With his controversial rhymes, DIY attitude and creepy contact lenses, Hopsin earned a cult following in the 2010s as one of indie rap's most fascinating figures. Born in 1985, Marcus Jamal Hopson grew up in Los Angeles, passionate about skateboarding as a child and trying his hand at rapping in school. He signed with Ruthless Records, the company founded by late N.W.A. icon Eazy-E, but sought to leave the label when he was dissatisfied with their handling of his 2009 debut, Gazing at the Moonlight. Instead, Hopsin poured his energy into his own label, Funk Volume. In 2010, he released "Sag My Pants" off his second album, Raw—a lighthearted troll on which he threatens Drake, Soulja Boy and Lupe Fiasco, and disses Eazy-E's widow, Tomica Wright. But it was the shocking song and wacky music video, packed with horrorcore humour, syllable-stuffing lyricism and haunting production, that earned him a niche fanbase. In the following years, Funk Volume grew into an indie powerhouse: 2013's Knock Madness and 2015's Pound Syndrome sharpened his musical identity with increasingly personal, emotive tunes to add humanity to his controversy, and he signed artists like Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton, who built loyal audiences of their own. Though his label shuttered in 2016 due to a financial feud with his business partner Damien Ritter, Hopsin used his fifth album, No Shame, to air out his grievances and start a new label, Undercover Prodigy. And with that, another empire was underway.
HOMETOWNPanorama City, CA
BORNJuly 18, 1985