Brian Lee, better known around the world as Papa Brain, is a producer, DJ, and MC born and raised in Washington D.C. Since debuting on the national scene with 2009’s New Kid (feat. Tabi Bonney) Brain’s journey has taken him from the stage to the studios of various musicmakers to the jail with other troublemakers. His story began in the mid 2000s when as a teen he joined with his uncle’s independent label, “Lil Alias Records” as a producer and sometimes rapper. After catching the attention of local music management label Nuttin but the Troof, Lee began performing as a solo act often making his own beats and recording his own vocals. By 2006 he was added to the roster of Diamond District Cartel, a DC based label with national distribution and a large fanbase by ultimately this would not last as key members of the label were indicted and the label went on hiatus after they were imprisoned. Papa Brain would go on to begin spinning mixtapes to promote his music. By 2008 Brain was signed as a managed artist under Day 1 Productions and went on to feature with major artists including Jazze Pha, Wale, Whitefolkz, and DJ Smallz. The run with Day 1 Productions would end with Papa Brain releasing 2 albums “66 Steps” and “Memoirs of a Drug Addict”
After parting ways with Day 1 Productions, Brain along with longtime friend DC Gudda endeavored to create an independent solution for local artists unable to break through to the mainstream. That solution came in the form of record label “100 Gz Productions” and “Skunk TV” -the precursor to SPINN.city Over the next 3 years Brain would record and produce dozens of tracks culminating in DC Gudda’s debut album “G Street: The Beginning” “The 100 Gz” compilation and the mixtape “Free Bass” However, during this time Brain would welcome his first child in the world. Disillusioned with the industry Papa Brain took time off to live a life he had largely missed since joining a record label at a young age. He would release 2 compilations featuring never released music (Capitol Crime, Provodkativ: The Blunt Truth) and a never released EP, “Pimptation” but not until 2017 would he make a serious return to hiphop music after a series of unforunate events including run ins with the law and a serious car accident that has left his face slightly scarred.
After helping childhood friend ”Ratchet” produce a debut album “Love & Loyalty” Ratchet was sent to prison on drugs and weapons charges and would spend a year and a half locked up. Brain would also find himself on further legal trouble although not nearly as serious. Upon release on his own assault with deadly weapon charge, in a rage Papa Brain recorded two freestyles which he would release as singles, “Chopsticks” and “Mojo” in early 2017 and slowly returned to actively producing music. By July 2018 he would be back in full swing releasing an short run EP “Relapse” a sophmore LP “Memoirs of a Drug Dealer,” another LP “Pimptation 2” and in early 2019 the instrumental album “Beats of a Drug Dealer.” 2020 saw his reemergence with 2 albums (Memoirs of a Maniac; Die: A Late Pupil) and the creation of music brands, spinn.city and rapbeat.guru with a renewed focus on developing younger artists.
In February 2021, Lee signed a publishing deal with Beatstars and Sony ATV Music. Beyond entertainment, Lee has stated a desire to become politically and socially active. In 2020, Lee officially became a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP) and has pledged to help in the fight for equality and justice. Stay tuned for more from Papa Brain.
Check out Papa Brain in the jungle with his cup going "Against the Grain" in the latest music video from Memoirs 3. @mbr_papabrain
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