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French rapper L'Algérino was a leading exponent of the fertile Marseilles hip-hop community. Born May 2, 1981, in the city's rough-and-tumble Félix Pyat district, he began rapping as a teen, joining the local group B-Vice Juniors. Originally performing under his given name, Samir, he first attracted attention in collaboration with Psy4 de la Rime, through whom he befriended Akhenaton of the influential group IAM. Akhenaton renamed his new protégé L'Algérino and signed him to his 361 Records imprint, issuing Les Derniers Seront les Premiers in the spring of 2005. The album proved a surprise mainstream success and earned L'Algérino a deal with the Warner Bros. affiliate 609. His major-label debut, Mentalité Pirate, followed in early 2007. ~ Jason Ankeny