Cage (rapper)

Cage (rapper)
Cage Kennylz
Birth name Chris Palko
Born 1973
Origin New York City, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper,
Years active 1992–present
Labels Definitive Jux, Eastern Conference, Fondle 'Em, Columbia
Associated acts The Weathermen, Smut Peddlers, Leak Bros., Nighthawks, Two of Every Animal, Kid Cudi, El-P, Aesop Rock, Necro, Hatebreed, The High & Mighty

Chris Palko, better known by his stage name Cage, is an American rapper from New York City. He has released three studio albums and two extended plays. Cage is also the founder of the underground hip-hop supergroup called the Weathermen.



Early life

Christian Palko was born in Würzburg, Germany to American parents.

Palko was arrested several times for drug possession and fighting in the streets. When he faced jail time for violating probation, his mother convinced the judge that he was mentally unstable, and he was sent to the Stony Lodge psychiatric hospital for a two week evaluation. He eventually ended up staying in the hospital for eighteen months, where he was a part of a small group used to test fluoxetine.[1][2] After being misdiagnosed and placed on the drug, he became suicidal and made several attempts to kill himself, including hanging himself with his shoelaces and saving his lithium dose for a month before ingesting all of them at once.[3][1]

Early career

When Palko was released at the age of eighteen, he pursued a career as a rapper, naming himself "Alex", after the protagonist of Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange.[4] After hiring a manager and recording a demo, he was introduced to rapper Pete Nice, and Cage was featured on the 1993 album Dust to Dust. Pete Nice also introduced Palko to radio personality Bobbito García, who featured Palko on his program several times, increasing his reputation amongst New York's underground hip hop scene, where he became associated with KMD, Kurious Jorge, K-Solo, Godfather Don, Necro, Artifacts, Pharoahe Monch and El-P. Palko signed with Columbia Records, but frequently recorded while intoxicated, and the label found his efforts to be unsatisfactory.[3] Palko briefly put his career on hold and his drug use increased.[1]

He also fathered a child with an African American woman. Her name is Amanda Palko and She's 18 years old.

When García founded the label Fondle 'Em Records, he offered Palko a record deal, and Cage released a single featuring the songs "Radiohead" and "Agent Orange" in 1997 to success and acclaim.[4] Following the release of The Slim Shady EP, Palko accused Eminem of imitating his style.[5][6] After several more singles with Fondle 'Em, Palko met Mr. Eon and DJ Mighty Mi of The High & Mighty, and the trio formed the group Smut Peddlers, releasing the album Porn Again on Rawkus Records. The album peaked at #10 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #43 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #184 on the Billboard 200, while its single "That Smut" peaked at #9 on the Hot Rap Singles chart and #96 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.[7]

Eastern Conference, Definitive Jux

Palko signed with Eastern Conference Records, releasing his debut album, Movies for the Blind, on August 6, 2002. It peaked at #12 on the Heatseekers chart, #14 on the Top Independent Albums chart, #58 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #193 on the Billboard 200.[8] Palko later stated that the album "sort of glorified drugs" and that he felt the album was "crazy for the sake of being crazy [...] .[9] During this period, Palko formed the group The Weathermen, named after the left-wing political organization.[2] The group released their debut album, "The Conspiracy" on June 3, 2003 before Palko left Eastern Conference over alleged non-payment.[1] An extended play, Weatherproof, was released on July 29, 2003.

Because Palko felt that he should no longer play a character, he began to take on a more open writing style,[1] and signed with Definitive Jux, where he released his second studio album, Hell's Winter on September 20, 2005. Palko is quoted as saying "I make progressive rap, it's as simple as that. [...] I don't live for drugs anymore, I don't support them, and I'm not about to make a million songs about them anymore."[9] Hell's Winter peaked at #26 on the Top Heatseekers chart and at #36 on the Top Independent Albums chart.[10] In July 2009, Palko released his third studio solo album, Depart from Me, which was characterized as having a rap rock sound by Cage.[11]

Cage is currently on tour with Kid Cudi. In an interview with actor Shia LaBeouf for Vanity Fair, LaBeouf expressed interest in starring as Palko in a possible film biography.[12] On November 30, 2007, Spin reported that the film would go into production.[13]



  1. ^ a b c d e Jeffries, David. "Biography of Cage". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  2. ^ a b Spence D. (June 13, 2003). "Rage In The Cage". IGN. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  3. ^ a b Goldberg, Michael Alan (November 24, 2005). "Cage: Plenty to rap about". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Biography of Cage". Definitive Jux. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  5. ^ Drumming, Neil (February 14, 2001). "Smut Peddlers: Split-Level Raunch". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  6. ^ Dearborn, Matt; Duke (December 1, 2005). "Interview: His name is not Slim Shady". University Wire. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  7. ^ "Charts and awards for Porn Again". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  8. ^ "Charts and awards for Movies for the Blind". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  9. ^ a b Morris, David (February 6, 2006). "To Hell and Back: An Interview with Cage". PopMatters. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  10. ^ "Charts and awards for Hell's Winter". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  11. ^ "Cage: The Dark Side of the Mic". ShockHound. July 9, 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  12. ^ Hogan, Michael (August 2007). "The New Kid: Can Hollywood turn 21-year-old Shia LaBeouf into the next Tom Hanks?". Vanity Fair. ISSN 07553541. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  13. ^ Faraone, Chris (November 30, 2007). "Shia LaBeouf: Horror-Core MC? Transformers star hopes to play indie rapper Cage in biopic.". Spin. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  14. ^

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