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Born in Watts, CA, hardcore rapper Jay Rock was raised in the city's Nickerson Gardens Projects. With most neighborhood teens joining a gang, it was a no-win situation for Rock since hanging with any of his childhood friends meant he has engaging in "anti-social behavior" according to the law. Two such incidents found Rock violating the area's gang injunction and landing in jail. These hard times influenced the rapper's lyrics and soon appearances on local mixtapes found him rapping in a hard style reminiscent of local hero the Game. With the help of Top Dawg Entertainment, he shopped his demos and mixtapes, eventually landing a deal with Warner Bros. The major label released his single "All My Life" with guest star Lil Wayne in 2008, and then partnered him with the Game for the West Coast anthem "Follow Me Home"." A year later, the latter cut would become the title track to his debut album, which featured fellow Top Dawg artist Kendrick Lamar. Lamar returned for the sophomore release 90059, an album named after the Watts zip code. It debuted at number 16 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. ~ David Jeffries