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While just a sophomore at the State University of New York (studying orchestra and later studio composition), Imani Coppola gained a record contract for her surrealistic, sample-laden pop vision of hip-hop, linked to Digable Planets as well as Neneh Cherry. While growing up, her entire family was musical, and Coppola began playing violin at the age of six. She began writing songs and practiced her vocals (although her recording career has featured her rapping more than singing). Her debut album, Chupacabra, featured the MTV hit "Legend of a Cowgirl." Coppola spent the next decade out of the limelight — her label dropped her before she could release her follow-up, so she set about making music in relative obscurity in New York, starting her own label so as to release her own material, including 2004's Afrodite. In 2007, however, she was picked up by Ipecac Records, who issued The Black & White Album late that year. ~ John Bush & Marisa Brown, Rovi