CJ Fly

Along with high-school friends Joey Bada$$, Powers Pleasant, and Capital Steez, Brooklyn rapper CJ Fly founded the Pro Era hip-hop collective in 2011. Born Chaine Downer, Jr., the Bedford-Stuyvesant native transformed a childhood love of poetry into a focus on rap in the seventh grade. After the formation of Pro Era, his early career followed the crew's trajectory, with notable appearances on their 2012 effort, P.E.E.P.: The Aprocalypse, and Bada$$'s debut, 1999. In 2013, he joined tours with the likes of Flatbush Zombies, the Underachievers, Wiz Khalifa, and A$AP Rocky before releasing his first mixtape, Thee Way Eye See It. The collection featured appearances by Ab-Soul and Phife Dawg, as well as production by Statik Selektah and Cookin' Soul. Second Pro Era mixtape Secc$ TaP.E. and the Shift EP arrived in 2014 before Downer returned to his own work. His official solo debut, Flytrap, was issued at the end of 2016. The album included the single "Now You Know," as well as appearances by Canadian rapper Devontée and singer Eryn Allen Kane. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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