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Bolognese rap artist Inoki was born Fabiano Ballarin in October of 1979 in Ostia, close to Rome. By age two he had moved with his family to Imperia, Liguria. He began rapping at 13 years of age, inspired by the American hip-hop of the early '90s. By age 16 Ballarin had moved to Bologna, where he would immerse himself in the rich musical environment of the city. He started writing and using the name Enok, and gained entry to the burgeoning hip-hop scene. Ballarin came to know rapper/dancer Gianni and fellow lyricist Panic, with whom he would form the rap trio Porzione Massiccia Crew (PMC). The group rose quickly to the top of Bologna's rap world, gaining recognition on a national level. In time, Joe Cassano was added to the PMC lineup, and together Inoki and Cassano formed what they called the Flick Flack Mob. Through these and other collaborations with groups like the Next Level and Portafoglio Lainz, Inoki appeared as a special guest on recordings throughout the late '90s, including Demolizione (1997) and Cassano's Dio Lodato (1999). Inoki's appearance on the landmark 2001 production 5 Dan introduced him to his largest audience yet, including hip-hop lovers in France, Switzerland, the U.S., and Africa. His participation in Bologna's To the Beat freestyle competition, a tour with the Tekno Mobil Squad, and his various roles on Italian television have made Inoki one of Italy's most visible rap icons. Solo productions include 2005's Fabiano Detto Inoki and 2007's Nobilta' di Strada. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi