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Christian rapper Whatuprg entered the music world early on with tireless ambition and devotion to a higher power fueling his fire, rapping by age 12, self-releasing music by 14, then signing with established labels and doing features on songs by bigger names in the Christian rap scene by his later teens. With his 2018 signing to Atlanta label Reach Records, Whatuprg entered the next phase of his career, issuing the Pleasant Hill EP early that year as he prepped for a proper debut full-length. Born J. Raul Garcia in Gwinnett County, Georgia, the rapper's childhood was rich with music from an early age. He discovered reggae at age seven and within a few years transitioned from being a ravenous music fan to making his own rhymes. When he was 14, his parents helped him fund the production of his first self-released album. The performances and production were amateurish, but soon thereafter Garcia began making beats and recording on his laptop, and his practice truly began. As he started out, he made connections in the Christian hip-hop scene, befriending artists like nobigdyl, Derek Minor, and Mogli the Iceburg. Eventually, Whatuprg would contribute guest spots to songs by these more established rappers while he steadily worked on his own tracks. A major breakthrough came with the release of his 2016 single "Don't Forget to Live" and its accompanying video, shot in a Walmart almost on a whim late one night. The song and video took off, and in 2017 Whatuprg's name became more recognized as he released songs like "Aquafina" and "Where You Been?" and signed on with nobigdyl's artist collective Indie Tribe. The signing would be short-lived, however, as the next year he signed with larger Atlanta-based Christian rap label Reach Records. That year, Reach released the "Glow" single as well as the Pleasant Hill EP as Whatuprg worked toward a full-length. ~ Fred Thomas

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