Mos Def, Short List, Los Angeles, CA

image for Mos Def, Short List, Los Angeles, CA
Exhibition Label
Born Brooklyn, New York
Dante Terrell Smith, taking the stage name Mos Def, has achieved success as both an actor and a musician. With the 1996 release of "Universal Magnetic," he became an underground favorite in the hip-hop world. He solidified his standing when he collaborated with Talib Kweli, releasing the album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star in 1998. From 2005 to 2011, he was nominated for six Grammys. His acting career is equally successful: he has appeared on Broadway in the Tony-nominated, Pulitzer Prize–winning Topdog/Underdog, has had recurring roles in television, and has appeared in several movies. He was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Vivien Thomas in HBO’s Something the Lord Made. In 2011 he took the new stage name of Yasiin.
Since 2000 David Scheinbaum has photographed more than one hundred hip-hop performers, both in concert and backstage.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of David Scheinbaum, courtesy of Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd.
Restrictions & Rights
© David Scheinbaum
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
David Scheinbaum, born 1951
Mos Def, born 11 Dec 1973
Mos Def: Male
Mos Def: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Gelatin silver print
Image: 31.5 x 47.9 cm (12 3/8 x 18 7/8")
Sheet: 32.8 x 49.1 cm (12 15/16 x 19 5/16")
Mount: 50.8 x 61.2 cm (20 x 24 1/8")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")
National Portrait Gallery