Most of R&B singer Governor's career is characterized by promising opportunities gone awry. This son of a Virginia preacher saw a number of his projects -- some with top-name artists like Dr. Dre -- shelved permanently. It was not until he signed to Atlantic recording artist T.I.'s imprint Grand Hustle Entertainment before he received the major-label backing needed to jump-start his career. Governor (full name Governor Washington, Jr.) embarked on his journey to become an R&B star once he graduated from high school in 1990. He turned down his acceptance to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in order to form an R&B group named Case Closed and left Virginia for New York. When his group's plans proved fruitless, they disbanded, prompting Governor to pursue the solo route. He earned a deal through the independent Warlock Records for his debut, Another State of Mind, in 2000. After that album's release, Governor continued to find himself around some of the industry's finest, working with hit-making producers Trackmasters, Wyclef Jean, and West Coast legend Dr. Dre. The stint with Trackmasters generated numerous tracks with 50 Cent (before his ascendance to superstardom); however, most of those collaborations went unreleased and Governor parted ways. When Jean got Governor signed to Atlantic Records, Dr. Dre wanted to work with the new artist after hearing his music. The two created about a dozen tracks, but those songs also found their way into obscurity. Jean did involve Governor in some of his projects, but the latter still found himself looking for a new avenue to put out his music. Through a mutual contact, Atlantic A&R Craig Kallman, Governor was introduced to T.I., and the rapper eagerly signed him. Led by the bluesy, pain-evoking single "Blood, Sweat, and Tears," his Grand Hustle/Atlantic debut, Son of Pain, was released in September 2006. ~ Cyril Cordor
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