Massachusetts rapper Termanology (born Daniel Carrillo) quickly rose from underground obscurity to working with some of hip-hop's elite producers, particularly DJ Premier. Growing up on the streets of the predominantly Latino city of Lawrence informed the half-white, half-Puerto Rican MC's lyrics as he graduated from silly freestyles at age nine to full-fledged verses at the age of 15. He frequently traveled back and forth from Boston to New York in order to pursue various opportunities, releasing his first material on vinyl in 2001. Closely tied to fellow Lawrence native and mixtape DJ Statik Selektah, Carrillo earned the respect of Boston's hip-hop scene with several 12" releases as well as his Hood Politics mixtapes, which gradually came to feature more highly regarded lyricists like Royce da 5'9" and Guru.
After releasing the collaborative LP Out the Gate with New Hampshire producer DC the Midi Alien at the onset of 2006, he caught his big break when distinguished producer DJ Premier — whom he met three years earlier — finally gave him one of his signature, scratch-laden beats. The result, "Watch How It Go Down," became an underground hit. Declaring himself the resurrection of his biggest idol, Big Pun, in the opening verse, the conscious hood anthem garnered the earnest MC tons of praise, landing him on the pages of many hip-hop publications, notably The Source's "Unsigned Hype" and XXL's "Show and Prove" columns. The DJ Premier-produced hit later appeared on the Hood Politics, Vol. 4 mixtape in November 2006.