- 10:08 AM, May 20
Twista, born on November 17, 1973, got his meteoric rise to fame in 1991 when a local radio DJ, with a reputation for discovering Chicago artists, saw him performing at a talent show held at the Gold Dome on Chicago's West Side. Amazed, the DJ jumped at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become Twista's manager. He, at that time, did the performance under the name Tung Twista.
After going from one stage to another, Twista finally caught the attention of a Chicago promoter from Loud Records. He was invited to fly to L.A to demonstrate his unique lyrical prowess, and instantly won over the label bosses with his distinctive and undeniable talent. He subsequently made his mark on the signed to Loud Records, but also the first rapper out of the Windy City to ink a major record deal.
His debut album "aRunning Off da was released in 1992. In the same year, he was dubbed the world's fastest rapper in the Guinness Book of World Records, unrivaled in his inherent ability to pronounce 11.2 syllables per second. Unfortunately, his album did not sell well. He was dropped by the recording company after that.
Two years later, Twista released an indie album "Resurrection". Due to problems with record labels and marketing issues involving fellow Chicago rapper Common's album of the same name, the album was only released in the city of Chicago and thus got very little national attention despite its prospect to become a hit.
In 1996, he teamed up with fellow Chicago act Do or Die on the track "Po Pimp", which became a hit single. This led to a contract with Atlantic Records, which released "Adrenaline Rush" in 1997. He then dropped the word "Tung" from his stage name. The album became his first charting effort, peaking at No. 77 on Billboard Hot 200, and its single "Get It Wet" reached at No. 96 on Hot 100.
Twista's next studio album " Mobstability" (1998) was followed with incredible vigor on 2004's "Kamikaze". Its paramount success landed Twista nominations for Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards, Rap Artist of the Year and Male New Artist of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards. The album raked in milestones, soaring to double-platinum status upon its release, with the album's two hottest tracks, "Overnight Celebrity" and "Slow Jamz" skyrocketing to #1 on Billboard Rap Songs Chart.