Flo Rida is one of the most derided working rappers. To some, he's sold out the art form for money and doesn't make "real" music. Say what you will, but the man makes hits. Flo Rida, from Florida, turns 36 years old today (Sept. 16).

Back in the '90s, Flo Rida was making the type of music that wouldn't make backpackers cringe. After being a hype man for 2 Live Crew, Flo Rida joined the underground hip-hop group GroundHoggz. It wasn't a success; the production was thin and the songs weren't strong enough for Flo Rida not to say screw it and give college a shot.

However, Flo Rida got back in the game and signed with the independent label Poe Boy Entertainment in 2006. He started off with guest appearances on records from Florida's stars (Rick Ross, DJ Khaled) before his quick ascent in 2008. "Low," a T-Pain featured single that became Flo Rida's first No. 1, catalyzed that rise to pop rap stardom. Flo Rida followed that up with a slew of hits throughout the following years: "Right Round" with Ke$ha (Billboard No. 1), "Good Feeling" (No. 3)," "Whistle" (No. 1) and "G.D.F.R." with Sage the Gemini (No. 8).

Flo Rida hasn't had a song as a lead artist in the Top 10 since "G.D.F.R.", but he does at least have some claim to recent a hit. He discovered singer Natalie La Rose, whose single "Somebody" reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 this year.

Watch Flo Rida's "I Don’t Like It, I Love It" Video Feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White

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