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Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) – Rappers Who Became Movie Stars

New Line Films

Like Ice-T, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def and aka Dante Terrell Smith) has been acting almost since before anyone knew him as a rapper. But turns in films like ‘Monster’s Ball,’ ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘The Italian Job’ showed that he could take small roles, make them unique, and then make us remember them. He was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 2004 for his performance in ‘Something the Lord Made,’ and has since found a series of increasingly unusual and idiosyncratic opportunities with which to test his abilities, such as in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ ’16 Blocks’ and ‘Be Kind Rewind.’ If it tells you how far he’s come, his next role is as a young version of the character Samuel L. Jackson plays in ‘Jackie Brown’ – and we’ll bet he pulls it off.

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