Cormega (born Cory McKay) is a rapper and songwriter from New York City. Born in Brooklyn and raised in the same Queensbridge housing projects that artists such as Nas, Mobb Deep, and Marley Marl and the Juice Crew once called home, Cormega’s early career in music came to a halt when he was arrested for armed robbery. During his four-year incarceration, Nas shouted him out on the track “One Love,” off his critically acclaimed debut record, Illmatic. Following his release from jail in 1995, Cormega made a guest appearance on Nas’s second album, It Was Written—with the feature leading him to signing a deal of his own with Def Jam and joining the supergroup The Firm, alongside Nas, Foxy Brown and AZ. After some internal conflict, Cormega was replaced with another artist, Nature. This resulted in ‘Mega’s solo debut album The Testament being shelved and his friendship with Nas a casualty of the unfortunate situation. Cormega then founded his own independent label, Legal Hustle, to release his debut album in 2001, titled The Realness. His sophomore record The True Meaning arrived in 2002, earning him Independent Album of the Year at the 2003 Source Awards. In 2005, Cormega released his once-shelved record The Testament on his own label. A year later, Cormega reconciled with Nas, solidifying their rekindled relationship with a concert appearance in 2006. Cormega has since added 2009’s Born and Raised and 2014’s Large Professor-produced Mega Philosophy to his catalog, the latter of which helped solidify Cormega’s reputation as a socially conscious emcee that holds knowledge of self in the highest regard.

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