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After grinding for 10 years, working with different indie labels and flirting with fame, Cognito has found the perfect label to call home: Strange Music, one of the most successful independent music labels in the world. “They work hard like I work hard,” assures COGNITO. “They put everything into their artists.”

The dogged determination to prevail at any cost that both Strange and COGNITO share couldn’t be a better match. The Fairfield, Calif. -raised father of two has poured his heart into albums, toured relentlessly, and stayed in the studio late numerous Friday nights when he could’ve been chilling at home with his family – all for the love of the game.

Growing up in the North Bay, COGNITO fast became intrigued with the burgeoning local hip-hop scene led by E-40 and B-Legit. The two hip-hop heavyweights exposed the young emcee to the hip-hop community, tapping his services at the Sick Wid It offices and schooling him in the art of promotion. He is the first to admit he was not the best student. But writing stories was his strong point in school. He started writing rhymes at 16, taking his cue from the people he was around. Yet it was hard to take rapping seriously as a career. A white rapper just wasn’t considered normal yet. It wasn’t until three years later, when Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP released, that COGNITO’s path became clearer.


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