March 5, 1978|
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Papoose made his first commercial appearance on Kool G Rap's 1998 album Roots of Evil, and began to produce and distribute his own mixtapes during the early 2000's, and eventually was able to meet DJ Kayslay in 2005, who helped him to sign a $1.5 million contract with Jive Records. After his debut studio album, The Nacirema Dream was shelved, he and DJ Kay Slay cut ties with Jive. This resulted in him releasing numerous free mixtapes between 2006 and 2013, earning him a large fanbase in the world of underground hip-hop. In 2012, he secured a deal with Fontana Distribution, and finally released his debut album independently on March 26, 2013.
After an early record deal failed, he decided to produce and sell his own mixtapes, one of which he presented to DJ Kayslay 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 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.
On 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.
Since then he has released various mixtapes keeping his name out there with the most recent one being Most Hated Alive which was released December 4, 2012. His debut album The Nacirema Dream was scheduled to be released March 5, 2013. In promotion of the album he released "On Top of My Game" which features Mavado as a single on December 11, 2012. The music video premiered on 106 & Park on February 1, 2013. The release date was however pushed back another three weeks until March 26, 2013. Upon release the album received generally positive reviews from music critics and debuted at number 97 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
On June 2, 2013, Papoose "crashed" Hot 97's Summer Jam with the help of Top Dawg Entertainment, performing The Nacirema Dream's third single "Get At Me" with Ron Browz. However, following the release of "Control" where Kendrick Lamar claims the title of "King of New York", Papoose took offense and dissed Lamar with a remix to "Control". Lamar called Papoose's response comical and then reportedly threw shots back at him on the BET Hip Hop Awards TDE cypher. On October 4, 2013, Papoose responded saying he would be releasing another diss track soon. He also announced plans to release a new mixtape titled, Blackballed soon, and that he had already begun working on his second studio album. On November 4, 2013, he released Hoodie Season his first mixtape since his debut album. In 2014, Papoose began work on a music collaboration with international producer Swissivory and west coast rapper C-Tru on a track titled "How We Roll". The single was put into rotation on MTV September 16, 2014.
With the high-profile release of his wife Remy Ma from New York State prison in 2014, there was much interest in the rap couple which led them to receive an offer to star in VH1's Love & Hip Hop: New York TV show. After agreeing to be part of the show due to receiving "an offer they couldn't refuse" the couple revealed publicly that they would be joining the rest of the cast for the 2015 season. Papoose was also featured in Remy Ma's music video for the song "All the Way Up" alongside Fat Joe and French Montana.
Papoose is of Liberian descent and has a daughter named Dejanae Mackie. In 2008, he and his cousin James Phelps (stage name Young Purp) issued a statement saying that he and fellow rapper Remy Ma (Reminisce Mackie) were to be married, but due to Ma's impending prison sentence of potentially up to 15-25 years, the couple had changed their plans and intended to marry in her jail instead. The wedding was called off for one day after he allegedly attempted to smuggle a key into the jail on their wedding day in May 2008. After the incident, Papoose married Ma the next day inside the courtroom right before sentencing and was barred from visiting her for six months.