Before he was signed to Akon's label and climbed the charts with the hardcore single "Who the Heck Is That," Atlanta rapper Dolla played talent shows and showcases as a member of Da Razkalz Cru. They released the 2003 single "So Fly" on the major-label imprint Elektra, but it went nowhere and the band was dropped from the label that same year. In the end, the best thing that would happen to Dolla as he was hanging with Razkalz was meeting both Akon, who was producing for the label, and Diddy, who would take Dolla under his wing not as a rapper, but as a model. Modeling clothes from Diddy's Sean John label took him around the country and put his image on the large billboard above the Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles. Dolla eventually ran into his old friend Akon, who signed him to the rapper's own Konvict Muzik label after some studio sessions. In 2006, he landed on the Step Up soundtrack and partnered with mixtape DJ Nappy Wilson for The Beatdown Mixtape. He then spent the next year working on his debut album. Early in 2008, the "Who the Heck Is That" single appeared, although the street version replaced "heck" with the "F bomb." Singers T-Pain and Tay Dizm appeared on the initial cut, while Akon was later added to the remix. Dolla continued recording his debut album in Los Angeles, but the work was cut short in May 2009, when an altercation outside an L.A. shopping mall resulted in the young rapper's death. ~ David Jeffries
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