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A Harlem native, Dominican rapper J.R. Writer grew up listening to Big Pun, Big L, and his all-time favorite, 2Pac. As a teen he worked the Harlem hip-hop circuit hard, appearing on local access cable television shows and joining every open-mike competition he could. It was at one of these battles that he met Cam'ron and Juelz Santana, members of a crew known as the Diplomats or Dipset. Cam'ron had just signed a deal with Roc-a-Fella, Santana was unsigned heat, and the first Dipset mixtape was still in the works, so no matter how impressed Cam'ron was with Writer's fast and furious style, he was unable to take on new talent at that moment. Writer appreciated the praise but didn't believe Cam'ron was serious when he promised to call back once Dipset was settled. It didn't take long for Dipset to explode, and only a month later, Cam'ron made good on his promise. Soon Writer was appearing on a new Dipset track, "Squalie," which would eventually land on Santana's 2003 album From Me to U. He was now a member of the Dipset family and appeared on the crew's numerous mixtapes. A year later, he introduced his own Writer's Block series of mixtapes, landed some tracks on the Diplomats collection Diplomatic Immunity, Vol. 2, and appeared as a guest on Cam'ron's album Purple Haze. His aboveground full-length debut was supposed to hit the streets in 2005, but it took until 2006 for the ambitious History in the Making to land on the Koch label. After the fourth volume of Writer's Block, he hooked up with Babygrande for the fifth volume of the series, as well as 2008's Politics and Bullshit. ~ David Jeffries