Cuban Link

Cuban Link

Born Felix Delgado in Havana, Cuba, in 1974, rapper Cuban Link left his home country for the United States in 1980 when his father was exiled from Castro's Cuba. Cuban settled in New York's South Bronx neighborhood at the same time when hip-hop was still in its nascent stages and soon was immersed in the local hip-hop scene and writing lyrics. After forming a group with local rappers Triple Seis and the late Big Punisher, the trio began rhyming under different group names such as the Caribbean Connection (Big Pun was Puerto Rican and Triple Seis, Dominican) and the Full-A-Clips crew. The crew would eventually merge with Fat Joe and his Terror Squad when Joe recruited the gifted Big Pun as his protégé.First heard alongside Pun on the Beatnuts smash "Off the Books" in 1997, Cuban subsequently cultivated buzz with memorable appearances on Pun's platinum Capital Punishment ("Glamour Life"), Fat Joe's Don Cartagena ("Bet Ya Man Can't (Triz)") and the eponymous Terror Squad LP ("Tell Me What You Want"). His raw lyricism, edges rough enough for the streets, and good looks landed him a deal with Atlantic Records.

But when Pun died suddenly on February 7, 2000, everything fell apart. "Flowers for the Dead", Cuban's premier solo single and tribute to his immense partner, couldn't begin to relate the loss. Without Pun to mediate, Cuban began butting heads with Joe over managerial decisions and his Atlantic Records debut, 24K, was shelved. Ultimately he bought his way out from under both, and retreated to relaunch his solo career. But once again, Cuban ran into another roadblock. While at out at a nightclub in New York City, he was involved in an nightclub altercation and his face was cut.After healing and regrouping, he resurfaced in 2005, with independent MOB Records (Men of Business), and finally released his revamped debut, Chain Reaction. The album featured guest appearances from sexy songstress Mya ("Sugar Daddy"), hardcore rap stalwart Jadakiss ("Talk About It") and production from Jay-Z and DMX collaborator Swizz Beats ("Coming Home With Me" Shakedown," and "Talk About It").