Born James Kelly, rapper LMNO grew up in Long Beach, CA, as part of the surf and skate scene. Hanging out with the D.O.C's DJ, DJ Speed, LMNO was around the likes of Eazy E and N.W.A. during the groups explosion in the late '80s. Hanging out in the culturally diverse terrain of Long Beach, LMNO was engulfed in everything from hip-hop, gangsters, to backyard parties with bands such as Sublime, inspiring the budding musician. LMNO joined a group managed by Ice T's Rhyme Syndicate in 1990, where he met his good friend and fellow Visionaries founder KeyKool. The hard work paid off, eventually netting LMNO a verse on "B.F. Sound Check," a track from Circle of Power's 1993 self-titled album. However, his true break arrived in 1995, when friends Key-Kool and DJ Rhettmatic released Kozmonautz -- not only setting the stage for the Visionaries crew, but also giving the young rapper an opportunity to rhyme next to Ras Kass on the song "E=MC5," which vastly increased his public profile (it's rumored that when Eminem went to California in 1997 to work with Dr. Dre, he asked what LMNO was about).