Hip-Hop Artist & Actor
Talent can be defined in a myriad of ways. It can be an innate gift or a learned proficiency. Occasionally, it’s a potent mixture of both, which happens to be the case with Dante Smith, the urban artistic visionary who goes by the pseudonym Mos Def. Regarded as one of the world’s most renowned and…
Talent can be defined in a myriad of ways. It can be an innate gift or a learned proficiency. Occasionally, it’s a potent mixture of both, which happens to be the case with Dante Smith, the urban artistic visionary who goes by the pseudonym Mos Def.
Regarded as one of the world’s most renowned and prolific lyricists, the 30-something virtuoso has crafted an illustrious career, while inheriting the moniker “golden boy of hip-hop” and injecting his unconventional and often political artistry into the pulse of the contemporary urban musical landscape.
Mos Def’s creative evolution has been a gradual development, from his humble beginning as a magnetic b-boy, delivering thought-provoking prose during organic street corner ciphers, creating a fertile training ground for his multiple talents and socio-economic/political awareness. The outspoken philanthropic MC has been embraced by academic intelligentsia, while addressing issues ranging from the plight of political prisoners to social injustices in Third World countries. Whether writing letters of encouragement to ostracized Black Panther member Assata Shakur or sounding of political anthems in opposition to Hurricane Katrina, the urban wordsmith has never been defeated by controversy. His unique blend of humor and charismatic wit has not only given an intellectual voice to the very genre that birthed him, but has assisted with mastering the art of showmanship in music, TV, film and theater. Opting to remain esoteric regarding his personal life, we do know that the introspective father and devout Muslim has fashioned a career trajectory that has proven the rap community’s talents can transcend its natural paradigm.
The Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated street scholar has not only demonstrated his versatility but his fortitude and promise as a thespian, gracing the silver screen in a spectrum of blockbuster hits. In 16 Blocks, he served as a timid witness to a dirty cop’s crime opposite Bruce Willis. He took on the role of a hearing impaired explosive expert in The Italian Job, an aspiring rapper turned cab driver in the hip-hop love story Brown Sugar, made an impressive turn as a second generation prison guard in the controversial drama Monster’s Ball, and deftly portrayed a Nigerian immigrant with a distinct Yoruban accent, caught in the midst of the Brazilian drug game in Journey to the End of the Night. He can most recently be seen co-starring in the outrageous comedy Be Kind Rewind featuring Jack Black and in Toussaint, which unveils the real life story of the 18th century Haitian Revolutionary and military strategist who single handedly defeated an age of French colonialism.
Although many of hip hop’s luminaries have produced a cross-pollination of their diverse talents through various creative mediums, few have remained culturally relevant to their grassroots origins. Mos Def’s has never compromised his street cred, nor has his lyrical potency diminished. The appellation of his forthcoming musical project, The Ecstatic, parallels his inimitable personality–bold, inspiring and passionate–while the sheer ingenuity of Black on Both Sides featuring his partner-in-rhyme celebrated MC, Talib Kweli, remains one of hip-hop’s classic archetypal works of art. His prodigious talents know no limit as he prepares to take the literary world by storm, with the Toni Morrison inspired novel, Black 2.0, providing an illustrative exploration of progressive black culture through innovative design. As a TV host he brought us six seasons of the standout Peabody Award Winning HBO Def Poetry Jam series, providing the ultimate intermediary between underground spoken word poets and seminal icons such as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni and Saul Williams. When all is said and done, the multitalented artisan most aptly immortalizes his legacy through song, fulfilling his prophetic lyrics: “these elements help evolve my scripture/and make mosdef a classic modern figure.”
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
MOS DEF: An Artist & Classic Modern Figure
MOS DEF REFINED SPEECH
1 HOUR OR LESS