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Mos Def provides an unlimited service to the community. At the end of the day he is one of us. He uses his power as a tool for change and to encourage others in authoritative positions to do the same. An artist, activist, and an actor all bundled together along with his personality makes MOS DEF, “Most Definitely” one of the most influential individuals of his time.

When you hear the name Mos Def, aka Dante Smith, you don’t automatically think of a superhero or a president, but what he does for society is certainly along the lines of those who have made some sort of contribution to better society as a whole. When the voices of the people aren’t being heard, he takes the lead. The lyricist made the song “Nolia Clap” which was a criticism of the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Carleen Donovan, a representative for Smith said, Mos Def chose to use his voice to speak for those who are losing their own during this critical period of reconstruction.

Not many who are in a position of power use their success to bring about positivity. Mos Def exercises his right to be an active participating citizen on a regular basis. The MC is also one of the founders of a nonprofit organization called Hip Hop for Respect that combats police brutality for the Black Panther Party.

The activist helped to raise awarenessabout exiled political activist Assata Shakur, who was shot twice and charged with murder after being involved in a shooting. “People can believe what they want, but the truth is what it is,” he said. “And the facts surrounding her case are indisputable and well-known. People should be more aware of what’s going on with her case and the true motivation behind her persecution. It’s a very dangerous time for all Americans when any voice of dissent is this hotly hunted down, and when anyone’s life is reduced to 125 pounds of money and they’re trying to stand up for us and our people. Everybody needs to be concerned,” said Mos Def on VH1.com.

He also feels strongly about nuclear weapons. Mos Def feels that they should be disbanded because America has proved that no one can be responsible. He states that we can’t tell other countries they can’t have nuclear weapons, but the United States does. In the interview, he goes on to say that war is a negative environmental issue.

But that’s not all that he has done. He’s also a well respected actor. In fact, before his career took off as a rapper; he frequently appeared in plays, TV shows and movies. He was featured in a number of hit films like Brown Sugar, Next Day Air, and Monster’s Ball. Despite his many talents, he remains humble; he doesn’t permanently change himself to fit a certain profile, even though he gets paid to be an actor. His personality gleams as he continues to entertain with his charisma and style.

Mos Def is also active in the youth community. “ I’m just here to give the young people some inspiration, some positive encouragement and some good information about science, technology, creativity and discovery and how to use math, science and information to make positive impact and changes on the world around us,” said Mos Def in an essence.com interview.

In addition to his many social and political attributes, he also makes a statement through his fashion designs.

Mos Def is a true shoe fanatic and he is very versatile. He designed two pairs of limited edition Converse shoes. He has also created a brand of clothing called “Mos Def Cut & Sew Collection.”

The activist also travels frequently. He performed in South Africa and is going to begin touring Australia in January 2011.

Mos Def once traveled with a crew to the “City of God”—to a slum in Rio de Janeiro to discover crime and social problems of the community.

“I believe projects were a social experiment; we were laboratory rats stacked on top of each other, and people just know, inherently, that there was something wrong. There’s not a lot of regard for the property by the residents. Everything about it is just priming you to be institutionalized as an adult—the colors on the walls, the acoustics. My window didn’t even open up; you had to pull and push it out sideways to get some bullsh*t circular air going,” said the actor in a Spin.com interview.

Mos Def uses his influence to sway others to become involved in a world of chaos. Outside of acting/rapping there is much work to be done. The MC rolls up his sleeves and is always willing to jump in and extend a helping hand.

-Trice Ayala