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Chicago MC and DJ Thaione Davis was born Thomas Martin in 1978. A product of the city's southside Princeton Park neighborhood, he began breakdancing at the age of six and began rapping (under the name Tommy T.) at the age of eight. After graduating high school he attended the University of Illinois, forming one-half of the hip-hop duo Esoteric Deejayz. Davis returned to Chicago in 2000, joining the local rap collective the Nacrobats and collaborating with Pugslee Atomz and DJ Verve on the WHPK series CTA Radio, which as of this writing remains one of the Windy City's longest-running and most exciting hip-hop showcases. In 2001 he traveled to Europe, hopscotching from Amsterdam to Paris to London passing out CD-R copies of his solo debut, the five-song EP Progress. Hamburg-based label Hong Kong Recordings agreed to give the disc a proper release, with Davis adding instrumental tracks and remixes to flesh out the project into a full-length LP. In 2003 the Nacrobats also released their debut effort, All Ways, on Chicago's Birthwrite label, but during a promotional tour of California the group split, and Davis returned home to resume work on his next solo effort; dubbed Situation Renaissance: 1917 Edition, the finished album appeared on Birthwrite in June of 2004. ~ Jason Ankeny