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Compton, CA-based MC Guerilla Black, a dead ringer for Notorious B.I.G., was born in Chicago and spent time with his family in Mississippi before heading to the West Coast. An initial label deal fell through, leading Black to give up on his ambitions; his life took an extreme turn for the worse when he lost his wife to meningitis, but his brother coaxed him back into MC'ing. Virgin caught wind of his talent, signed him to a deal, and released the Guerilla City album in 2004. "You're the One," featuring Mario Winans, began to gather steam during the tail end of the year. ~ Andy Kellman