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Potter Payper

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A lyricist through-and-through and staple of the U.K. underground, rapper Potter Payper built his career on candid reflections of the environment he was raised in. His sophomore mixtape, Training Day, took on an iconic role in the U.K. rap scene, compiling a cohesive and compelling collection of street-level narratives.

Potter Payper (real name Jamel Bousbaa) was born and raised on the Gascoigne Estate in Barking, England, to an Algerian father and Irish mother. Though constantly embroiled in high-stakes street environment he found himself in, Payper worked on music in order to turn things around for himself and his family, so he began to develop his rap skills. His now-iconic lyricism and compelling wordplay were first showcased on his debut mixtape The Philosopher's Chrome, before the rapper caught the ears of the U.K. at large with his BL@CKBOX freestyle. His sophomore mixtape, Training Day, arrived in July 2013; often lauded as a modern classic of the U.K. rap scene, the project established the rapper's signature style, a blend of boisterous vocals, street narratives, and evocative production. In 2015, Payper dropped a third independent mixtape and an EP; while 24 saw him progress into the dominant sounds of trap, One Time (released via Grimey Limey) provided a more traditional seven-track set. The long-awaited sequel to Training Day arrived in 2016 with Training Day 2, which followed the first album's lyrical directions and classic-sounding beats. In 2018 the rapper's musical ambitions were cut short by a jail sentence: After releasing the mixtape Regina vs. Jamel Bousbaa, he found himself incarcerated while working on his sixth set, Real Back in Style. After his 2020 release, the rapper embarked on a period of immense productivity and success. Kicking off the year with the 2020 Vision EP, he returned to the game in full force, delivering a brutal freestyle for Daily Duppy later that year. The long-awaited Training Day 3 arrived in September 2020: modernizing the iconic approach of the previous two tapes, TD3 was the rapper's biggest success to date, landing a third spot placement on the U.K. charts.

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