Cameron Giles was born in Harlem, New York. He went to school at Manhattan Center High School, where he would meet his long time friends Mase and Jim Jones. He began his musical career in the mid 1990s, rapping alongside Big L, Mase and his cousin Bloodshed in a group called Children Of The Corn. The group dissolved after Bloodshed's death in a car accident in 1997 and Big L's death in 1999. However, Giles continued to rap, and he eventually was introduced to Notorious B.I.G. by Mase, who was so impressed with his skills that Biggie introduced him to his manager.