Stranga The Great "Bonkers"
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The Great was born Kareem Stevens the son of two well known street hustlers in Harlem,
New York in 1981. His father ThunderBird Johnny Drake was respected amongst the
Harlem street world and closely connected to some of hiphop's earliest pioneers.
His mother Dorothy Stevens was from a small town in rural North Carolina who moved
to NY during the 60's seeking a more glamorous life. Coming up in the crack cocaine
era in NY young Kareem was surrounding by drug usage and a crime infected environment.
As a child he was blessed to be around some of the earliest hip hop pioneers such
as Jam Master Jay of Run DMC fame. Kareem's father and Jam Master Jay's mother are
first cousins. During his time in NY he would spend time with Kurtis Blow and Luv
Bug Starski who called ThunderBird his father the same as Kareem did. After problems
between his parents lead to his mother moving back home to the south Kareem used
his love for break dancing and beat boxing to escape life's harsh realities. By
the time High School came he had already adopted the moniker Red Eyed Stranger,
which was a character he had created to due to the fact that he kept red eyes and
was very animated when it came to his rap style. Growing up infatuated by Horror
and Kung Fu movies a young Stranga became a huge fan of Wu-Tang Clan and other hardcore
underground hiphop groups. While he wasn't known much for his song writing abiltiy
he was respected amongst all he encountered for his skill as a battle rapper. Stranger
had dropped the Red Eyed from his name and decided to just go by Stranga and soon
started separating himself from all the crews he was a part of with his work ethic.
Stranga didn't truthfully start to pursue a life as a hip hop artist until around
2001 when he got introduced to text battling on the internet. Falling in love with
being accepted by fans from all over the internet he began to hit the open mic scenes
in Fayetteville NC an quickly grew a name for himself even though he was an outsider.
Since his first start on the internet and after numerous performances at hiphop
venues Stranga has had his share of up's and downs musically. He has worked with
and been on projects with artists and producers from over 5 countries including
Craig G from the Juice Crew, Fredro Starr of Onyx, The Wisemen, Holocaust, Guerilla
Alliance, Rkitech, Killah Priest, Chief Kamachi, Army of The Pharoah's and Terror
Squad. Stranga has been featured in publications and websites such as the Source
Independent and Hip Hop Weekly and has had production placements on MTV's Pimp My
Ride. Stranga is prided amongst his peers for his strong work ethic and lyrical
creativity. He always believed that it mattered more to be impressive lyrically
then to follow the trends that come into hiphop periodically. Stranga can be heard
all over the internet due to his networking skills and his support from close DJ's
such as DJ Smoke, DJ Sincere, J.Boogie, DJ Femmie and DJ Supreme. Now considered
a leader and respected influence in Fayetteville's hip hop scene Stranga The Great
is in line to leave behind a legacy of flavorful music that can be enjoyed by hiphop
fans for years to come.
Stranga The Great "Drowning in Fire " The MIxtape
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