With Mos Def recently making headlines for announcing plans to nix his rap alias before 2012, SOHH reached out to fellow Brooklyn artist and affiliate DJ Stimulus for his reaction to the identity change.
Despite having performed at shows and shared the stage with Mos in the past, Stim does not have the inside scoop on the rapper/actor’s latest decision.
“First of all, he must have a good reason for doing it,” Stimulus told SOHH referring to Mos Def’s plan to retire his name. “Overall, if it has something to do with branding, it could make sense. One thing I respect about him as an artist is that I look at him as such, like a full artist. So sometimes when people step away from a name, it’s about the connotations that come with the name. I think in his case, maybe he feels like the connotation [places limits upon him] him as an emcee whereas he’s so much more. He sings, he acts, his acting career is great and unlike a lot of ‘rappers’ that are actors, he was in theater from very early on and did the emceeing too. It just depends on how he approaches his music — he’s a full fledged artist and he’s been very successful at exposing people to every angle. Now he’s going to be in the next season of [Showtime television series] ‘Dexter.’ He’s in funny movies, serious movies, singing, jazz — he’s a full fledged artist and maybe he’s just looking to have a name that encompasses more or doesn’t have such an emcee connotation. I don’t know.” (SOHH)
In early September, Mos broke the news of his name change plan.
“I’m retiring the Mos Def name after 2011. I’m actually doing it.Yasiin. That’s it,” he revealed. “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 any separation between the self that I see and know myself as.” (Sucker Free)
In May, The Clipse’s Malice detailed an initiative to get rid of his rap alias.
“I’m not a malicious person, and I don’t really like answering to that. I know that people that follow The Clipse or follow my music, they know Malice, so I understand that, I get that,” Malice said in an interview. “But you don’t want to be under any moniker that’s of evil intent, that’s not you. I come to more believe that there’s so much power in the tongue. The power of the tongue is life and death, so I believe if you are what you fall under whether it’s in your subconscious or not. It’s just me trying to clean up a little bit. But I haven’t thought of that name yet. So Malicious is what it is right now.” (Ruby Hornet TV)
As of late, the rapper-turned-actor has filmed episodes for the upcoming Showtime series, “Dexter.”
When the Showtime series returns this fall for a sixth season, there will be plenty of fresh blood, including Edward James Olmos, Colin Hanks, and Mos Def. The rapper-actor plays Brother Sam, a reformed criminal who runs an auto-body shop. He crosses paths with our resident serial killer when one of his employees comes under investigation. Says executive producer Scott Buck, ”Dexter is unconvinced that Brother Sam is a man who found God and changed his violent ways.” (Entertainment Weekly)
Brooklyn born DJ, Stimulus, is a member of the well-known New York based band The Real Live Show. His first single of 2009 with Nickodemus is still in rotation on dance radio in both the U.S. and Europe, and he is also featured on three songs of Michelle Williams’ (of Destiny’s Child) “Unexpected” remix album. Stimulus’ incredible mixing skills and music knowledge have taken him DJ’ing to seven countries, where he has delighted guests with high energy and intelligent sets.
Check out some past Mos Def footage below: