Though he's from South Central Los Angeles, 3rd Degree isn't a run-of-the-mill gangsta rapper. Actually he's anything but that -- more thoughtful than thuggish, more creative than confrontational, he upholds a positive demeanor and radiates hopefulness. That's not to say he lives a sheltered life, of course, for he's as street-smart as they come. Growing up amid Crips and Bloods, gang-bangin' and crack-slangin', the rapper born Wayne Guillory (a French last name, his family originally coming from Louisiana) knows the dark side of urban life, and he knows that's not the path for himself. Instead, he turned to hip-hop at a young age. He grew up around the corner from WC of Westside Connection and he attended Washington High School (aka Hip-Hop High), the alma mater of such West Coast rap luminaries as WC, Crazy Tunes of the Maad Circle, Yo-Yo, DJ Alladin, Sir Jinx, and more. So yeah, he was pretty much bred to be a rapper, especially once his mother bought him turntables one Christmas shortly after his father (a coach) lost a battle with cancer. It took a while, but after years of perseverance and rhyme-writing, the ever-persevering 3rd Degree broke into the independent rap game, proudly becoming the first rapper to have an album released by Blak Ice Records, an independent L.A. label CEOed by I. "Ice" Jones. That album, The Pedestrian, showcases the prolificacy and creativity of 3rd Degree, who along with producer Yabie antes up 21 tracks, filler-free. This is certainly one rapper with enthusiasm to spare -- he's not in the game for the fame or riches (well, a brother does gotta eat!), but rather because he has a God-given gift and wants to grace the world with it. The album's lead single, "Do My Thang," pretty much sums up his mentality -- he's not one to front, and he believes that MCs should rap about the lives they actually live (opposed to the one they wish they lived), as this catchy song clearly illustrates, and quite deftly at that. ~ Jason BirchmeierPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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