August Anthony Alsina, Jr. (More commonly known simply as August Alsina) is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Alsina was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He attended middle school in New Orleans. Although no one in his family was musically inclined, he was inspired to sing by Lauryn Hill in Sister Act 2. Alsina first uploaded videos to YouTube in 2007 at age 14, starting with a cover of “Hypothetically” by Lyfe Jennings.
With both his father and stepfather battling crack cocaine addiction, Alsina’s mother moved him to Houston, Texas in search of a fresh start after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Then, Alsina’s father died. Alsina had disagreements with his mother at some point and was “kicked out.” After his older brother, Melvin La’Branch III, was shot and killed on August 31, 2010, he became more committed to his music, and relocated to Atlanta in 2011.
2012–14: Downtown: Life Under The Gun and Testimony
His first mixtape The Product was released in April 2012, though an “Untitled” mixtape with six acoustic covers premiered in October 2011. His single “I Luv This Shit” featuring Trinidad James was released in January 2013, and his mixtape The Product 2 followed in May 2013.
The EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun was released on August 20, 2013, with a video for “Hell on Earth” released the following month. On December 9, 2013, the third single from his EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun, “Ghetto” featuring Rich Homie Quan, was serviced to urban contemporary radio and it was the most added song on urban radio the week ending December 12, 2013. On January 14, 2014, Alsina released “Make It Home” featuring Jeezy, as the lead single from his debut studio album. Along with the release, it was revealed that the album would be titled Testimony, which was released on April 15, 2014. He was named part of the 2014 XXL freshmen class.
2015–present: This Thing Called Life
On December 11, 2015, Alsina released his second studio album, This Thing Called Life. It debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 41,000 copies in the United States. The album was supported by five singles; “Hip Hop”, “Why I Do It” (featuring Lil Wayne), “Song Cry”, “Been Around the World” (featuring Chris Brown) and “Dreamer”.
Collaborations with Minaj
Alsina has collaborated with Nicki Minaj on two songs.