Cormega in July 2008
|Birth name||Cory McKay|
|Born||December 3, 1970|
Brooklyn, New York City, USA
|Genres||East Coast hip hop|
|Labels||Aura, Legal Hustle, Infamous Warner|
|Associated acts||The Firm, Mobb Deep, The Jacka, Capone-N-Noreaga, Wu-Tang Clan|
Cory McKay (born December 3, 1970), better known by his stage name Cormega, is an American rapper and songwriter. His first musical debut was sparked by a shout-out from Nas on his song "One Love", from the critically acclaimed Illmatic album during Cormega's time in prison.
Cormega was born and raised in Queens, forming childhood friendships with future rappers such as Nas, Havoc and Capone.A frequent theme of his music addresses the countless number of his friends and family that have been killed by violence.
He was featured on Hot Day's "Going Straight Up" from his album It's My Turn. He was also featured on Blaq Poet and DJ Hot Day's track "Set It Off" from their album Without Warning in 1991. During a period of incarceration, Cormega gained some attention following a shout-out from Nas on his song "One Love", from the Illmatic album released in 1994.Following his release from jail in 1995, Cormega became determined to pursue rapping. Nas included him on a song entitled "Affirmative Action" on his album It Was Written released on July 2, 1996. The song also featured AZ and Foxy Brown, and became The Firm's first appearance. Based on his performance, he was signed to Def Jam and recorded an album called The Testament . Based on the buzz from "Affirmative Action," Nas, his manager Steve Stoute and producers Dr. Dre and The Trackmasters joined to produce The Firm. However, Cormega was replaced with another Queensbridge artist, Nature, because either he would not sign a contract with Stoute or Stoute felt Nature was a better rapper. This led to an alleged altercation between Cormega and Nature. Cormega's dispute with Stoute also ended his friendship with Nas. Following the end of his membership in The Firm, Alex Trojano contributed in producing his album The Testament. Meanwhile, following a falling-out over creative differences with his manager Chris Lighty and Def-Jam imprint Violator Records, his debut album The Testament was indefinitely shelved. During the recording for The Testament Cormega responded to Nas' "One Love" in the form of a letter also entitled "One Love".
In 2000, he was released from his contract and he started his own record company, Legal Hustle Records.Cormega vented his disappointment with Nas and The Firm in a mixtape song titled "Never Personal". This song was never directly pointed to Nas, but the media made it look like that. In 2001, he released his new debut album, The Realness , which was acclaimed by critics. Many of the songs share a theme of betrayal. Nas responded to Cormega on his song "Destroy and Rebuild" from his album Stillmatic . Cormega retaliated with more mixtape tracks, "A Slick Response" and "Realmatic".
Cormega's follow-up album, The True Meaning won the Source Magazine 's prestigious Underground Album of the Year Award. In 2004, he followed up with Legal Hustle (a compilation album showcasing his label's artists) and other talented hip-hop lyricists such as Ghostface Killah, Large Professor, AZ, Kurupt, Jayo Felony, and several others. This album is considered by some as more of a project than an actual solo album; nonetheless, it was well received. In 2005, he was able to release The Testament on his own label,which saw good reviews and sales and featured the original banned version of "Dead Man Walking" as a hidden track.
In early September 2005, Cormega posted a statement on his website that he and Nas had spoken and ended their feud. On December 22, 2006 at the Nokia Theatre Times Square, Cormega appeared on stage at a Nas concert and went on to perform with Nas (and Foxy Brown as well), further evidence that their feud is over.
In the mid-2000s Cormega helped produce a few albums and was featured on several songs with The Jacka and the Mob Figaz.
An album collaboration with Lakey The Kid entitled My Brother's Keeper was released independently on August 22, 2006. On November 20, 2007, Cormega finally released his DVD in-the-making Who Am I?. The DVD took over four years of filming of Cormega in all aspects of his life and what others thought of Cormega, unedited. The DVD was released as a soundtrack plus DVD. Cormega intended to release an album which was to be entitled Urban Legend before T.I.'s album of the same name was released (Cormega mentions this on the Who Am I DVD, dated circa 2003); the new title is Born and Raised . The album was released October 20, 2009. The first single is called "Journey."
Cormega has stated his desire to work with a variety of artists including Scarface, Lauryn Hill, Slick Rick, Erykah Badu as well as past collaborators M.O.P., Mobb Deep, and Tha Dogg Pound.
Cormega made great efforts to increase peoples awareness of the 2010 flooding tragedy in Pakistan, adding images and video clips to his official site.
Cormega's latest album, Mega Philosophy , was entirely produced by frequent collaborator Large Professor.
On July 17, 2017, he released a book in honor of the 15th anniversary of the release of the album The True Meaning .
On December 26, 2018, he released his first EP MEGA.
Cormega appeared on Nas's King's Disease album in 2020, reuniting with members of the defunct The Firm supergroup.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Rooted in the New York rap scene with his street poetry, he is regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas has released twelve studio albums since 1994, with seven of them certified platinum and multi-platinum in the US.
Dennis Coles better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper, songwriter and actor and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the group achieved breakthrough success in the aftermath of Enter the Wu-Tang , the members went on to pursue solo careers to varying levels of success. Ghostface Killah debuted his solo-career with Ironman in 1996, which was well received by music critics. He has continued his success over the following years with critically acclaimed albums such as Supreme Clientele (2000) and Fishscale (2006). His stage name was taken from one of the characters in the 1979 kung fu film Mystery of Chessboxing. He is the founder of his own label Starks Enterprises.
Jason Richard Hunter, better known by his stage name Inspectah Deck, is an American rapper, producer, and actor. He is a member of the groups Wu-Tang Clan and Czarface.
Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, better known by her stage name Foxy Brown, is an American rapper. After signing to Def Jam in 1996, she released her debut album, Ill Na Na, that same year, and was also part of the short-lived rap group the Firm.
Anthony Cruz, better known by his stage name AZ, is an American rapper from East New York, Brooklyn, New York. He is known for being a longtime and frequent music partner of Nas and also a member of hip hop group The Firm alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega and Nature. In a countdown of the 10 Most Underappreciated Rappers—Most Underrated Rappers of All Time, the editors of About.com listed AZ as #1 on the list. He was also included on About.com's list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), where he was described as "arguably the most underrated lyricist ever."
Jermain Baxter, better known as Nature, is an American rapper, best known for his association with fellow New York City rapper Nas and having replaced Cormega in the original QB group the Firm.
The Firm is an American hip hop supergroup that formed in New York City in 1996. It was created by rapper Nas, his manager Steve Stoute, producer Dr. Dre and production team Trackmasters. The group was composed of East Coast-based rappers Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ and also Nature, who served as a replacement for Cormega after he was ousted from the group.
Large Professor is the stage name of William Paul Mitchell, an American rapper and record producer also known as Extra P. and Large Pro. Based in New York City, he is known as a founding member of the underground hip hop group Main Source and as mentor and frequent collaborator of Nas. About.com ranked Large Professor at No. 13 on its Top 25 Hip-Hop Producers list.
The discography of Nas, an American rapper, consists of thirteen studio albums, five compilations, one extended play, and seventy-nine singles. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas dropped out of school during ninth grade and began his music career in 1991 with a guest performance on the song "Live at the Barbeque" by Main Source. In 1992, Nas featured on the MC Serch posse cut, “Back to the Grill”, alongside Chubb Rock and Red Hot Lover Tone, and later contributed the track, "Halftime" to the soundtrack to the film, Zebrahead. Soon Nas ignited enough hype and signed to Columbia Records, where he released his debut album Illmatic in 1994. Including Nas's solo debut track "Halftime", Illmatic was certified platinum in the US, spawned several singles including "It Ain't Hard to Tell" and "The World Is Yours", and earned much critical acclaim. With a more mainstream-oriented sound, Nas's second album It Was Written was released in 1996 and included the Lauryn Hill collaboration "If I Ruled the World " and "Street Dreams", the latter of which reached number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. It Was Written was certified double platinum. In 1999, Nas released two albums: I Am... and Nastradamus. While I Am reached double platinum status like its preceding album It Was Written and spawned two singles that reached the top ten spots of the Hot Rap Singles chart, "Hate Me Now" and "Nas Is Like", Nastradamus signaled a decrease in quality and critical reception and sold only half as many units. Still, Nastradamus featured two charting singles, "You Owe Me", "Nastradamus" and was certified platinum.
"One Love" is a song by American rapper Nas, released October 25, 1994 on Columbia Records. It was issued as the fifth and final radio single in promotion of his debut studio album Illmatic (1994). The song was produced by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, who also contributed vocals for the chorus line. According to Nas, the title of the song originates from Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician Bob Marley's song of the same name.
The Realness is the debut studio album by American rapper Cormega. It features guest appearances from Mobb Deep and Tragedy Khadafi, as well as production from Havoc of Mobb Deep, J-Love, and The Alchemist, among others. It was released via Legal Hustle Records and LandSpeed Records.
The Album is the only studio album by American hip hop group The Firm. It was released on October 21, 1997 by Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The project was created by rapper Nas, his manager Steve Stoute and producers Dr. Dre and Trackmasters, who came up with the idea of forming a hip hop supergroup. The original line-up included Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown and Cormega who were all featured on the song "Affirmative Action" from Nas' album It Was Written (1996). However, Cormega later left the group due to artistic differences between him and Nas, as well as contract disagreements with Stoute. He was replaced by Nature prior to recording of the album. The Album is a concept album that revolves around the themes of mafia and "gangsta" lifestyle. The songs on the album were mainly produced by Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor and Trackmasters, and feature guest vocals from Pretty Boy, Wizard, Canibus, Dawn Robinson, Noreaga and Half-a-Mill.
Illmatic is the debut studio album by American rapper Nas. It was released on April 19, 1994, by Columbia Records. After signing with the label with the help of MC Serch, Nas recorded the album in 1992 and 1993 at Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios, and Unique Recording Studios in New York City. The album's production was handled by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S. and Nas himself. Styled as a hardcore hip hop album, Illmatic features multi-syllabic internal rhymes and inner-city narratives based on Nas' experiences in Queensbridge, New York.
Leshan David Lewis, better known as L.E.S., is a hip hop producer commonly associated with Nas and grew up with Nas in the Queensbridge housing project. His first production credit was for Nas' popular song "Life's a Bitch" from the Illmatic album in 1994. He soon produced a single, "Sugar Hill", for AZ's album Doe Or Die. In the next two years, he produced more songs for Nas as well as songs for Fat Joe, Shyheim, LL Cool J, Royal Flush and The Firm. In 1998, he started working with Poke & Tone and collaboratively produced Will Smith's #1 hit single "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It". From 1998 to 2005, he produced more songs for Nas, Big Punisher, N.O.R.E., Nature, Flipmode Squad, Kool Savas, Azad and others.
"Represent" is the ninth song on Nas' debut album Illmatic. It is produced by DJ Premier who samples Lee Irwin's "Thief of Baghdad" for the song's beat.
Born and Raised is the fourth studio album by Queensbridge rapper Cormega. It was released on October 20, 2009, after being pushed back several times; the album was originally to be titled Urban Legend but was changed to Born and Raised after rapper T.I. used the original title for his 2004 release. The album has been met with mostly positive reviews from both fans and critics so far.
Mega Philosophy is the fifth studio album by American rapper Cormega. The album was released on July 22, 2014 by Slimstyle Records. The entire album was produced by Large Professor. The album features guest appearances from Styles P, Black Rob, Maya Azucena, Redman, Raekwon and The Firm members AZ and Nature.
It Was Written is the second studio album by American rapper Nas, released July 2, 1996 on Columbia Records in the United States. Following the moderate sales success of his acclaimed debut album, Illmatic (1994), Nas chose to focus his efforts in a more mainstream direction. Primarily produced by Trackmasters, it is a departure for him from the raw, underground tone of his debut album towards a more polished, mainstream sound. The album features mafioso and gangsta themes, and marks the first appearance of Nas's short-lived supergroup The Firm, which included rappers Foxy Brown, AZ, and Cormega.
Twelve Reasons to Die is the tenth studio album by Wu-Tang Clan member, rapper Ghostface Killah. It is a concept album based on a comic book of the same name. The album was produced and composed by Adrian Younge. It was also executive produced and narrated by RZA. The album was released on April 16, 2013, by RZA's Soul Temple Records label and RED Distribution. It features guest appearances from Wu-Tang members Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa and Cappadonna along with William Hart and Killa Sin.
The discography of American rapper Cormega, consists of eight studio albums, two compilation albums, one extended play, and 11 singles.