Chinx’s narrative trekked the streets and made a pit stop in prison before finding the rapper reemerging as one of hip-hop’s most anticipated rising acts. It all started on the rough blocks of Far Rockaway, where the smell of Pine-Sol and rich sounds of Mom’s old-school soul music characterized a young Chinx’s household, temporarily overpowering the drug-strung streets. But even more than Sam Cooke's slow jams, N.W.A.’s debut album Straight Outta Compton awoke his impressionable mind, exposing him to hip-hop’s raw-and-uncut realism. “They were talking so freely -- profanity and all,” remembered Chinx (born Lionel Pickens) of his introduction to rap. “That kept me playing that same album over and over.” He began putting pen to paper years later, imitating the flows and mafioso rhymes of fellow Queens MC Nas’ sophomore album It Was Written at age 12. “I wanted to be down with The Firm so bad,” said Chinx, who’d also embrace the aesthetics of Three 6 Mafia, Wu-Tang Clan and Master P.