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When X-Factor ended and Astro was briefly signed to Epic Records, a steady string of record execs pressed him for a hit, a song they could put on the radio 700 times a day.

Showing extraordinary maturity for a teenager, Astro remained true to making the kind of lyrical hip-hop he grew up on as a kid in Queens, an insistence that lead to him leaving the label, but also left the future wide; if one of those songs had become a big hit, some shiny single America was in love with for a summer before discarding, he might have never been able to overcome that label.

Image: Ben Miller

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