Gritty R&B singer August Alsina spent the first several years of his life in New Orleans, but his mother moved his family to Houston to gain distance from troubled lives led by his crack-addicted father and stepfather. When his home situation deteriorated, he moved back to New Orleans, where he turned to dealing drugs. The shooting death of his brother was a wake-up call; he moved to Atlanta and recorded a 2012 mixtape, The Product. His 2013 single "I Luv This Shit" subsequently peaked at number 13 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and crossed into the Hot 100, where it reached number 48. Alsina's proper debut album, Testimony, was released in April 2014. ~ Andy Kellman
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