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Young Gunz

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Biography

Young Gunz began as just two of the numerous rappers in Roc-a-Fella's State Property collective, yet all it took was one runaway hit, "Can't Stop, Won't Stop," to distance them from the pack and elevate them into the spotlight. The Philadelphia duo -- Young Chris (born Chris Ries) and Neef (born Hanif Muhammad) -- debuted with brief appearances on the first State Property album (2001) and, more importantly, got a high-profile shoutout in Jay-Z's "Takeover" earlier that year. However, it was their first track together, "Can't Stop, Won't Stop," that proved decisive to their success. The track first showed signs of life on the mixtape circuit, where DJ Enuff began repping it. Roc-a-Fella obviously felt "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" had a bright future, because the label granted it the coveted lead-off position on the second State Property album, The Chain Gang (2003). The song took off quickly, getting heavy rotation on urban radio and music television while shooting up the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A follow-up remix with Chingy gave the single yet more legs, and it became one of the year's more memorable rap singles, setting the stage for Young Gunz's debut album. Tough Luv came out in early 2004, and it was followed up just over a year later with Brothers from Another. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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