by Jason BirchmeierOne of reggaeton's most prolific artists, Pina Records affiliate Nicky Jam has collaborated over the years with a long list of performers, including superstars such as Daddy Yankee and RKM & Ken-Y, and he has also released plenty of solo material as well, including popular albums such as Vida Escante (2004) and The Black Carpet (2007). Born Nick Rivera Caminero on February 25, 1980, in the Dominican Republic, he moved with his family to Barrio Obrero, Puerto Rico, at age six. His father is Puerto Rican and his mother is Dominican. Like many of his generation, Jam initially got into the reggaeton scene during the 1990s and made a name for himself on the mixtape circuit. Most notably, he can be heard on some of the seminal mixtapes helmed by DJ Playero around the turn of the century. Early solo albums such as Haciendo Escante (2001), featuring fellow DJ Playero protege Daddy Yankee on the title track, established him as a rising star amid the reggaeton scene, but it wasn't until Vida Escante (2004) that he broke through to a mainstream audience, particularly once the album was re-released with bonus material in 2005. His follow-up album, The Black Carpet (2007), proved similarly popular, spawning his biggest hit to date, "Gas Pela," featuring RKM.