Initially regarded as one of the most promising rappers to emerge in the late '90s, Mos Def turned to acting in subsequent years. He did continue to release music, including The New Danger (2004), but it was erratic and seemingly governed by whim. Nonetheless, he continued to draw attention, especially from critics and underground rap fans, and his classic albums -- Black Star (1998), a collaboration with Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek, and Black on Both Sides (1999), his solo debut -- continued to be revered. He often used his renown for political purposes, protesting in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Jena Six incident in 2007, for instance. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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