Today, Feb. 22, marks the 34th birthday of New York rapper, Fred The Godson.

Born Frederick Thomas in South Bronx, NY in 1985, Fred the Godson first gained widespread recognition in the music industry when he was named as one of eleven up-and-coming MCs at the time who became part of the XXL Freshman Class back in 2011. With that particular class, Fred was in great company, as other members of the fourth annual feature included top tier rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, CyHi the Prynce, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, YG, Lil B, Lil Twist and Diggy Simmons.

In the time since appearing on the XXL Freshman cover, Fred continued to hone his craft and build relationships across hip-hop. He's offered up many critically acclaimed freestyles on various outlets, such as Funkmaster Flex's radio show, and has recorded with many of the game's finest artists, including Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Raekwon, French Montana, Kevin Gates and Mary J. Blige.

Through the years, the Bronx Bomber has been releasing music at a mostly steady pace. His most notable projects include his City of God: Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama, 2017's Gordo project, which featured MCs like Dave East and Jim Jones, and his most recent release, Gorilla Glue, a 9-track collaborative project alongside The Heatmakerz and member of the 2007 XXL Freshman Class, Joell Ortiz.

One funny anecdote Fred The Godson has discovered about himself is that he raps with his hands. In an interview with XXL, both Fred and famed producer Clark Kent went on record to explain how using his hands while his spits his rhymes is an integral part of Gordo's process, and helps him keep the rhythm flowing. After mentioning other revered MCs like Jay Z and the late Notorious B.I.G., who are also known to use their hands when rapping, Kent and Fred both reflected on a time when out of curiosity, Fred went into the booth to spit and attempted to not use his hands. Laughing about the situation, they said the rhythm just wasn't the same. "It's like it didn't animate for him, it didn't come to life for him." Said Kent during the conversation. "And then he realized that I wasn't going crazy."

Happy Birthday, Fred The Godson!

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