Before the explosion in popularity of the battle rap scene in recent years, freestyle sessions and battles were as common on the LA streets as payphones. Mawnstr and Kaliban a.k.a. the Gooch Gang both got their starts in those same streets.

Mawnstr eventually linked up with longtime friend and fellow rapper Deranged and P.E.A.C.E. of the legendary LA group Freestyle Fellowship, to release a slew of critically acclaimed records under the name The Connoisseurs in the early 2000's. 2012 saw the release of Mawnstr's solo album Hard Listening, which got good airplay on college radio, satellite, and, most notably, The World Famous Wake Up Show.

Kaliban's early recording career was spent rockin records with his fellow crew CLA, making noise on the underground scene before releasing his solo debut Point Blank Range followed by The Mint with DJ Obi, both of which were very well received.

Both emcees have strong ties to the underground scene having came up with different camps, and always maintained a mutual respect for one another's work. That same respect is what caused them to eventually join forces and form the Gooch Gang. After promoting Mawnstr's solo album on the Vans Warped Tour, the two decided to ride the momentum into the studio with producer Waes One and cook up their first joint release, The Gooch.





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