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Cormega 2008.jpg
Cormega in July 2008
Background information
Birth nameCory McKay
Born (1970-12-03) December 3, 1970 (age 49)
Brooklyn, New York City, USA
Genres East Coast hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active1989–present
LabelsAura, 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.


Early life

Cormega was born and raised in Queens, forming childhood friendships with future rappers such as Nas, Havoc and Capone. [1] [2] 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. [3] 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. [4] 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. [4] 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". [3] [5]


In 2000, he was released from his contract and he started his own record company, Legal Hustle Records. [3] 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. [4] In 2001, he released his new debut album, The Realness , which was acclaimed by critics. [3] Many of the songs share a theme of betrayal. [5] 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, [3] 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. [3] [6]

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." [6]


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. [7]

Cormega made great efforts to increase peoples awareness of the 2010 flooding tragedy in Pakistan, adding images and video clips to his official site. [8]

Cormega's latest album, Mega Philosophy , was entirely produced by frequent collaborator Large Professor. [9]

On July 17, 2017, he released a book in honor of the 15th anniversary of the release of the album The True Meaning . [10]

On December 26, 2018, he released his first EP MEGA. [11] [12]

Cormega appeared on Nas's King's Disease album in 2020, reuniting with members of the defunct The Firm supergroup. [13]


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One Love (Nas song) 1994 single by Nas

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<i>The Realness</i> 2001 studio album by Cormega

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.

<i>The Album</i> (The Firm album) 1997 studio album by The Firm

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.

<i>Illmatic</i> 1994 studio album by Nas

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.

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<i>Born and Raised</i> (Cormega album) 2009 studio album by Cormega

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.

<i>Mega Philosophy</i> 2014 studio album by Cormega

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<i>It Was Written</i> 1996 studio album by Nas

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.

<i>Twelve Reasons to Die</i> 2013 studio album by Ghostface Killah

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Cormega discography

The discography of American rapper Cormega, consists of eight studio albums, two compilation albums, one extended play, and 11 singles.


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  10. "Home".
  11. "Cormega Announces December 26th release of new MEGA EP on Instagram !".
  12. "Cormega Drops Off His New EP "Mega"". December 27, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2019.[ permanent dead link ]
  13. "NAS CONFIRMS THE FIRM REUNION ON 'KING'S DISEASE' TRACKLIST". August 19, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.