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By the time Buddy was old enough to drive, he’d already been thrust into hip-hop’s fast lane. A rising rapper from Compton, California, he was discovered by Scott Vener, signed by Pharrell, and tapped for collaborations with Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. It was the kind of breakthrough most new artists dream of, but Buddy found himself restless, eager to get to work realizing his own artistic vision. In 2016, after years of industry groundwork, he summoned the courage to go his own way. Harlan & Alondra, his highly anticipated debut album, is both a declaration of independence and a vivid reintroduction. It’s Buddy, invigorated, in his element, and on his own terms. Born Simmie Sims III, he grew…

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