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Locksmith @ Brick and Mortar 

Wednesday, Mar 30 2016
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This half-black, half-Iranian rapper from Richmond first made a name for himself in the early aughts by competing in MTV's Freestyle Battle Championship. Though he didn't end up winning — Reignman took the crown, along with $25,000 in cash and a Def Jam recording contract — Locksmith did make it to the hallowed final round. Since then, his solo career has been on an upswing: He's toured with Murs and Joe Budden, collaborated with Hopsin and Jarren Benton, and dropped two studio albums and four mixtapes. Though the Cal alum has since retired from battle rapping, he still sticks to the diss rap formula and is known for his hard-hitting, candid lyrics. He called Kanye West gay in his 2009 track "Rare Form," and spoke about being sexually abused as a child in "The Hardest Song Ever."

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Jessie Schiewe

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