He started rapping at 16, and nearly 10 years later, he wins one of he biggest rap battles in U.S. history.
Nocando (No-can-do), a 25-year-old from South Central Los Angeles, won the title at Skribble Jam, the nations largest hip-hop festival.
"I lost the Skribble Jam two years in a row (2001 and 2006), so this time around, I was prepared. I was hungrier and better seasoned then every other rapper in the competition," said Nocando.
Now, he released his new album "Jimmy the Lock," and is hoping to parlay his battle rap skills into a successful career in the music industry.
"My hip hop is different from mainstream stuff," said Nocando, talking to Mekahlo Medina on NBCLA's Newsraw. "I'm from Los Angeles; it's different because of that. My record is about drug, sex and rock and roll."
His new record boasts his trademark "battlerap" rhyming style. Not to mention he receives production help from progressive Los Angeles beat-smiths like Nosaj Thing, Daedelus and Thavius Beck.
"I had been working with some of these producers for a long time. I've been on tour with some of them and built a relationship with them. It was easy to pick them to produce my new record. They brought the progressive Los Angeles sound I was looking for," he said.
The combination of progressive, electronic beats and Nocando's aggressive rhymes culminate into an adventurous debut hip-hop album.
"This album isn't mainstream or underground. And these aren't battle rhymes. This is an L.A. record. It was made by and for L.A. music fans. It may not receive mainstream recognition, but the kids in L.A. love it," Nocando said.