Singer, songwriter, and producer Miguel (born Miguel Jontel Pimentel) spent a handful of years behind the scenes and flirted with the mainstream before he released his first hit single and became one of pop-R&B's most significant artists. When he was 16, the San Pedro, California native was involved with Drop Squad, a production company. Three years later, he was offered a slot in Fatty Koo, and even appeared in the R&B group's BET reality show, but he turned the position down and eventually signed with the Black Ice label. In 2006, "Getcha Hands Up!" was issued as a single, and its video aired on BET. An album, Young & Free, was planned for release with distribution from Universal, but it was never issued. By that point, he was becoming increasingly known in the underground through his collaborative work with Blu, Exile, and Daz-I-Kue.