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24kGoldn was born Golden Landis Von Jones in 2000. Growing up in a lively neighborhood in the Bay Area, he was exposed to different cultural perspectives early on, which would later inform his versatile approach to music. He began singing, but during his formative years he was more interested in fashion and sneakers than music. When he began rapping at age 14, his musical persona took shape quickly. By 2016 he had begun posting songs online, and early singles like "iPhone" and "Trapper's Anthem" attracted moderate attention. He steadily released new songs, and it was 2018's "Ballin' Like Shareef" that broke through to wider audiences. At this point, 24kGoldn was attending University of Southern California and signed to Columbia affiliate Records LLC while working toward his degree. From there he recorded several songs that would become viral hits, beginning with the danceable and hooky "Valentino" in late 2018 and continuing in 2019 with "Games on Your Phone" and "A Lot to Lose." His first EP, Dropped Outta College, was released in November of 2019 and charted in the Billboard 200. ~ Fred Thomas