A hard-edged, down-to-earth rapper and producer from Indianapolis, Indiana, Mark Battles started rhyming during the mid-2000s. Though he was inspired by the likes of LL Cool J, 2Pac, Eminem, and DMX, among several other artists, it didn't take him long to develop an identity of his own. He released his first mixtape, Good Morning America, in 2011. Within a few years, his discography swelled with mixtapes on his Fly America label, including the Saturday School series, Broken Silence (with King Los) and Black Einstein. In 2015, he issued Numb, his highest-profile release to that point. It hit Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart that October at number 39. A year later, he landed at number 15 on the Heatseekers chart with his follow-up, Before the Deal. He then collaborated with Canadian hip-hop artist Torey Lanez on 2017's Day 2. ~ Andy Kellman
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