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| @iamomarcruz | facebook.com/pages/Official-Omar-Cruz/115344995144785


During the mid- to late 2000s, Omar Cruz emerged as one of the most promising Latino rappers in Los Angeles, where his popularity on the underground mixtape circuit led to a major-label recording contract. Born in Los Angeles the son of a Columbian father and a Mexican mother, Cruz grew up in South Central L.A. near Crenshaw in a predominantly African-American neighborhood (though he attended school across town in safer Culver City). Initially inspired by Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, and above all N.W.A, he subsequently found Latino rappers Cypress Hill and Big Punisher influential as well as Los Angeles rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and 2Pac. Increasingly drawn into the hip-hop scene, he adopted the name Blunts LLA (i.e., Latin Lyrical Assassin); consulted successful Latino artists Estevan Oriol (photographer) and Mr. Cartoon (tatooist) about his career prospects; and partnered with Luis "LuLu" Torres, owner of the independent label B.Y.I. Entertainment (i.e., Beyond Your Imagination). As Blunts LLA, he released a pair of underground mixtapes, City of Gods (2004) and Blow (2005), and then dropped the moniker for his next round of mixtapes, The Cruzifixion (2006) and 2007 B.C. (2007), both hosted by DJ Skee. In 2006 Cruz signed a joint recording contract with Interscope and Geffen and steadily began working on his major-label debut album, tentatively titled Sign of the Cruz and preceded by the lead single "I Hang with My Dogz." ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi