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Flipping lyrics like a finely-conditioned rap acrobat, Twista, formerly known as Tongue Twista, introduced his swift Chicago flow to the hip-hop scene on his landmark first album, "Runnin' Off At The Mouth." Though inspired by West coast and East coast artists, he remembers merely "feeding off" of them. He recounts, "The flow was there, but it's like I didn't have a foundation. I was more about being flamboyant." (The Guinness Book of World Records recognized his "flamboyancy" as a skill when they credited him in 1992 as the fastest rapper in the world.)
Between the time of the two albums, Twista says he added substance and focus to his style by patrolling the gritty landscapes of his Chicago ghetto. He recognized that the only way to escape the bleak surroundings was to immerse himself in it and shed some sort of light.
As he explains it, "After I came off of my first national tour, I went back to the 'hood and just started applying the lessons I learned about the business and writing structured songs to things that were going on in the community, and everything started to seem much more real."
He turned up in 1996 to snatch pavement props and earn Gold status for being featured on Do or Die's number one Billboard rap single, "Po Pimp." Castigating the laziness of L.A. G-funk and challenging the looseness of modern free-styiling, he raps to reveal emotions ranging from ecstasy and joy to sadness and pain.
Born and raised in the K-Town section of Chicago's infamous, impoverished west side, Twista grew up amid scenes of junkies, drugs, violence and poverty. He used his inner strength to help pull him through, while his dreams centered around either music or art.
Hit songs include --
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