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Papoose Biography

Last updated: 02/06/2014 05:02:02 PM

Shamele Mackie (born December 31, 1978), better known by his stage name Papoose, is an American rapper.

Born December 31, 1978 in Brooklyn, New York City by Sierra Leonean parents, Papoose made his first attempts at rapping at the age of 7. He was given his name by his grandma Viviann because of his childhood resemblance to a Native American child. Inspired by Kool G Rap, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane he made his first appearance & became known to the public when he appeared in 1998 on Kool G Rap's Roots of Evil album. The following year, he released his first single, "Thugication"/"Alphabetical Slaughter".

After an early record deal failed, he decided to produce and sell his own mixtapes, one of which he presented to DJ Kay Slay outside the offices of New York's Hot 97 after the latter's radio show there. This led to Kay Slay inviting Papoose onto the air, and, impressed by his rendition of "Alphabetical Slaughter", signing him to his Streetsweepers Entertainment label. He continued to release mixtapes at a prolific rate -- over a dozen between 2004 and 2006 -- and won the Justo Mixtape Award for Best Underground Artist in 2005.

August 24, 2006, his official website announced that he had signed with Jive Records in a deal worth $1.5 million. An album to be called The Nacirema Dream ("American" spelled backwards) was planned. However, in September 2007, Kay Slay revealed that he and Papoose had left Jive, commenting that they had "almost [become] victims of A&R hell." On 21 Gun Salute, Papoose said that he was able to keep the $1.5 million despite not releasing an album.

He first came to prominence after featuring on the "Touch It" remix by Busta Rhymes.