An affable, socially conscious rapper who strives to appeal to a broad audience, Hi-Rez made his recorded debut as a teenager and since the early 2010s has built an extensive discography of independent releases, including the breakthrough A Walk to Remember (2011), charting EP Impatiently Waiting (2013), and first proper album Humble But Hungry (2018). Bronx-born, raised in Florida, and eventually based in Los Angeles, Hi-Rez started rapping during his early teens, inspired most by Kanye West's The College Dropout. In 2011, he issued his first mixtapes, beginning with New Years Resolution and Early Release, and a third full-length, A Walk to Remember, was out by the end of the year, highlighted by "Smiling," a track that accumulated streams and views in the millions. During the next two years, Hi-Rez's discography doubled in size with the tapes The Window, Lost Time, and Product of My Environment. Additionally, a five-track EP, Impatiently Waiting, became his first Billboard placement, reaching number 65 on the publication's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. From 2014 through 2017, the rapper was comparatively less active in the studio, releasing Beautiful Struggle, Never Say Die, and Missing Pieces as more time was devoted to touring. Humble But Hungry arrived in 2018 as his first album. The set included "We Want Change," written in response to the mass shooting that February at his alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Among the victims were his cousins Nick and Alexander Dworet, the former of whom was killed. ~ Andy Kellman

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