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16-year-old Issa Thompson, a Washington D.C. native who now resides in Decatur, GA, is a teen prodigy, which is no surprise since he was raised in a musically-gifted family including his father, a rapper; and his grandfather, a pianist and singer. “It runs in my genes. It runs through my blood. Music is just something that comes natural. It’s something that I love to do,” says Issa. Issa developed a strong affinity for music at a young age. While most children were asking their parents for the latest video game or action figure, Issa was asking his parents to pass him the microphone. At age 8, Issa laid down his first rhyme, and by age 9 he had developed a style of rhyming so effortless, captivating and complex; it easily won over crowds, and prompted fans to nickname him “Smallwonder.” By the time Issa was 10, his skills prompted him to win the 2004 Hawaiian Punch Unleash the Punch contest. Bow Wow, the host of the contest, was extremely impressed by Issa’s rhyming abilities, “He spit for me. He killed it. He’s only 10 years old. I swear to God I haven’t heard a lot of 10-year-olds who can rap at my man’s level. I don’t know what it is. It might be the dreds or something,” In September 2010, 15-year-old Issa was signed to Jive Records, making him the youngest rapper to sign with Jive in the history of Jive Records. Issa, who owns his own record label, Wolf Pack Entertainment, stands at 5-foot-7, has green eyes and golden-brown dredlocks, has always captivated crowds. His level of maturity while rapping on stage continues to leave crowds spellbound. Wherever he travels people are drawn to Issa, whose Swahili and Muslim name means “Jesus” or “Messiah.” Issa’s style of rap is a combination of East Coast and Southern hip hop. His music harkens back to KRS One, Rakim and Lil Wayne. But the stark difference is that Issa’s lyrics are clean enough for a 10-year-old child, yet edgy and raw enough to be played in nightclubs. Issa says it’s a compliment to be compared to rap music legends, but his goal is to make his own mark in the rap music industry. Issa, who says he’s “God’s gift to the flow,” might be the new kid on the block but this young rap messiah says he’s ready to take his seat atthe throne, and he won’t rest until he gets there.


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