West Coast native Aaron Doppie grew up fascinated with rapping and hip-hop culture, but his musical style grew when he went to jail for manslaughter at just 16 years of age. Over the course of a five-year sentence, he wrote pages of rhymes and grew more fixated on becoming a better rapper.Upon his release from prison, Doppie immediately set out to realize this dream, taking on the name A-Wax and releasing debut album Savage Timez in 2001. The album was defined by its toothy rhymes and raw stories of prison life, and A-Wax immediately became a regional success. He recorded and released music at a nonstop clip, working on new albums, making guest appearances on tracks of friends and peers, and even starting his own label, Pie-Rx Recordz. Although he didn't land a major-label deal early on, he did make waves with some bigger names, collaborating with artists like The Game and Baby Bash early in his career.
Throughout the 2000s, A-Wax released numerous albums and mixtapes, including 65 G'z in a Jordan Briefcase in 2002, Thug Deluxe in 2004, 2007's Unconditional Thug, and 2009's The Street Album. His street-minded gangsta rap, influenced by the greats of '90s hip-hop, grew and changed with both the times and the course of his own life. By the time of 2014's Pullin' Strings, A-Wax had been rapping on an independent level for almost 20 years, and themes of introspection and weathering experiences began to creep into his music. Always informed by his upbringing in Bay Area gang life, A-Wax's music career was marked by multiple conflicts with other hip-hop artists. Some of these altercations served as inspiration for his growing catalog, which expanded at a nonstop pace with releases like 2015's EverLasting Money, 2016's Pushin' Keyz, and 2017's collaborative effort with GMEBE Bandz, Ova East.