Kid Ink's birthday falls on April Fool's Day, which is unfortunate. But it's OK. The rapper, born Brian Todd Collins, is still getting it at the age of 29 and there's no joke about that.

The Los Angeles-born rhymer came up as more of an underground artist, but he finally blew up on a mainstream scope thanks to that ear for beats and hooks. The main examples are his two collaborations with Chris Brown on his My Own Lane album: "Show Me" and "Main Chick." nk's nasally slickness connected with Brown's voice and DJ Mustard's bounce for a symbiotic effect resulted in "Main Chick" landing at No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Show Me" at No. 13.

He had those two successes on top of making some underground noise with the independently released Up & Away, which debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart by selling 20,000 copies in its first week. He was understandably proud of that accomplishment when he spoke to The Boombox before My Own Lane dropped.

"That was such a long time I felt like an independent artist," he said. "That was 20,000 with no promotion. It was grind and street work… with DJ Ill Will. We were going in as a team and doing what we loved, and it continues to sell. Even last we saw the independent albums sits above the EP [2013's Almost Home] on iTunes, which is just crazy to see."

Kid Ink's light hasn't quite dimmed yet. After his song "Body Language" featuring Usher and Tinashe had its run on the charts, he found himself back on it with a guest verse on Fifth Harmony's "Worth It." Now, he's keeping it real in his new video for "Be Real" featuring Dej Loaf. The effort is off his new album, Full Speed.

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