Carl Terrell Mitchell (born November 27, 1973), better known by his stage name Twista, (formerly known as Tung Twista) is an American rapper. He hails from Chicago, Illinois and is known for his Chopper style of rap and for once holding the title of fastest rapper in the world according to Guinness World Records in 1992, being able to pronounce 598 syllables in 55 seconds. In 1997, after appearing on Do or Die's hit "Po Pimp" produced by The Legendary Traxster, Twista signed with Big Beat/Atlantic Records and debuted with that label with Adrenaline Rush and formed the group Speedknot Mobstaz in 1998. His 2004 album Kamikaze went to the top on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart after the success of his Billboard Hot 100 single "Slow Jamz".
He released his first album called Runnin' Off at da Mouth under the name Tung Twista.
His second album, titled Resurrection, was set to be released in 1994, but due to problems with record labels and marketing issues involving fellow Chicago rapper Common's album of the same name, the album was only released in the city of Chicago and thus got little national attention.
In 1996 he teamed with Chicago producer The Legendary Traxster and Cwal's Do or Die on the track "Po Pimp" produced by The Legendary Traxster, which became a hit single. This led to a Cwal's label deal with Atlantic Records, which released Adrenaline Rush in 1997. Twista had by then dropped the "Tung" from his stage name. Adrenaline Rush became Twista's first charting album, as it peaked at #77 on the Billboard Hot 200. The album also spawned a Billboard Hot 100 hit in "Get It Wet" produced by The Legendary Traxster, which peaked at #96.
In 1998 Twista teamed with other Chicago area rappers to form the Speedknot Mobstaz. They released their first album, Mobstability produced entirely by The Legendary Traxster, in 1998. Twista then formed his own Legit Ballin' label, which released two compilation albums: Legit Ballin' in 1999 and Legit Ballin' Vol. 2: Street Scriptures in 2001. The label later released Respect The Game, Vol. 3 in 2002 and Volume 4: Tha Truth in 2006. In 2000, Twista collaborated with Ruff Ryders and Drag-On on the Ruff Ryders: Ryde or Die Vol. 2 album, on the track "Twisted Heat."
Beginning in 2002, Twista began recording his album Kamikaze with rappers like Kanye West and Ludacris. Kamikaze came out in 2004 and debuted at the top spot of the American Billboard 200 album chart. Its first single "Slow Jamz" (also featured on Kanye West's debut album The College Dropout), featured West and Jamie Foxx and became a number-one hit in the US. Other singles included "Overnight Celebrity" and "So Sexy" (featuring R. Kelly); the album sold around two million copies. The remix of the song "Jook Gal" by Elephant Man featured Twista and the YoungBloodZ. The Kamikaze album and its singles gave Twista a new level of success and rose his profile significantly within the rap community.
Twista's album The Day After was released in 2005. It featured the hit singles "Girl Tonite" featuring Trey Songz, "Hit the Floor" featuring Pitbull, and "So Lonely" featuring Mariah Carey. His next album, Adrenaline Rush 2007 came out in 2007. Its singles were "Give it Up" featuring Pharrell and "Creep Fast" featuring T-Pain. This album sold poorly compared to Twista's earlier albums. Twista appeared on the single "Hell No (Leave Home)" from Monica's album fall 2006 The Makings of Me.
In 2008, Twista launched a new record label called Get Money Gang Entertainment and the album Category F5 with the hit, "Wetter". In 2009, Twista appeared on the single "Legendary" with fellow Chicago rappers AK47 of Do or Die and Saurus and Bones.
Twista released his eighth solo album entitled, The Perfect Storm on Nov 9, 2010. The first single from the album, "Make a Movie" produced by The Legendary Traxster, featuring Chris Brown, was released on August 24, 2010. Two buzz singles were released, "I Do" produced by Traxster and "Heat" produced by fellow Chicago producers NO I.D. and The Legendary Traxster. The album features artists such as Waka Flocka Flame, Raekwon, Tia London, Diddy, Ray J, Chief Keef and others. Production on the album is mainly by The Legendary Traxster along with Streetrunner, Twinz, Tight Mike and NO I.D.
In an October 31, 2010 interview on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio, Twista discussed his new documentary, directed by Vlad Yudin and the making of The Perfect Storm, including his belief that artists need to do more than just record songs and that they need to become more involved with the community around them.
During the holiday season in 2010, Twista and his GMG team worked together with Chicago Food Bank's Producemobile program to feed hungry people in the community.
In other media
Twista appeared in videogame L.A. Rush as a street racer in a voiced role.
A documentary film, titled "Mr. Immorality: The Life and Times of Twista", was directed by Vlad Yudin and released through EMI Label Group on January 11, 2011 and is based on Twista's life and music in Chicago. Many other stars starred in the documentary; such as: Ne-Yo, Big Boi from Outkast, Jeremih, Scott Storch, Red Cafe, and others.
Albums with Speedknot Mobstaz
Albums with Legit Ballaz
- 1999: Legit Ballin Vol 1: The Album
- 2001: Legit Ballin Vol 2: The New Testament 2K (Street Scriptures Compilation)
- 2001: Tailwinds
- 2002: Legit Ballin Vol 3: Respect The Game
- 2006: TailWinds Vol.2: