Carl Terrell Mitchell (born November 27, 1973), better known by his stage name Twista (formerly Tung Twista), is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his chopper style of rapping 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 single "Po Pimp", produced by The Legendary Traxster, Twista signed with Big Beat and Atlantic Records, where he released his third album Adrenaline Rush and formed the group Speedknot Mobstaz, in 1998. His 2004 album Kamikaze reached the top of the US Billboard 200 album chart, after the success of the Billboard Hot 100 #1 single "Slow Jamz".
1992: Runnin' Off at da Mouth
In 1992, Mitchell released his first album called Runnin' Off at da Mouth under the name Tung Twista.
1993–94: Name change, Atlantic Records & Resurrection
His second album, titled Resurrection, was set to be released in 1994, but due to problems with his record label at the time Atlantic Records 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.
1996–97: Adrenaline Rush
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 additionally spawned a Billboard Hot 100 hit in "Get It Wet" produced by The Legendary Traxster, which peaked at #96.
1998–2000: Speedknot Mobstaz and Legit Ballin
In 1998 Twista teamed with additional 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.
2005–09: The Day After, GMG Entertainment, Adrenaline Rush 2007 & Category F5
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.
2010–11: The Perfect Storm
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, 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 , 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. A documentary film, titled Mr. Immortality: The Life and Times of Twista, was directed by Vlad Yudin and released through EMI Label Services on January 11, 2011, which is based on Twista's life and music in Chicago. Many additional stars starred in the documentary; such as: Ne-Yo, Big Boi from Outkast, Jeremih, Scott Storch, Red Cafe, and others.
2014–present: Dark Horse
In January 2013, Twista was featured in a remix of Lil Reese's song "Traffic". As of 2013, Twista was working on his ninth studio album entitled Dark Horse. He additionally was rumoured to be in the works of signing a record deal with Kanye West's music label GOOD Music, although in an interview with HipHopDX Twista denied the rumor. The first single was "Throwin My Money", featuring R. Kelly and produced by Chris Millionaire. Twista appeared on the song "Jewels N Drugs" by Lady Gaga on the album ARTPOP. "It's Yours" featuring Tia London was released on May 6, 2014 as the second single of the aforementioned album. It was serviced to urban contemporary radio in the United States on May 27, 2014 by Capitol Records. Dark Horse released on August 12, 2014.
Twista is featured on the song "Gossip" from When Music Worlds Collide released in May 2015.
During the holiday season in 2010, Twista and his GMG team worked together with Chicago Food Bank's Produce mobile programme to feed hungry people in the community. After Kanye West cancelled his Saint Pablo tour in December 2016, Twista sent a letter to Mr. West claiming 'no one is perfect'. He received much controversy for this as many other artists have since boycotted West's music after the rapper voiced his support and met with Donald Trump.
On March 24, 2016 Twista was arrested on a misdemeanour charge of marijuana possession in Portage, Indiana while heading to a show in South Haven, Indiana. Twista was released on a $500 cash bond.
- Runnin' Off at da Mouth (1992)
- Resurrection (1994)
- Adrenaline Rush (1997)
- Kamikaze (2004)
- The Day After (2005)
- Adrenaline Rush 2007 (2007)
- Category F5 (2009)
- The Perfect Storm (2010)
- Dark Horse (2014)