Cormega has overcome legal troubles and industry setbacks to become one of the most respected but commercially-underrated East Coast lyricists. After recording an album with Marley Marl in the 1980s, Cormega was incarcerated and his music career put on hold. After his release, Mega appeared on the posse cut “Affirmative Action” on Nas’s IT WAS WRITTEN (1996), signed with Def Jam, and was primed to be a part of supergroup The Firm. However, conflicts with Nas’s manager Steve Stoute resulted in his ouster in favor of Nature while his intended Def Jam debut, THE TESTAMENT, was shelved (finally released in 2005), forcing Mega to go the underground route. His official debut, THE REALNESS, was released in 2001, and received rave reviews. THE TRUE MEANING (2002) further raised the bar, winning the Source’s Underground Album of the Year award.