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Baltimore rapper Ellis eyes hip-hop stardom on his own terms

Baltimore rapper Ellis eyes hip-hop stardom on his own terms

As a kid growing up in Randallstown, Ellis Hopkins Jr. would often write out the future he dreamed of on a piece of paper, over and over. "Ellis Hopkins, 6'5, Georgetown University, starting shooting guard, averages 20 points a game," he said last week from a Dundalk restaurant. "I would do that all of the time — try to write what I would achieve." That goal never happened, but years later, the 32-year-old West Baltimore resident still regularly puts a pen to paper, determined to achieve something great. His basketball days behind him, Hopkins is now better known simply as Ellis, an ambitious rapper who is equal parts dexterous and thoughtful. His 2013...

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