is an underground rapper from a small town in the South who found major-label success in 2011. Born on December 30, 1979, in Gadsden, Alabama, he made his full-length album debut with the independent release (2005). He subsequently made the jump to Sony BMG for the release of a promotional single, "Kickin'" (2007). Disillusioned with life on a major label, he returned to the underground rap scene. Newly inspired, he worked to build an audience for himself via MySpace and mixtapes. In 2010, an appearance on 's album became an early sign that the rapper was aligning himself with 's Shady label and its family of artists. His signing to the label was announced in 2011, and by the end of the year his official debut, , had landed. Guest shots came from , , , and , while names like , , and handled production. A year later he partnered with drummer for the rap-rock EP .