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Reeling from a painful breakup, rapper Iann Dior began writing songs to express his emotional pain, and was surprised by the positive reception they received when he posted them online. From those unassuming beginnings, he quickly made connections and amassed a huge fan base for his emo-rap songs with enough pop elements to win over mainstream audiences. Early singles led to his 2019 debut album, Industry Plant, and subsequent EPs like 2021's Still Here.
Iann Dior was born Michael Ian Olmo and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was just 17 when he began dabbling in music, working under quickly abandoned pseudonyms like Olmo and Lil Rock. He started making songs about heartbreak, sex, and self-medication under the Iann Dior moniker, emerging in early 2019 with the song "cutthroat." The track was produced by Nick Mira, who was already known for work on songs by other melancholic pop rappers like Juice WRLD and Lil Skies. From there, things happened quickly for Dior, as he signed a deal with TenThousand Projects, the same label that served as a home to other popular rappers like 6ix9ine and Trippie Redd.
His debut mixtape, Nothings Ever Good Enough, arrived in April 2019, and tracks from the project were streamed in the millions. As the year went on, he released the single "Gone Girl" featuring a cameo from labelmate Trippie Redd as well as the lovestruck "What Is Real." Both songs appeared on Dior's studio debut, Industry Plant, which materialized in November of that year. The album featured cameo appearances from Phem and Travis Barker. A barrage of singles arrived in the first half of 2020, including "Good Day" and the Lil Baby-assisted "Prospect." Released in June, Dior's EP I'm Gone hit number 45 on the Billboard chart and was followed in 2021 by a second EP, Still Here. Later that year, Dior issued the single "Circles," which appeared on the soundtrack for the Japanese–American anime television series Blade Runner: Black Lotus. ~ Fred Thomas