Kasseem Daoud Dean was born to an African American Muslim father and a Chilean mother.Dean did not see much of his father, a postal worker, due to his parents being separated, and was raised by his mother. He was born and raised in the southwestern area of the New York City borough of The Bronx. It was there where he spent most of his childhood, first encountered Hip hop and began deejaying. He began deejaying after he got some equipment from his stepfather and his uncles. He later relocated to Atlanta as a teenager due to having too many fights at Harry S. Truman High School; there he started to work for his uncles, Joaquin and Darrin Dean, who were co-CEOs of the Ruff Ryders label. Forgoing the practice of using samples, he mostly used the Korg Trinity and Triton Keyboards and tried to accentuate the performance aspect of his music. The next five years would find him landing hit after hit and becoming more in demand with each production.