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Cormega 2008.jpg
Cormega in July 2008
Background information
Cory McKay
BornNew York, New York
OriginQueensbridge, Long Island City, Queens, New York, New York, U.S.
GenresEast Coast hip hop
Rapper, songwriter
LabelsAura, Legal Hustle, Infamous Warner
The Firm, Mobb Deep, The Jacka Capone-N-Noreaga, Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang Killa Beez

Cory McKay (born December 3, 1970) better known by his stage name Cormega, is an American rapper and songwriter. His first musical debut was sparked by a shout-out from Nas on his song "One Love", from the critically acclaimed Illmatic album during Cormega's time in prison.

Early life

Cormega was born in Brooklyn and raised in New York City, forming childhood friendships with future rappers such as Nas, Havoc and Capone.[1][2] A frequent theme of his music addresses the countless number of friends and family that have been killed due to violence.



He was featured on Hot Day's "Going Straight Up" from his album "It's My Turn".[3] He was also featured on Blaq Poet & DJ Hot Day's track "Set It Off" from their album "Without Warning" in 1991.


During a period of incarceration, Cormega gained some attention following a shout-out from Nas on his song "One Love", from the critically acclaimed Illmatic album.[3] Following his release in 1995, Cormega became determined to pursue rapping. Nas included him on a song entitled "Affirmative Action" for his second album It Was Written. The song also featured AZ and Foxy Brown, and became The Firm's first appearance.[4] Based on his performance, he was signed to Def Jam and recorded an album called The Testament. Based on the buzz from "Affirmative Action," Nas, his manager Steve Stoute and producers Dr. Dre and Trackmasters joined to produce The Firm. Cormega was replaced with another artist, Nature, because either he would not sign a contract with Stoute or Stoute felt Nature was a better rapper.[4] This led to an alleged altercation between Cormega and Nature. Cormega's dispute with Stoute also ended his friendship with Nas. Following the end of his membership in The Firm, Alex Trojano contributed in producing his album The Testament. Meanwhile, following a falling-out over creative differences with his manager Chris Lighty and Def-Jam imprint Violator Records, his debut album The Testament was indefinitely shelved. During the recording for The Testament Cormega responded to Nas' "One Love" in the form of a letter also entitled "One Love".[3][5]


In 2000, he was released from his contract and he started his own record company, Legal Hustle Records.[3] Cormega vented his disappointment with Nas and The Firm in a mixtape song titled "Never Personal". This song was never directly pointed to Nas, but the media made it look like that.[4] In 2001, he released his new debut album, The Realness, which was acclaimed by critics.[3] Many of the songs share a theme of betrayal.[5]Nas responded to Cormega on his song "Destroy and Rebuild" from his album Stillmatic. Cormega retaliated with more mixtape tracks, "A Slick Response" and "Realmatic". Nas revisited the Cormega beef in his song "The Cross" on the album God's Son. In reference to Cormega, Nas rapped "What I've discovered is my brother's tryin to be/The next me, yeah I support him but he's blinded I see/ Jealousy he love me to death and I'm buggin I love him for life/ We both still mournin on our mother's life" (referencing the fact that Cormega's mother was murdered when he was four).[6]

Cormega's follow-up album, The True Meaning won the Source Magazine 's prestigious Underground Album of the Year Award. In 2004, he followed up with Legal Hustle (a compilation album showcasing his label's artists) and other talented hip-hop lyricists such as Ghostface Killah, Large Professor, AZ, Kurupt, Jayo Felony, and several others. This album is considered by some as more of a project than an actual solo album; nonetheless, it was well received. In 2005, he was able to release The Testament on his own label,[3] which saw good reviews and sales and featured the original banned version of "Dead Man Walking" as a hidden track.

In early September 2005, Cormega posted a statement on his website that he and Nas had spoken and ended their feud. On December 22, 2006 at the Nokia Theatre Times Square, Cormega appeared on stage at a Nas concert and went on to perform with Nas (and Foxy Brown as well), further evidence that their feud is over.[3][7]

In the mid-2000s Cormega helped produce a few albums and was featured on several songs with The Jacka and the Mob Figaz.

An album collaboration with Lakey The Kid entitled My Brother's Keeper was released independently on August 22, 2006. On November 20, 2007, Cormega finally released his DVD in-the-making Who Am I?. The DVD took over four years of filming of Cormega in all aspects of his life and what others thought of Cormega, unedited. The DVD was released as a soundtrack plus DVD. Cormega intended to release an album which was to be entitled Urban Legend before T.I.'s album of the same name was released (Cormega mentions this on the Who Am I DVD, dated circa 2003); the new title is Born and Raised. The album was released October 20, 2009. The first single is called "Journey."[7]


Cormega has stated his desire to work with a variety of artists including Scarface, Lauryn Hill, Slick Rick, Erykah Badu as well as past collaborators M.O.P., Mobb Deep, and tha Dogg Pound.[8]

Cormega made great efforts to increase peoples awareness of the 2010 flooding tragedy in Pakistan, adding images and video clips to his official site.[9]

Cormega's latest album, 'Mega Philosophy', was entirely produced by frequent collaborator Large Professor.[10]

On July 17, 2017, he released a book in honor of the 15th anniversary of the release of the album The True Meaning.[11]


Cormega in 2008
Cormega in 2008

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions


The Realness 111 24 4
The True Meaning
  • Released: June 11, 2002
  • Label: Legal Hustle Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
95 25 5
The Testament
  • Released: February 22, 2005
  • Label: Legal Hustle Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
-- 76 46
Born and Raised
  • Released: October 20, 2009
  • Label: Aura Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
-- 56 --
Mega Philosophy
  • Released: July 22, 2014
  • Label: Slimstyle Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
-- 30 --
"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums

List of compilation albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions


Legal Hustle 174 22 8
Raw Forever
  • Released: September 27, 2011
  • Label: Aura Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
-- -- --
"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Song Chart positions Album
U.S. Rap
2000 "You Don't Want It" 41 The Realness
2001 "Get Out My Way"
2002 "Built for This" The True Meaning
"The Come Up" (featuring Large Professor)
2004 "Let It Go" (featuring M.O.P.) Legal Hustle
"Dangerous" (featuring Unda P. and Vybz Kartel)
2005 "One Love" The Testament
2007 "The Saga (The Remix)" (produced by Stanley O) Single Release
2009 "Dirty Game" Born and Raised
2016 "Guns and Butter" (feat. Gunplay)[17]


  1. ^ "CORMEGA BIOGRAPHY". Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Cormega - Article Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Birchmeier, Jason. "Cormega biography". allmusic.
  4. ^ a b c Birchmeier, Jason. "The Firm > Biography". allmusic.
  5. ^ a b Berliner, Brett (2003-09-01). "Cormega - The True Meaning - Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-12-25.
  6. ^ "Nas - The Cross". Genius. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ a b Nas Plays New York, Reunites With Cormega & Foxy Brown Archived 2007-01-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ HipHopDX (2 July 2010). "DX News Bits: Pimp C, Cormega". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "PodOmatic - Podcast - Conspiracy Worldwide Hip Hop Radio - [Part 2] Live Guests - Slaughterhouse - Crooked I - Four Horsemen - Killah Priest - Cormega - Dame Grease - 2 Hungry Bros - Willo Wispa - Pakistan Disaster Appeal - world exclusives and more! Conspiracy Worldwide Radio UNCUT!". PodOmatic. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ "Cormega, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano & Saigon; Hip-Hop's Next Supergroup - Beats, Boxing and Mayhem". Beats, Boxing and Mayhem. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ "Cormega - Understanding The True Meaning Book".
  12. ^ a b "Cormega - Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Cormega - Chart History: Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Cormega - Chart History: Billboard Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ "Cormega > Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Cormega and Gunplay release new single". February 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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