The hip-hop producer and solo artist John Forté was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 30, 1975. Trained on the violin at a young age, he grew up appreciating the music of Vivaldi, then pivoted toward hip-hop during his early 20s. His artistic breakthrough arrived in 1996, when he contributed to The Fugees' Grammy-winning album, The Score, as both a co-writer and co-producer. When The Fugees' three members launched solo projects the following year, Forté worked on Wyclef Jean's double-platinum release Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival as a producer and backup vocalist, That same year, he scored a hit of his own with "Avenues," a duet with rapper Canibus. Credited to Refugee Camp All-Stars, "Avenues" peaked at Number 35 on the Hot 100 and was followed by Poly Sci, Forté's solo debut, in 1998. Two years later, an arrest at Newark International Airport landed John Forté behind bars, where he remained until December 2008. The album I, John was released during his time in prison, while 2009's Stylefree the EP was released shortly after his release. Water Light Sound, his first full-length record in nearly a decade, arrived in 2011, followed by Riddem Drive in 2020 and Vessels, Angels & Ancestors in 2021. Poly Sci, which had received a lukewarm reaction upon its original release in 1998, was later certified gold in 2022.