Kool G Rap

An influential figure in the development of gangsta rap and East Coast hip-hop, Kool G Rap was born as Nathaniel Thomas Wilson in Queens, New York, on July 20, 1968. He was raised in the borough's Corona neighborhood and began collaborating with DJ Polo in the early 1980s. The two soon became members of the Juice Crew, a neighborhood hip-hop collective that included future stars like Big Daddy Kane, and notably appeared on the Crew's collaborative single "The Symphony" in 1988. One year later, Kool G Rap and DJ Polo released Road to the Riches, their debut album as a rap duo. Credited with introducing the sub-genre of mafioso rap to the mainstream, Road to the Riches also featured Kool G Rap's multisyllabic rhyming style. Peaking at Number 29 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the album was followed by 1990's critically-acclaimed Wanted: Dead or Alive and 1992's Top 20 hit Live and Let Die. The duo then parted ways in 1993. Kool G Rap launched a successful solo release with 1995's gold-certified 4,5,6, which climbed to Number 1 on the hip-hop chart, peaked at Number 24 on the Billboard 200, and featured the Number 7 rap single "Fast Life." He continued his solo career with 1998's Roots of Evil and 2002's The Giancana Story. Neither album rivaled the commercial success of 4,5,6, and Kool G Rap's follow-up release, Click of Respect, became his final release to crack the Top 100. Nevertheless, he remained active during the first two decades of the twenty-first century, releasing albums like 2007's Half a Klip and 2018's Son of G Rap while collaborating with fellow rappers like Ghostface Killa, Saigon, and R.A. the Rugged Man.

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