Uptown X.O.



About X.O.: Uptown XO, born Jamaal Walton, is an American emcee who currently resides in Washington D.C. He was born in the uptown section of the city, at Howard University Hospital, to two musical parents. His father toured with Gil Scott Heron while his mother played with Richard Smallwood. XO is also closely related to singing legend David Ruffin adding to his musical inheritance & repertoire. As a youth, growing up poor in a single parent household, getting evicted and moving from place to place, XO began expressing himself naturally thru music. In his early years he played piano and trumpet. In high school at age 16 he started performing at “open mics” on U Street. Frequently, he started attending an all age “open mic” called “Tru School” where he met Oddisee, YU, Slimcat, and Gadget and started to make music with all of them.

It wasn’t long before he had a reputation on the streets as being a solid emcee even though he did not have material out. XO put out his first project “Takeover” and was introduced by Wale to Judah and together they put out the “Timeless Ep”, “Takeover 2” with the help of Charles Keys, “Us vs. Them” and “Realmatic”. That momentum helped in landing a deal with Kenny Burns of Studio 43 who at the time was helping develop and push a lot of artist out of the city such as Wale. Studio 43 and XO partnered up and put out “Monumental” and “One One Ten”. Around that time Oddisee formed the group Diamond District with XO & Yu and together they put out an album called “In The Ruff” that they toured Europe and the US with. The album was critically acclaimed by many Hip Hop Heavyweights like De la Soul, Q-tip, DJ Premier, Pete Rosenberg and more… In August 2011, XO put out his 8th solo project entitled “Monumental vol.2” which was highlighted in the Dec. 2011 edition of Spin Magazine as one of the top 50 mixtapes of the year. His next project entitled “The Color Grey” was released in the Summer of 2012 to critical acclaim. XO's debut album "Colour de Grey" was one of the most complete projects to ever come out of the district... and it definitely lived up to the hype.

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