An MC from the south side of Chicago — and the daughter of blues guitarist Buddy Guy — Shawnna (Rashawnna Guy) began writing rhymes while in high school. She caught her first break in 1996, when her duo Infamous Syndicate opened for Junior M.A.F.I.A. in Chicago. Infamous Syndicate signed to Relativity a year later and released Changing the Game in 1999.
The album didn’t live up to its title, despite production help from No ID and Kanye West; the duo was dropped and eventually split. Shawnna then hooked up with Ludacris, who granted her a spot on his break-out single “What’s Your Fantasy.” She was the first female artist signed to Def Jam South through Ludacris’ Disturbing tha Peace Records.
Two years after an album with Luda’s Disturbing Tha Peace crew, she finally released Worth Tha Weight, her solo debut for Def Jam. West, Timbaland, Just Blaze, Shondrae, Icedrake, and Jermaine Dupri chipped in with production support.
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