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Charles Hamilton’s ascension to rap greatness plunged, as his life spiraled out of control around the turn of the decade. But times have changed, and the newly signed Republic Records artists, amid an upswing of opportunities, spoke with Billboard about his battle with mental illness.

Many rap fans pegged Hamilton, a Harlem native, to be a power player who’d play a major role in what Hip-Hop was to become. He was named a XXL Freshman in 2009, had noteworthy mixtapes to his name, and his breakout record “Brooklyn Girl” was all but out of here. But soon came a string of erratic behavior that led to him become suicidal and eventually behind bars in the years following.

“I wanted to commit career suicide, physical suicide, spiritual suicide — I didn’t care anymore,” Hamilton told Billboard.

In 2015, the New Yorker’s baby face is long gone, as a reminder of his recent life experiences shows on his exterior. With the help of his loved ones, including his mother, Talise Moorer, and new management company, Turn First Artists, he’s managed to get on the right path. This includes a major look for his Rita Ora-assisted single “New York Raining,” which will appear in the season finale of hit series Empire.

Hamilton shares the full story, which can be read here. Hear him speak in the video below.

Photo: Billboard

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