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Judge for XCIX

New York, NY
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Portrait of XCIX

XCIX [pronounced, "Ninety-Nine"] is the rebirth of a seasoned songwriter and performer. The newly branded emcee first got his big break writing for Markell Riley of the hit group Wreckx-n-Effect on their multi-platinum album Hard or Smooth. He went on to write for other hit artists like Will Smith, super producer Teddy Riley, and Hammer. Later, he was featured as an artist (performing under the name Nutta Butta ) with multi-platinum performers like BLACKSTREET , Janet Jackson , Queen Pen and Case . Spawning a solo career, Ninety-Nine also had a single and video released by Interscope Records for the platinum Bulworth movie soundtrack called "Freakout". After touring the world and collaborating with an array of talent, the artist ultimately found himself at a crossroads. His name, NINETY-NINE , tells that story. It is derived from the year 1999 when he stopped recording and walked away from the music business over creative differences at his record label. With his hiatus, it wasn't long before he realized that he missed creating music, and changed his name to Ninety-Nine to forever remind himself of his love of his art. Born in the Bronx, New York, Ninety-Nine was introduced to Hip-Hop in the very birthplace of the culture. He eventually found a home in Harlem, New York. His influences weren't limited to the city where dreams are made of… He briefly moved to his father's hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, as well as to Virginia beach, Virginia, for about seven years before returning to Harlem where he is still based. The artist credits his Harlem roots as the strongest influence on his artistic style and swagger. With club-banging beats and radio-ready flows, Ninety-Nine's sound mixes in-your-face danceable style with street tinged storytelling. This is evident on the cautionary tale "Corna Boyz" where he rhymes, "Them corner boyz they be bout that bread/But one wrong move, corner boy you're dead." Ninety-Nine's growth and maturity is evident in his music. While he doesn't use profanity in his lyrics, he keeps his street edge in tact not only through substantive lyrical content, but with tracks that can make any of today's dance-floors go crazy. "I want my fans to actually see what I'm saying; to get a visual of the stories that I tell." says Ninety-Nine. "Whatever that particular record was designed to do, whether it's make you dance, or send a message, that's what it should do." Ninety-Nine melds old school influences and the energy of yesterday's Hip-Hop with a sound that is relevant and ear-catching to a whole new generation. The rapper has certainly paid his dues, and with an upcoming LP entitled Street Intellect, he's prepared to make fans think as much as he makes them dance.

 
 
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