiring the Mos Def name after 2011. I’m actually doing it. Yasiin. That’s it. Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated over the years, it’s a name that the streets taught me, a figure of speech that was given to me by the culture and by my environment, and I feel I’ve done quite a bit with that name and it’s time to expand and move on. Also, I didn’t want to have to deal with having any moniker or separation between the self that I see and know myself as." [MTV]