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Guess Who

Guess Who performing in Bucharest in 2009.
Background information
Birth name Laurentiu Mocanu
Born August 24, 1984 (1984-08-24) (age 25)
Origin Bucharest, Romania
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper
Instruments vocals
Years active 2003 – present
Labels 20 CM Records (2004-2007), Okapi Sound (2007-Present), Cat Music (2009-Present)
Associated acts Anonim, Paraziţii, Spike, Maximilian, JJ, Grasu XXL, Agresiv
Website www.guess-who.ro

Laurenţiu Mocanu (born August 24, 1984), better known by his stage name Guess Who is a Romanian rapper. He began his career as a member of the rap group Anonim along with group members Zekko and Griffo, and later launched a successful solo career in music. He is one of the most successful artists from the new wave of Romanian hip hop and has gained considerable appreciation and mainstream attention in his native Romania following the release of his first solo album in 2009 called Probe Audio (Sound Checks). Guess Who gained popularity as a solo artist in 2007 when he leaked three tracks he had recorded for his solo album on the Internet. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and his cynical and ironic approach to writing quickly earned him a large fanbase. Even though he repeatedly delayed for over two years releasing his first album, the Romanian audience received it well and he even gained attention from high level Romanian music executives when his video for the first single Tu (You) was aired on the Romanian music channel 1Music.

His first album, Probe Audio was released and sold independently from his official website under the Okapi Sound umbrella, a collective of Romanian hip hop artists who had been working together producing music since 2007. Only promoted on the Internet, the album moved an impressive number of units, drawing attention from large Romanian labels. He eventually signed a contract with Cat Music to re-relase his album with the sports newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor (literally 'The Sports Newspaper' in Romanian) together with labelmate and music partner Spike, who released his sophomore effort in 2009.

Early life and career

Guess Who was born Laurentiu Mocanu in Bucharest, Romania in 1984. As a child, he enjoyed sports and even played soccer for the Bucharest-based club Steaua.[1] Even from that early age he became interested in hip hop music and eventually started performing with his friends creating the hip hop group Anonim in 1999. They caught the attention of Romanian hip hop group Paraziţii after they entered a contest organized by 20 CM Records where they recorded a demo song over an instrumental produced by Cheloo for Paraziţii and released on one of the group's albums as a track called 'Actiunea Instrumentalul' (The Instrumental Operation). They eventually signed a contract with 20 CM Records and released their debut album in 2005. As Paraziţii are one of the most proeminent hip hop acts in Romania, Anonim were heavily promoted and toured extensively to promote their album. The group went quiet in late 2006 and Guess Who resurfaced alone in 2007 on Paraziţii member Ombladon's solo album singing the chorus in the lead single, 'Noapte Buna, Bucuresti' (Good Night, Bucharest). Shortly afterwards, Mocanu left 20 CM Records and started working with Agresiv, a team of producers who were already gaining notoriety for their work with various Romanian artists.

  1. ^ "Guess Who". http://www.libertatea.ro/stire/guess-who-mi-am-uitat-versurile-intr-un-concert-vreo-cinci-piese-267335.html. Retrieved 2009-12-05.  
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