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Chicago-born Fifth (a.k.a. Derrick Stanton) moved to San Diego with his family a decade ago, settling in El Cajon and then Spring Valley. The 19-year-old rapper/producer is the latest addition to rap crew Digital Underground. Fifth met original members Shock-G and Money B three years ago at "Gutfest," a barbecue thrown by local Digital Underground fan club Da Noses (which refers to Shock's plastic-nosed alter-ego, Humpty Hump).

"We played football," Fifth recalls, "then I let them hear my music. They let me get onstage that night. It was a surreal experience. My first professional recording was with Shock-G on 'Cherry Flava'd Email' [from last year's Fear of a Mixed Planet]. I was still 16."

Since then, the Mount Miguel High School grad has produced 11 songs for Money B's Sex and the Studio DVD series. "Drank-A-Lot," a Fifth-produced single, has been playing on BET's late-night video show Uncut. Fifth recently showed for the third annual Gutfest, which climaxed with DU's August 12 performance at 'Canes. That night, Fifth delivered his own three-song set.

"[Money B] introduced me, 'This guy's from San Diego, you gotta love him.' I came up and did 'Down 'n Diego,' my big banger for San Diego, and everyone loved it. That was the song I originally played for Shock and Mon, so it was only right I started with that."

Fifth and DU are working on And Tomorrow, an upcoming 2pac album. Fifth, now living in L.A., plans to return to the area later this year to promote his as-yet-unreleased debut, Treason.

"We're still shopping for a deal, but we're going to release a single in San Diego, getting some airtime, giving it a buzz."

-- Garrett Caples

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