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New Orleans-based rapper Turk was first discovered in 1996 when the owners of Cash Money Records (brothers Ronald "Slim" Williams and Brian "Baby" Williams) discovered him rapping and rhyming in the nearby Magnolia projects. Later that same year, Turk made his recording debut with a cameo on Juvenile's solo debut, Solja Rags. Turk was billed as Young Turk and welcomed into the newly formed Hot Boys (who also included Juvenile, B.G., and Lil Wayne), issuing Get It How U Live! in 1997 and Guerilla Warfare two years later. Turk continued to make cameos on other rapper's recordings, including Juvenile's big hits 400 Degreez and Tha G-Code, Lil Wayne's Tha Block Is Hot and Lights Out, as well as B.G.'s It's All on U, Vol. 1 and It's All on U, Vol. 2. June 2001 saw the release of Turk's solo debut, Young and Thuggin', on Universal Records. Turk recorded Untamed Guerilla for Cash Money as a follow-up but soon jumped ship to Koch, following in the footsteps of B.G. Untamed Guerilla remained unreleased and Turk made his Koch debut in 2003 with Raw and Uncut.
In January 2004, Turk was in a Memphis, TN, apartment when narcotics officers and SWAT team members stormed in. According to police, Turk shot an officer during the drug raid; the rapper claimed he was hiding in the closet without a gun. At a preliminary hearing a charge of first-degree attempted murder was reduced to second-degree attempted murder, but Turk was not granted bail. He was awaiting trial in prison as his third album, Penitentiary Chances, hit the streets in April 2004.