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Chris Palko (born 1973), better known by his stage name Cage, is an American hip hop recording artist from Middletown, Orange County, New York. Cage is perhaps best known for his work under the labels Definitive Jux and Eastern Conference, as well as his 2002 debut studio album Movies for the Blind. Since his debut, Cage has released three albums, with the latest being 2013's Kill the Architect. He has also released two compilation albums and two extended plays.Cage is the founder of the underground hip hop supergroup The Weathermen, which was formed in 1999. He also established a group called Smut Peddlers, with hip hop duo The High & Mighty, publishing an album titled Porn Again, in 2001. He is also known for his collaborations with New Jersey rapper Tame One; the two are collectively known as Leak Bros.. Cage was also one-half of the duo The Nighthawks, which paired him alongside fellow American rapper Camu Tao, until Tao's death, which occurred in 2008.1991-2001: Career beginningsWhen Palko was released at the age of eighteen, he pursued a career as a rapper, giving himself the pseudonym "Alex", after the protagonist of Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange. After hiring a manager and recording a demo, he was introduced to rapper Pete Nice, and Cage was featured on the 1993 album Dust to Dust. Pete Nice also introduced Palko to radio personality Bobbito García, who featured Palko on his program several times, increasing his reputation among New York's underground hip hop scene, where he became associated with KMD, Kurious Jorge, K-Solo, Godfather Don, Necro, Artifacts, Pharoahe Monch and El-P. Palko signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, but frequently recorded while intoxicated, and the label found his efforts to be unsatisfactory. Palko briefly put his career on hold and his drug use increased.When García founded the label Fondle 'Em Records, he offered Palko a record deal, and Cage released a single featuring the songs "Radiohead" and "Agent Orange" in 1997, to success and acclaim. Following the release of The Slim Shady EP in December 1997, Palko accused Detroit-based rapper Eminem of imitating his style, however in the single "Role Model", Eminem raps that he received a Cage mixtape and recorded over it. After several more singles with Fondle 'Em, Palko met Mr. Eon and DJ Mighty Mi of The High & Mighty, and the trio formed the group Smut Peddlers, releasing the album Porn Again on Rawkus Records in 2001. The album peaked at #10 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #43 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #184 on the Billboard 200, while its single "That Smut" peaked at #9 on the Hot Rap Singles chart and #96 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.2002-2009: Eastern Conference and Definitive Jux eraPalko signed with The High & Mighty's Eastern Conference Records, releasing his debut album, Movies for the Blind, on August 6, 2002. It peaked at #12 on the Heatseekers chart, #14 on the Top Independent Albums chart, #58 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #193 on the Billboard 200. Palko later stated, in 2006, that the album "sort of glorified drugs" and that he felt the album was "crazy for the sake of being crazy [...\] . During this period, Palko formed the group The Weathermen, named after the left-wing political organization. The group released their debut album The Conspiracy on June 3, 2003, before Palko left Eastern Conference over alleged non-payment. An extended play, titled Weatherproof, was released on July 29, 2003.Because Palko felt that he should no longer play a character, he began to take on a more open writing style, and signed with Definitive Jux, where he released his second studio album Hell's Winter, on September 20, 2005. Palko is quoted as saying "I make progressive rap, it's as simple as that. [...\] I don't live for drugs anymore, I don't support them, and I'm not about to make a million songs about them anymore." Hell's Winter peaked at #26 on the Top Heatseekers chart and at #36 on the Top Independent Albums chart.In a 2007 interview with American actor Shia LaBeouf, for Vanity Fair, LaBeouf expressed interest in starring as Palko in a possible film biography. On November 30, 2007, Spin reported that the film would go into production.In July 2009, Palko released his third studio album Depart from Me, which was characterized as having a rap rock sound by Cage. LaBeouf directed the music video for the song "I Never Knew You", from Palko's Depart from Me album.2010-present: Kill the ArchitectIn late 2010, Palko appeared on American recording artist Kid Cudi's second album Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, making a guest appearance on a track titled "Maniac". In March 2011, Cudi announced he would be releasing a short film inspired by the song "Maniac", co-starring Palko and directed by Shia LaBeouf, in October 2011. On October 30, 2011, as promised Cudi released MANIAC, a short horror film, premiered via his blog.Despite previously having a falling out with The High & Mighty, Palko announced in 2012 he would reunite with producer DJ Mighty Mi, to release a single titled "The Void", which was released on April 3, 2012 on Tribute Records. Palko has also recently started a new project with Sean Martin, called We Sold Our Souls. They released their first song "Super Baked", in March 2012. Cage also goes by the name Sam Hill, according to his Bandcamp page, and Facebook page. On August 23, 2013, it was announced that Kill The Architect would be released on October 22, 2013 with Eastern Conference Records. A song from the album, The Hunt, was released on the same day.


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