Today, June 3, is the 45th birthday of Brooklyn rapper Tek, who is one-half of the duo, Smif-N-Wessun, and a member of the New York supergroup Boot Camp Clik.

Tek's first taste of the mainstream came on Black Moon's 1993 album, Enter Da Stage, alongside rhymer partner, Steele, on the tracks "Black Smif-n-Wessun" and "U Da Man." The following year, they put out their classic, hard-body Billboard-charting debut single, "Bucktown," which gave the outside world a glimpse into the breeding ground of "the original gun clappers."

Da Shinin, released in 1995, served as their debut album. While a lawsuit brought forth by gun makers Smith & Wesson forced them to change their name to Cocoa Brovas the same year, they forged on dropping dope LPs via the bubbling indie label Duck Down. In 1997, they linked up with fellow Big Apple lyricists from O.G.C., Heltah Skeltah and Black Moon's Buckshot to form the supergroup Boot Camp Clik, which went on to put out four albums including the well-received debut, For the People. Smif-N-Wessun continued their run into the 2010's, most recently putting out the Born and Raised EP in 2013. They continue to put in work on the road. In 2010, Tek tested his solo stock, dropping his LP, 24K Smoke, after releasing three solo mixtapes in previous years.

If truth be told, Tek might have started the whole face tattoo craze, as he famously has a tatt similar to Mike Tyson's near his eye. When it comes to rhymes, Tek's punches still hit hard too.

Happy Birthday, Tek!

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