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K Koke

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Biography

Born Kevin Georgiou in northwest London, rapper K Koke announced himself on the U.K. underground scene with the April 2010 mixtape Pure Koke, Vol. 1. Part of the U.S.G. crew -- alongside former schoolmates Exo and Squingy -- Sony soon took notice and signed him to their Roc Nation imprint. The promotion of 2011's Vol. 2 mixtape was hamstrung by Georgiou being charged with attempted murder following a shooting in the Harlesden area early in the year. Although he was ultimately acquitted of the charges, he spent seven months of the year on remand and away from the music business. Almost a year after his release, a third volume in the mixtape series was issued before a slew of infectious, major-label singles ushered K Koke into the mainstream. The lushly produced, autobiographical "Turn Back" featured the singer/songwriter Maverick Sabre and preceded "Lay Down Your Weapons," a spring 2013 collaboration with Rita Ora that reached the U.K. Top 20. "My Time," a summer single with New York R&B star Bridget Kelly, paved the way for K Koke's debut studio album, I Ain't Perfect, which was expected in September of the same year. Unfortunately, ongoing legal troubles delayed the album further, culminating in Roc Nation dropping him from the label, effectively canceling the album altogether. By 2015, Georgiou was back on track, with a fresh record deal with Universal; this led to some long-awaited new singles in 2016, including "Deep in the Struggle" featuring Aynzli Jones and "I'm Back Again" alongside Stefflon Don. Eventually, Georgiou released the fourth installment in his mixtape series, 2017's Pure Koke, Vol. 4. ~ James Wilkinson
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