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While they play around with the infectious grooves of reggae and Latin music and the heavy deliverance of hip-hop and rock, San Diego's hard rock four-piece P.O.D. defined a universal message. They're born-again Christians and such a thing is central in their music. They're not entirely classified as a Christian band though. Let that be known. Formed in 1992 in the SoCal neighborhood of San Ysidro, Marcos (guitar) and Wuv (drums) relished in the music they grew up on. San Ysidro or "Southtown" was a multi-cultural area, but working class. While Marcos and Wuv were fond of their jazz and reggae roots, they were young punks in the making. Both loved the gnarl of grunge and took to liking of Green Day, Pennywise, Bad Brains, and the Vandals. They got a band together, P.O.D. (short for "Payable On Death"), with Marcos' hip-hop MC cousin, Sonny, and aimed for something real. Cleveland native Traa joined in 1993 and P.O.D. was on the map. Throughout the 1990s, P.O.D. played countless shows across the nation and sold more than 40,000 copies of their three homemade EPs -- Brown, Snuff the Punk, and P.O.D. Live -- on their own Rescue Records. Atlantic Records was intrigued by the group's hard-working ethic and their passion for music, inking a deal with P.O.D. in 1998. The Warriors EP preceded the major-label debut of P.O.D.'s 1999 release The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. "Southtown" and "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)" were powerful singles, pushing the album to go platinum. P.O.D. earned top honors for Best Hard Rock or Metal Group, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)" at the 1999 San Diego Music Awards as well. A year later and the buzz still going, P.O.D. hit the road with Ozzfest 2000 and shared dates with Crazy Town and Staind for the MTV Campus Invasion tour. They also ventured into films, contributing several songs to various soundtracks. "School of Hard Knocks" proved successful in the Adam Sandler comedy Little Nicky in 2001, whereas additional tracks featured in the Al Pacino sports-thriller Any Given Sunday and Ready to Rumble maintained P.O.D.'s growing status. A second album for Atlantic, Satellite, was recorded with Howard Benson in spring 2001. Benson captured the magic once again, for P.O.D.'s stature exploded later that year, hot on the heels of the spiritual chaos of debut single "Alive." "Youth of the Nation" scored again, for P.O.D. positive mix of hip-hop, reggae, and hardcore punk defined a different kind of rock next to the likes of Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Korn. Sadly, founding member/guitarist, Marcos left the band in February 2003 to pursue other musical goals. Living Sacrifice guitar player Jason Truby stepped in to assist P.O.D. until a permament replacement was announced. At the time, P.O.D. was also gearing up to compose the lead single for The Matrix: Reloaded, which was scheduled to appear in theatres in May. MacKenzie Wilson

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