Thirstin Howl the 3rd Bio


THIRSTIN HOWL THE 3rd – BIO (Updated 2022)

Thirstin Howl the 3rd (aka Skillionaire, The Polo Rican) is one of Hip Hop’s legendary artists and influential icons. Of Puerto Rican descent from the Marcus Garvey Village projects in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, Thirstin first became immersed in Hip Hop culture as a graffiti writer and a b-boy dancer in the early 80’s. Thirstin is also co-founder of the Lo Lifes, the Brooklyn street fashion gang of the late 1980’s that has now expanded to become a Hip Hop organization leading the way in fashion, rap music, graffiti, film and literary works.

Thirstin Howl the 3rd first gained notoriety in 1997 via The Source Magazine’s Unsigned Hype (Sept. 97) whilst teaming with eminem for Los Angeles’ Rap Olympics. Since then, Thirstin Howl the 3rd has independently manufactured albums, videos, movies, a clothing line and published literature for over three decades.

As an MC, Thirstin Howl the 3rd is a legendary stylist with an idiosyncratic tempo, dynamic word usage and classic punchlines through some of the most clever song structures ever recorded. It has made him a cultural icon with content that merges the experiences of the Puerto Rican community (the oft ignored co-creators of Hip Hop culture’s founding elements), the most impoverished areas of Black and Brown New York City and the specific insights as a founder of the Lo Lifes, being a fashion icon, a survivor of the prison industrial complex and cultural arts visionary.

From the cult classic debut, Skillionaire LP, intended as a demo, that introduced a grimy and refreshingly unpolished world wildings to 2017’s Skillmatic that reveals a master of tempos, complex phrasing that stretches to Spanish and Spanglish and fully fleshed topic execution, Thirstin Howl’s MC catalog is all time great.  With over 30 albums, multiple original verse mixtapes and appearances with over a hundred of Hip Hop’s greatest MCs, Thirstin’s catalog is the ideal mix of quality and quantity.

Always an independent artist, his work extends to film as well. Beginning as a production assistant at MTV for several years, Thirstin learned well and went on to become a writer and cast member for the MTV Lyricist Lounge Show. He eventually established his own imprints, SKILLIONAIRE Enterprises and SKILLUSIONS Films, releasing projects for the English and Spanish markets. They include the creating, starring and executive producing films as The Polo Rican Movie, Big Cuzins Payback and the Jail Recipes Cooking Show along with the 90 plus videos putting visuals to his MC work. 

As a co-founder of the Lo Lifes, including originating the name, Thirstin Howl has been at the forefront of leading many of the urban fashion trends of the last twenty years.  Today, the Lo Lifes movement is as recognizable a Hip Hop organization as the Zulu Nation or Rock Steady Crew filled with fashionistas, designers, graffiti artists, MCs, DJs, producers, writers and journalists.

Thirstin is featured in the HBO documentary feature film, Very Ralph, the first documentary portrait of the fashion icon Ralph Lauren. Its Director Susan Lacy exclusively interviews Thirstin Howl on the Lo Life history and culture that Ralph Lauren has come to acknowledge. In December of 2019, Polo Ralph Lauren enlisted Thirstin as a feature model in the commercial ad and campaign for the re-release of their “Five Horsemen” Rugby shirt, including a highlighting feature on the Polo app. Thirstin is also prominently displayed  in Miami’s Museum of Graffiti. Under the graff name, Rier, he is pioneer in bringing the graffiti artform to the neighborhood of Wynwood, Miami where he lived with his grandparents in the late ’70’s to the early ’80’s.  He is also a feature contributor and character in the book,  Lolife: An American Classic, a crucial work about the Lo Life movement’s founders, history and influence, written by George  “Rack-Lo” Billips and Jackson Blount on Power House Books.

Thirstin Howl is featured in the Fresh Dressed documentary on urban fashion and has also launched the Lo Life brand, a collaboration with Willie Esco and Coogi/Etonic brands.  He has also co-wrote, with Tom Gould, the massive photographic coffee table book, Bury Me With the Lo On, on the history of the Lo Life legacy from 80’s street gang to today’s worldwide movement with chapters throughout the world, now in its second printing.

In the 2010’s, the diversity of Thirstin’s work reached progressive heights along with greater commercial acknowledgement. There is Thirstin’s establishment of the Love and Loyalty Weekend in 2012, an annual three day Hip Hop cultural event happening in Wynwood, Miami while’s Miami’s Art Basel. The event includes a fashion show, vast Art gallery, film festival and an extensively billed concert featuring the year’s greatest Hip Hop and related acts. Then the media coverage from 2015’s Mass Appeal film, Fresh Dressed, on the history of Hip Hop fashion that showcased Thirstin and the history of Lo Lifes to 2016’s FOX5 News feature segment Lo Lifes from his hometown neighborhood Brownsville, Brooklyn and Bury Me With The Lo On featured in 2018’s Complex Films documentary, Horse Power, that explored the relationship between Ralph Lauren’s Polo clothing line and Hip Hop.

In 2018, Thirstin Howl the 3rd was hired by Ralph Lauren and Vice magazine to be the model for the historical event of Polo’s retro release campaign of the Snow Beach line. Bury Me With the Lo On was also a featured item for purchase on the Ralph Lauren Polo mobile app during their 12 Days of Christmas promotion campaign. It was the designated product for the 1st day of Christmas and sold out in two minutes of availability.

This all has led to book, tv and film appearances starting with the 2022 book, Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt by Rizzoli publishing. Containing full page layouts of Thirstin throughout including exclusive images with he and his son Jesus De Jesus that have been used in its historic and colossal worldwide marketing campaign. For season 2 of Vice TV’s “The Black Market” season, hosted by Michael K. Williams (RIP), their episode, “The Art of Boostin” featuring an exclusive interview with Thirstin on the LoLife and Polo culture at his Polo’d out home. For the Showtime network’s series, Everything’s Gonna Be All White series, episode 4, Thirstin Howl portrays himself as a bodega owner. There is also the PBS Channel’s American Experience series that includes classic archival polaroids from Thirstin Howl’s famous collection on their “The History of Jeans” episode.

Over thirty years creating some of Hip Hop’s most iconic music, producing films, music videos, and shows, multimedia enterprising and event creating all whilst continuing to be a pioneering leader of one of the seminal Lo Lifes organization, Thirstin Howl the 3rd is a cornerstone of Hip Hop culture.

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Has collaborated with a vast array of diverse artists including:

Eminem KRS-One The RZA
Masta Killa & Ol’ Dirty Bastard
(Wu-Tang Clan)
Sticky Fingaz & Fredro
Brother J & Professor X
Talib Kweli Kool Keith Cypress Hill
Sadat X Mos-Def Tragedy Khadafi
Damian Marley Chino-XL Keith Murray
Immortal Technique Canibus The Beatnuts
Concealed Weaponry Black Rob The Alkaholiks
Spit Gemz & Eff Yoo
(Broken Home)
Timeless Truth Kingdom Kome
Mellow Man Ace Dom Pachino Kid Frost
Special Ed C-Rayz Walz Sean Price
Heltah Skeltah Meyhem Lauren RA the Rugged Man
Blahzay Blahzay Ed OG AG of DITC
Garcia Ill Bill Non Phixion
Coka Nostra Chris Rivers Smoke Dza
Level Martinez Dana Dane Dv Alias Khryst
The High and Mighty Wordsworth Poison Pen
Da Buze Bruvaz Brooklyn Academy Sofla Kings
Def Jef Hurricane G Tony Touch
Malverde Homeboy Sandman J-Love
Omniscient P-Doe Don Dinero
Temperamento Capicu Jean Grae
T-Weapons Juice Afu-Ra
Cool Calm Pete Seal Fresh Animocity
Grieco EL Padrino Los Nandez Cuba El Carnisero
Domingo Snowgoons Mayday
Virtuoso Esoteric Rex
Reef the Lost Cause and many more…
  • Thirstin has a video catalog of over a hundred music videos on his YouTube channel: YOUTUBE.COM/THIRSTINHOWLTHE3RD
  • He has successfully and independently released a vast discography and filmography through his own imprints: Skillionaire Enterprises & Skillusions Films..
  • Thirstin Howl the 3rd performance history includes nation and worldwide tours.
  • The 2022 book, Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt from Rizzoli publishing contains full page layouts of Thirstin Howl throughout the book including photo images of Thirstin and his son Jesus De Jesus also used in the massive worldwide billboard campaign.
  • On season 2 of Vice TV’s show, “The Black Market” hosted by Michael K. Williams (RIP), The Art of Boostin, Thirstin is interviewed on LoLife and Polo culture at his Polo’d out home.
  • Showtime network’s Everything Is Gonna Be All White series, episode 4, features Thirstin Howl acting as himself on set portraying a bodega owner for the production.
  • PBS Channel – “American Experience” series. “The History of Jeans” episode includes classic archival polaroids from Thirstin How’ls famous collection.
  • During December of 2019, Polo Ralph Lauren hired Thirstin Howl to be a featured model in the commercial campaign for the re-release of their “Five Horsemen Rugby” which included a solo highlight in the Polo app.
  • In 2019, Thirstin was inducted into the Miami’s Museum of Graffiti. As a writer known as Rier, he is credited as one of the first influencers in bringing the artform to Wynwood, Miami in the late 70’s to early 80’s.
  • 2019’s HBO Films documentary of the influential clothing designer great, Ralph Lauren, entitled Very Ralph, features an exclusive Thirstin Howl the 3rd interview and segment on the Lo Life crew he helped found and direct to this point of worldwide Hip Hop organization of Arts and Culture.
  • In 2016, Thirstin co-authored, with Tom Gould, the Victory books publication, Bury Me With The Lo On, the Polo culture book.
  • Thirstin Howl the 3rd is featured in the book, Live the Art by Jeffrey Deitch and designed by Stefan Sagmeister, published by Rizzoli (2014)
  • In 2013, Hurricane G and Thirstin collaborated on an album entirely in Spanglish entitled Mami & Papi
  • Featured on the 2012 Snowgoons LP, Dynasty, on the song, “Legacy
  • Featured on La Coka Nostra’s 2012 LP, Masters of the Dark Arts on the song, Snowbeach
  • Featured on the 2012 Chino-XL LP, Ricanstruction, on the song, Latinos Stand Up with B-Real of Cypress Hill, Kid Frost & Sick Jacken
  • In 2012 Thirstin starred as Chef Survival Kit in his hilariously produced cooking show “Jail Recipes” (also on DVD through his Skillusions imprint)
  • 2012 “Big Cuzins Payback” movie is released as the sequel to the polorican movie. Written, produced and directed by thirstin and jokes.. (also on DVD)
  • The “Natural Born Skiller” LP is released showcasing Thirstin’s continuous growth in lyrics and production..
  • Illegal Tender, John Singleton’s 2007 film starring Rick Gonzalez and Tego Calderon, features the Thirstin Howl classic Spanglish track, Marijuanera featuring D’Mingo.
  • Thirstin Howl is the actor who played the karate master in the Scion/Loaded Language film production of Endless Knot. Anger Bangers is also responsible for the film’s musical score and sound effects.
  • In the summer of 2007, Thirstin Howl and Rack-Lo shared the stage for the release of the SKILL OR BE SKILLED World Tour DVD.
  • Early 2007, Thirstin Howl and Rack- Lo teamed up for the Lo Down & Dirty LP, distributed by Nature Sounds and Australia’s Class-A records in conjunction with SKILLIONAIRE ENTERPRISES. It featured the single and video, 2L’S UP”.
  • In late 2006, Thirstin co-wrote and executive produced The PoloRican DVD, a bilingual, musical and comedy with dramatic sketches that included a Thirstin Howl
  • Thirstin Howl the 3rd has released countless noteworthy mixtapes including Skilluminati,  Brother Lo the 37TH Chamber, Goya Family and The Lo-Life General hosted by STAR & BUCWILD formerly of POWER 105.1
  • Thirstin has a duet with Tony Touch on his 2005 EMI Latin LP release,The ReggaeTony Album, entitled “Pa’ Eso Bebe
  • Produced the song “Mr. Money for Don Dinero on his Universal Latino 2005 album, Ahora Que Si. Thirstin was also featured on many tracks and skits throughout the release.
  • Produced and was featured on the song, ”Ojo Por Ojo” on Don Dinero’s Universal latino 2006 album Ultimo Guerrero.
  • Lions Gate films motion picture, Street of Legend, a story of illegal street racing set in Southern California feature the Thirstin Howl/Anger Bangers produced songs, “Gods & Generals” and The Cards Life Dealt Me”
  • Traveled to Norway to record the song and video for “Side Brooklyn” with Norwegian rap group Side Brok becoming a top 10 video and song in Norway for Pinadgreitt Records (2005). Side Brok’s lead rapper Thorstein HYl is the Norwegian version of Thirstin and even credits The Polo Rican for his name.
  • Revolu records responsible for many Miami Latin Hip Hop releases, feature Thirstin’s song “Lla tu Sabe” on their Hip Hop en la Calle Ocho 2004
  • Has performed promos for NYC’s Star and Buc Wild morning show, Ed and Dre morning show 1 and Hot 97, Dj Enuff, Pocos Pero Locos and Bahamadia’s Philly based show, The B-Sides.
  • Thirstin is featured in Bobbito Garcia’s Book on the history of NYC sneaker culture titled “Where’d You get Those”. (Testify Books) pages 11, 134, 148, and 150.
  • Early 2004 Traffic ENT. Group distributes The Thirstin Howl III DVD “OverLo’D” Featuring music videos, LoLife Documentary and exclusive interviews.
  • Fall 2003 Traffic ENT. Group release Thirstin’s Licensed to Skill Album along with the “Brooklyn Bullet Gold Card Membershipsingle which also featured 3 extra songs from other Skillionaire
  • Landspeed Records releases Skilligan’s Island, a Thirstin Howl Greatest Hits with a few new songs. As well as the “Thirstymansingle whose photo cover showed a young Thristin living through every era of Hip Hop fashion.
  • Featured on the German rap group Massive Tone top 10 album, MT3, with the song “False One” on East-West records.
  • I Still Live with My Moms – The Cartoon. Funny GarBage inc. creator of Raptoons set it off with an animated version of the Thirstin Howl This animated version is hosted by the legendary comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite) in a comical Showtime at the Apollo style. Note  Master Fool and Thirstin recreating the old school “Rocky and Bull Winkle” figures.
  • He has released 12” singles through SKILLIONAIRE ENTERPRISES such as, I Still Live With My Moms,” “Russian Roulette,” “Spit In your face(Rack-Lo),” “Dreams of Fucking a Cartoon Bitch,” “Mo’Ghetto,” “Get a Life,” “Rackamatics,” and G.Stripes.”
  • Other CD’s released through SKILLIONAIRE ENTERPRISES include: Rack Lo’s Thou shall not steal; Rack Lauren & Aracknofoebia, The Master Fool Album; Brownsville Kid; FI-LO’s Keep Out Of Reach Of Children & The Alaskan Fisherman’s Fire & Ice Album as well as, The Lolife Founders’ LOVE & LOYALTY which was the soundtrack to the series of Lolife stories featured in The Source magazine.
  • Game Recordings, who have released seminal singles, added Thirstin to their list with the 2000 release of a maxi single, THE PoloRican, with three tracks entitled, The Polo Rican,” “Brooklyn Hard Rock part 2,” and “Skill or be Skilled featuring  Rack-Lo.”
  • “Skill or be Skilled” off The PoloRican maxi single, became the theme music used for a series of WNBA commercials seen on ESPN network throughout 2000.
  • Boriqua’s Bond (Pana de Que), the motion picture and soundtrack that was released in the summer of 2000, features Thirstin’s Latin Anthems “Pana de Que” featuring Brooklyn Academy, and the re-release of the single The Polorican.”    
  • He was featured on Rawkus Records Soundbombing II ALBUM with the banger, “Brooklyn Hardrock” in 1999.
  • DJ Spinna’s Heavy Beats album Vol. 1 (RAWKUS) includes Thirstin with Shady/ Aftermath recording artist Eminem, on a song entitled Watch Deez” (1999)
  • In 1999, Rawkus Records releases Thirstin’s first single “Brooklyn Hardrock” and “Spitboxers featuring Master Fool from MTV’S Lyricist Lounge Show.
  • On Homefield Advantage, the High and Mighty album released on Rawkus Records, Thirst gets busy alongside Eon and Wordsworth onOpen Mic Night (Remix)”.
  • Featured on Rawkus Records’ Lyricist Lounge Album Vol. 1 song, “Bathroom Cipher,paired with Master Fool as the only unsigned act to attend the first Lyricist Lounge Tour-1998
  • Featured on California’s Sway and Tech, The Wake Up Show freestyle Video Vol #1 as well as earning The Wake Up Show’s 1997 Outstanding Mic Skills Award
  • Participated in the First Rap Olympics, sponsored by the Rap Coalition and Rap Sheet Magazine, which was held in California in October 1997. Was part of a team which included Thirstin Howl III, Eminem, Wordsworth and Juice?
  • Used his bilingual skills performing on Tony Touch’s mixtape, 50MCs
  • MTV’S Figgy Foster series of on air promos (1997) also featured Thirstin Howl the 3rd and MTV’s VP of Music Video Programming Fred Jordan (RIP)
Thirstin Howl the 3rd