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The second of six children, John Percy Simon was just three when his mother moved his family to the Patterson projects in the South Bronx in the early '70s. It was there that Percy (as he was called) witnessed the birth of hip-hop. By 1979 Percee (he changed the spelling to emulate artists like Kool Moe Dee) was writing and performing his own rhymes and by high school was a respected local force. In 1992 Percee P made a guest appearance on the Lord Finesse (and former rival) song "Yes You May," followed by work with Vakill, Jedi Mind Tricks, Aesop Rock, and Cenobites, among others. Because for many years he was never officially with any one label, Percee (or the Rhyme Inspector) had to make his name known by hawking his own mixtapes outside Fat Beats Records in Manhattan as well as at various shows, eventually compiling many of his songs together under the title Legendary Status (released in 2005). In 2003 Percee signed to California-based Stones Throw, which released his long-awaited solo debut, Perseverance, in September 2007. ~ Marisa Brown