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Pastor Troy

By integrating self-consciousness and sincerity into his otherwise prototypical Dirty South style of rap, Pastor Troy stood out among the masses of up-and-coming Southern MCs trying to break nationally in the early 2000s. Perhaps more than anything, Troy's deeply religious youth shapes his ideology, which also features the usual Dirty South themes of getting crunk, living large, representing the South, and garnering respect. He's fairly open about his faith, juxtaposing this earnest quality with his sometimes reckless mentality. In addition to his MCing, Troy also proved himself to be a capable producer, crafting trunk-banging, 808-laden tracks for his albums. As a youth, Micah LeVar Troy grew up in the well-known College Park area of Atlanta, where he was exposed to the street life at an early age. His father, a former drill sergeant turned pastor, made sure Troy was exposed to the church life as well, though. These two often contrasting lifestyles presented a constant dilemma for Troy: he was drawn to street culture and, in particular, his Geto Boys and N.W.A. albums, but his father wouldn't allow the music to be played in the family's home. Eventually, Troy began attending Payne College in hopes of becoming a history teacher. There, free of his father's influence, he began devoting himself to rap, and before long he was making his own beats and writing his own rhymes. It didn't take long before Troy put college behind him and funneled his efforts into the rap game. He organized a clique of friends called the Down South Georgia Boys (D.S.G.B.) and went about recording his debut album, We Ready - I Declare War (1999). Peddled out of the trunk, the album became a local success and eventually a regional success without any radio play or national distribution. Next, a much-publicized, drawn-out feud with Master P didn't hurt, and soon Universal Records came knocking and offered Troy a record deal. Led by the single "This tha City," the resulting album, Face Off (2001), did well but enjoyed mostly regional success. Troy's next album, Universal Soldier (2002), extended his reach beyond the South a bit, propelled by the Timbaland-produced lead single, "Are We Cuttin'." Jason Birchmeier

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