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New York-based rapper Cage — formerly known as Chris Palko before he formally put his government name to bed [see: “The Death of Chris Palko”] — is spending his weekend in the desert.

The underground MC will take to the Coachella stage today to prove that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Cage could easily pass for a member of any one of the indie bands floating around the festival, but instead the MC — who touts a troubled past, including a stint in prison and a drug problem — has been compared to Eminem. Those comparisons were eventually silenced when the Def Jux rapper stayed in the indie lane as opposed to shopping a deal with a major.

Off drugs, but still all about his music, Cage is definitely worth checking out if on the Coachella campgrounds. “I don’t live for drugs anymore, I don’t support them, and I’m not about to make a million songs about them anymore,” Cage said in an interview with Popmatter. “Because I kind of feel stupid promoting drugs to 13-year-olds and shit like that. Music is really influential and powerful.”

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New York-based rapper Cage is performing at this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival.

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Cage hops in the booth to record a track.

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New York-based rapper Cage performing with a live band.

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