Though an undeniably articulate and thoughtful rapper, Cormega's reputation in the hip-hop underground resulted more from his longtime adversarial relationship with Nas than from his own music. This seemingly endless verbal bout between the two kept Cormega's career afloat while he struggled to release an album in the late '90s. In fact, he didn't release an album until 2001, five years after debuting on Nas' "Affirmative Action." During those five years, Cormega rapped in the New York underground scene as a mix-tape favorite. He took a thug/hustler approach, rapping about the violent and tragic side of street life; however, he did so in a tremendously lucid manner, commanding a liquid-smooth flow and clear articulation. As a result, though it took him years of struggle to release a debut album, when he finally released The Realness in 2001, he thoroughly impressed many, earning many end-of-the-year nods from critics.
Nas and Cormega, who both represent Queensbridge, met at the ... Read full biography