Raised outside Atlanta, R&B singer and songwriter Kev Samples earned a degree from the University of Georgia prior to fully launching his music career, though he opened for the likes of OutKast and Ludacris while still enrolled. Spurred into remaining in the entertainment industry once he became the business manager of NBA player Dwight Howard (his cousin), Samples used his networking skills to further his singing career. A mixtape DJed by Whoo Kid, titled The Death of R&B, made some impact for its targeting of Ne-Yo, Ray J, and T-Pain. His official debut, The Rush, was released October 2006 on Outlandish Entertainment through a distribution deal with Universal. Cool & Dre, Red Spyda, and Scott Storch handled some of the production load; Twista, Petey Pablo, and Lupe Fiasco made guest appearances. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi