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The positive lyrics that rapper Kaboose brings to the rap game come from surviving a difficult childhood. His birth parents' divorce, an abusive stepfather, and a move from his birthplace of San Jose, CA, to northern Minnesota all drove the young Kaboose to look for solace in music. After being introduced to the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. by his cousin, Kaboose fell in love with hip-hop. Although it was classified as "mild," a heart attack at the young age of 17 turned his head around and influenced Kaboose to strengthen his relationship with God. With more of a spiritual message in his music, his debut release, Innersection, was embraced by the Christian rap community when released in 2004, but it failed to make much of an impact with mainstream rap fans. After appearing on multiple volumes of Syntax's Night Owls series, he signed with the label and had an underground hit in 2008 with "Going Outta Control," featuring hardcore rapper Royce da 5'9''. Now appealing to the hardcore and alternative crowd without sacrificing his message, Kaboose released the ambitious Excuse Me album on Syntax that same year. ~ David Jeffries