Willie Shamele Mackie
March 5, 1978
(m. after 2008)
After making his rap debut on Kool G Rap's 1998 album Roots of Evil, Papoose produced and distributed his own mixtapes during the early 2000s, eventually signing a $1.5 million contract with Jive Records. After his debut studio album, The Nacirema Dream, was repeatedly delayed and eventually shelved, he and collaborator DJ Kay Slay cut ties with Jive, and released several free mixtapes between 2006 and 2013.
Shamele Mackie was born on March 5, 1978 and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn and has ancestry from Liberia. The nickname "Papoose" was given to him by his grandmother for his resemblance as a baby to a Native American child.
In 1998, Papoose made his rap debut on Kool G Rap's Roots of Evil album. In 2004, he released his debut single, "Thug Connection", which featured the b-side "Alphabetical Slaughter". Select Records offered him an eight-album deal, which he rejected.
Breakthrough, independent mixtapes (2005–2012)
After a stint at Rikers Island, Papoose began producing and selling mixtapes independently, one of which he presented to DJ Kay Slay outside the offices of New York's Hot 97, who then invited Papoose onto his radio show. Impressed by his rendition of "Alphabetical Slaughter", Kay Slay signed him to his Streetsweepers imprint. Papoose continued to release mixtapes at a prolific rate, over a dozen between 2004 and 2006, and won the Justo Mixtape Award for Best Underground Artist in 2005. During this time, he became associated with Busta Rhymes's Flipmode Squad, appearing on the remix of "Touch It".
On August 24, 2006, Papoose announced that he had signed with Jive Records in a deal worth $1.5 million. and was planning his debut album, The Nacirema Dream. In September 2007, Kay Slay revealed that he and Papoose had left Jive, saying that they had "almost (became) victims of A&R hell." Papoose continued to release his work independently, dropping nine mixtapes between 2007 and 2012. On the 2009 mixtape 21 Gun Salute, Papoose admitted that he was able to keep the $1.5 million from Jive, despite not releasing an album.
The Nacirema Dream, You Can't Stop Destiny (2012–2015)
After seven years of development and 27 mixtapes in all, Papoose secured a deal with Fontana Distribution to release his debut album The Nacirema Dream. The album was released on March 26, 2013 to positive reviews from music critics and debut at number 97 on the U.S. Billboard 200. It was preceded by the single "On Top of My Game", featuring Mavado.
On June 2, 2013, Papoose "crashed" Hot 97's Summer Jam with the help of Top Dawg Entertainment, performing The Nacirema Dream's third single "Get At Me" with Ron Browz. Following the release of "Control", Papoose took offence to Kendrick Lamar claiming the title of "King of New York" and dissed him in a remix of the track. Lamar called Papoose's response "comical" and threw shots back at him during the BET Hip Hop Awards cypher. On October 4, 2013, Papoose responded by saying that Lamar would never be "able to shine my shoes, lyrically" and that he was planning to release another diss track on an upcoming mixtape.
On November 4, 2013, Papoose released Hoodie Season his first mixtape since his debut album. He would release two more mixtapes, Hoodie Season 2 and Cigar Society, before releasing his second studio album You Can't Stop Destiny on July 17, 2015.
Television career, Underrated (2015–present)
With the release of his wife Remy Ma from New York State prison in 2014, the couple joined the cast of VH1's Love & Hip Hop: New York for its sixth season after receiving "an offer they couldn't refuse". He has continued to appear on the show in seasons seven and eight, before being promoted to the main cast in seasons nine and ten. He also starred in the spin-off show Remy & Papoose: Meet the Mackies, and in the specials Remy & Papoose: A Merry Mackie Holiday, Dirty Little Secrets and The Love Edition. In conjunction with the show, Papoose released the song "Black Love", in tribute to his relationship with Remy.
On February 15, 2019, Papoose released his third studio album, Underrated.
On May 12, 2008, he exchanged wedding vows with rapper Remy Ma over the phone while she was incarcerated. In February 2016, they officially married in a formal ceremony, which was featured in the season finale of Love & Hip Hop: New York's sixth season. She gave birth to the couple's first child together, Reminisce Mackenzie, on December 14, 2018.
- The Nacirema Dream (2013)
- You Can't Stop Destiny (2015)
- Underrated (2019)
- Endangered Species (2020)
- Righteous Kill (2008)
- Love & Hip Hop: New York (2015–present)
- Remy & Papoose: Meet the Mackies (2018)
- Papoose Bio. Last.fm. Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
- Golianopoulos, Thomas. "Papoose". Archived from the original on 2007-03-07. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- Cordor, Cyril. "Papoose > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Erwin, Jack (2007-10-09). "Next Up: Papoose". XXL. Harris Publications. Archived from the original on 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Hip-Hop Connection, October 2006.
- Johnson, Dick (2007-09-21). "50 Cent Outsells Kanye West In Europe, Saigon Says He Was Set Up During Mobb Deep Fight, Jay-Z Drops Another One". sohh.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Iandoli, Kathy. (2012-12-03) Mixtape Release Dates: Papoose, Master P, Red Cafe, Birdman | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales. HipHop DX. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
- Papoose Tells Old Man Ebro He Deserves More Spins on HOT 97 + Tells Cipha Sounds, Rosenberg & K. Foxx That Prison Guards Spy When He And Remy Get It In [VIDEO]. Hot97.com (2012-12-13). Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
- Nacirema Dream: Papoose: Music. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
- iTunes – Music – On Top of My Game (feat. Mavado) – Single by Papoose. Itunes.apple.com (2012-12-11). Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
- Photo by papoosepapoose • Instagram. Instagram.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
- "The most newsworthy item of Summer Jam ended up being an impromptu Papoose performance". Complex.com. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- Rys, Dan (2013-10-04). "Papoose On Kendrick Lamar's BET Cypher: "He'll Never Be Able To Shine My Shoes, Lyrically" – XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- Meara, Paul (2013-11-04). "Mixtape Release Dates: Lil' Kim, Troy Ave, Lecrae, Papoose | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- "Remy Ma And Papoose Joins 'Love & Hip Hop: New York' Cast | Vibe". Retrieved 2015-09-20.
- "Remy Ma & Papoose Will Be Joining The Cast Of Love & Hip-Hop | The Source". thesource.com. Retrieved 2015-09-20.
- "Remy Ma and Papoose on 'Love & Hip-Hop'|". Music times.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- Rodriguez, Jayson. (2008-03-28) Papoose And Remy To Marry Next Month – In Prison – News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News. Mtv.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
- "5 Things to Know About Nicki Minaj's Archenemy, Rapper Remy Ma". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "Remy Ma and Papoose Welcome First Child Together, a Baby Girl, After a 'Tough Labor'". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "Remy Ma on Instagram: "Reminisce MacKenzie "The Golden Child" Born December 14th 7pounds and 2 ounces We're still on the west coast so I missed my baby tv debut…"". Instagram. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "Papoose - Endangered Species - 1/12". Genius. Retrieved 2020-10-10.