Cormega is the best rapper to come out of the U.S., and he will remain popular for a long, long time. He was born Cory McKay and became Cormega when his music career began. This rapper is not simply singing about the horrible life of most inner-city youth because he actually lived it. He writes and sings from his own experience, which makes his music authentic and relatable to those who have experienced the same misery. He grew up in Long Island City in Queens, New York, a part of New York City. He actually lived in the Queensbridge Housing Projects, so he knows all about life in the projects.
This rapper was born in 1972, and he saw his mother murdered when he was only four years old. After that, he lived with his father in New York City. When he was 19 years old, his first album, Without Warning, was released and featured on Blaq Poet & DJ Hot Day’s track. The age of 19 was not so good for Cormega because he was also convicted of armed robbery. He was sentenced from 5 to 15 years, and while in prison, the rapper Nas mentioned him in one of his songs. This was enough to keep the rapper in the minds of those who knew that he was going to make it in the music industry. After four years in New York’s Mid-State Correctional Facility, Cormega was released.
Shortly after, the rapper released his second album. There were some other great and well-known rappers on the album with him as well, including Foxy Brown and AZ. The album was a hit, and Cormega was on the road to success and was signed to Def Jam Records. While he was in the process of recording with other rappers, he was replaced. The story behind his replacement was that he would not sign a contract with his manager, Steve Stoute, or that his manager believed that Nature, another rapper, would fit the bill more than Cormega would. Whatever the cause, Cormega was no longer on friendly terms with Nature, Stoute, or Nas. The album, The Testament, was not released.
The year 2000 was a big one for the rapper because it is the year that he started his own record company entitled, Legal Hustle Records. The following year, his debut album, The Realness, was released and was well-received. In this album, Cormega reveals some of his feelings about the betrayal he felt when he was replaced by Nature for the Def Jams album. It was followed by his next album, The True Meaning, which won the Underground Album of the Year Award by Source Magazine. The year 2004 brought his next album, Legal Hustle, which included other artists, such as AZ, Kurupt, Jayo Felony, Large Professor, and Ghostface Killah. His long-awaited album finally came to be in 2005 with the release of The Testament on Cormega’s own label. It was well-received and there were many copies sold.
In the meantime, the longstanding feud between Cormega and Nas was settled. The two agreed to meet and discuss their disagreement. The outcome was that each artist agreed to work independently and to stop disrespecting one another on their albums. The rapper has released other albums over the years, including My Brother’s Keeper in 2006 and Who Am I? in 2007. Born and Raised was another album that followed in 2009, with Raw Forever following after that in 2011.
Cormega’s songs are profound and full of meaning, and they are a true reflection of life in the American ghetto. Rap reflects modern big city life for many people. As Cormega says in his hit song, The Saga Remix, “Rap’s a narcotic.” Cormega raps from the heart and from his own experience and this is how he relates to others, whether they grew up in the ghetto or in a middle class suburb.