Professional basketball player Ron Artest is widely acknowledged for two things: the instigator of the infamous Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers brawl in 2004 and one of the best defensive players to walk the court in the 2000s.
Nevertheless, building off his controversial but successful NBA career, Artest also wanted to become known as a respectable rap artist and entrepreneur, and so he founded Tru Warier Records to pursue his musical passion. Born Ronald William Artest, Jr., in 1979, he was raised in the Queensbridge housing projects in Queens, NY. Although he was determined to be a ball player ever since the age of 13, he always looked up to some of the hip-hop greats who were also born and bred in Queensbridge, like Nas
and Mobb Deep
. Joining the likes of would-be-MC NBA players Allen Iverson and Shaquille O'Neal
, his Tru Warier company gave him the opportunity to be actively involved in the hip-hop community. As executive producer, he was responsible for placing R&B group Allure
back into the recording process with their 2004 album Chapter III after label mergers left them without a contract and Linnie Belcher departed the quartet. As a solo artist, Artest has opened for major rap stars including Young Jeezy, Fat Joe
, and Ludacris
. While still recruiting and developing more talent for his label and, of course, playing professional ball, he still found the time to compose and release his own solo LP, My World, in October 2006. ~ Cyril Cordor, Rovi