At first, he was terrible at rapping, but with much practice he realized he had a talent for freestyle rap. Jin would perform for his classmates, co-workers and whoever would listen. He began entering freestyle battles in local hip-hop clubs where he was usually the only Asian person around. He was often underestimated due to his Chinese ethnicity, but Jin's talent won the crowds over as he won many battles and championships.
He quickly developed a reputation as Miami's cleverest hip-hop lyricist. However, in the hip-hop world Miami is known more for bass music, rather than clever lyrics. He knew this would be another obstacle to overcome in order to gain acceptance. In 2001, his parents decided to move the family to Chinatown, New York City. He began performing freestyles and selling his own mixtapes on the streets, in hip-hop clubs, and wherever he could.
He quickly gained a huge following just as he had done in Miami. His big break came when the BET program "106 & Park" began inviting local rappers to have freestyle battles every Friday. Jin was ready for the national exposure. He auditioned and again was underestimated due to his race.
However, Jin proved everyone wrong by winning the battles week after week. His first battle was against Hasan, who had six straight victories and was one victory away from being inducted into the hall of fame. Nevertheless, about twenty seconds into the battle, Hasan stuttered and couldn't continue his "flow". Thus, Jin became the new champion.
After winning for seven weeks straight, Jin was inducted into the show's Hall of Fame. That same night, he announced that he had signed a deal with Ruff Ryders; the same record label as DMX and Jadakiss. Jin was recently featured on the American-born Taiwanese pop artist Wang Leehom's 2005 album "Heroes Of Earth". On Freestyle Fridays, Jin battled the following and defeated them: Hasan Sterling Skitzoe Skazoo Noose (Luck Luciano) Logan Sean Nicolas His first single under Ruff Ryders was titled "Learn Chinese." The album was originally supposed to come out in the summer of 2003, but was delayed for over a year by the label. In October 2004, Jin released his debut album, The Rest Is History, which reached number 54 of the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. It sold 26,000 copies in the first week.
So far, the album only sold 200,000 units and both singles, "Learn Chinese" and "Senorita" didn't break through the mainstream. Nonetheless, Jin's music video "Learn Chinese" was the first video ever to be played on MTV Chi. On May 18th, 2005, Jin revealed that he was putting his rap career on hold to explore other options. To make this clear, he recorded a song called "I Quit." This announcement was thought to have marked the end of Jin's rap career. However, he later re-emerged under a different alias, The Emcee, and freestyled over such songs as Jay-Z's "Dear Summer." His latest single is "Top 5" where Jin yet again displays his lyrical talent in explaining the history of hip-hop's greatest artists.
Now under an indie label, CraftyPlugz/Draft Records, Jin released his second album, "Jin Presents: The Emcee's Properganda" on October 25th. It didn't reach the Billboard, but the album sold 7,000 copies in the first week. He continues to battle though and recently defeated Professor Green from the UK in the Bahamas to win $50,000. In 2006, Jin will be releasing two albums. The first one, A Bunch of Songs and Some Freestyles is a mixtape/album that will be released July 18th.
The single for that album is "FYI" and Jin shot a music video for it. Jin's third LP is tentatively called FYI and will come out later this year. Jin was featured in the NBA Ballers: Phenom game where you battle him in a freestyle contest. Read more on Last.fm.
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