Kwamé Holland was born in Queens on March 28, 1973. Kwamé means born on Saturday; however, his mother choose the name in honor of the first prime minister of Ghana, Kwamé Nkrumah.
His father, Tahir, and mother, Carol Drew, fostered a love of music in him and introduced him at a young age to Stevie Wonder and Lionel Hampton.
While living in his parents’ house at 155-54 115 Drive in Jamaica he released his first album, “Kwamé the Boy Genius: Featuring a New Beginning.”
His playful intellectual persona clicked. His polka dot clothing was his trademark in music videos and became a hip-hop fashion trend.
In 1990 his second album, “A Day in the Life,” about a high school student, spawned two hit singles.
His third album, “Nastee,” released in 1992, saw him drop the polka dot clothing and switch to more sexual content. Changing his formula hurt him as only the title track was a minor hit. His fourth album failed to chart.
He got an apartment on Edgecombe Avenue in Manhattan to be near Def-Jam Studios and became a music producer. He formed Make Noise Recordings and is married to Tameika Flowers.
This article initially misstated by one digit the address where Kwamé lived. It is 155-54 115 Drive. We regret the error.