Today, July 22, is the birthday of North Carolina rapper Petey Pablo, who now turns 45.

Born Moses Barrett III in Greenville, North Carolina, Petey took chances and used his down South flare to get noticed. After moving to NYC and being signed by Jive Records, the gravely-voiced MC hit it big with his first major single, the Timbaland-produced party anthem, "Raise Up" in 2001. Thanks in large part to the success of "Raise Up," Pablo's debut album, Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry (2001), peaked at 13 on the Billboard 200.

Petey then proved lightning could strike twice when his 2003 hit single, "Freak-a-Leek" propelled his second album, Still Writing in My Diary: 2nd Entry to the top of the Billboard charts as well. From working with Ciara, Mannie Fresh and Lil Jon to founding his own label, Carolina Music Group, Petey Pablo helped put the Southern brand of rap on the map.

On September 11, 2010, the rapper was arrested for gun smuggling at Raleigh Durham Airport and served 35 months in prison on the charge. Upon his release in March of 2014, Pablo vowed to focus on his musical comeback. Since then, Petey has assisted on the musical direction of FOX's hit show Empire and put on for his home state of North Carolina with the track "Carolina Colors."

In May 2018, Petey teamed with Neuse River Brewing Company to launch a beer by the name of Petey's Pale Ale. Salute Petey's grind!

Happy Birthday, Petey Pablo!

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