Dante Terrell Smith (born December 11, 1973), better known by his stage name Mos Def, is an American actor and MC. He has been nominated for Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy Awards. Mos Def started his rap career as a member of the Native Tongue Posse collective and by guesting on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. He released a well-received album with Talib Kweli as Black Star, and was a major force in the late 1990s underground hip hop explosion spearheaded by Rawkus Records. His stage name refers to his belief that he is the most 'def' of all ('def' being the old school Hip Hop term for 'cool').