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Growing up in Oxnard, California with many other artists who ended up on the Stones Throw label, Nick Rodriguez, aka Medaphoar (and later, MED), grew up in a musical family, and by age nine he was freestyling to entertain his parents. By junior high he was writing his own rhymes, and by high school he was something of a local celebrity. Looking for beats one day, Medaphoar went to the house of Otis Jackson Jr., or Madlib, who was impressed by the MC's skills and invited him into his crew, Lootpack, as an unofficial member. After hearing his appearances on the group's 1999 full-length Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, Stones Throw head Peanut Butter Wolf asked Medaphoar to join his label, and soon he was featured on many of the roster's releases, including Quasimoto's, Madlib's, and Madvillain's. The rapper, who was at this time going by simply MED, finally released his solo debut, Push Comes to Shove, in 2005. The follow-up, 2011’s Classic, would feature special guests Talib Kweli, Aloe Blacc, and Hodgy Beats. Two years later he teamed with Madlib and rapper/producer Blu for The Burgundy EP, then in 2015 the trio released Bad Neighbor, an album that featured the single "Rappcats." ~ Marisa Brown