Tsidi Ibrahim, known in the music world as Jean Grae, is an American hip-hop artist. She is also a producer, actor, and comedian. Ibrahim was born in Cape Town, South Africa on 26 November 1976. Her parents were jazz musicians. They moved to the United States after Tsidi was born. Ibrahim grew up in New York. She decided to become a musician rather early and studied music in high school and NYU. However, she quit the university after about three weeks of studying to pursue a music career.
In 1995, a hip-hop artist George Martinez noticed the young woman. He invited Tsidi to record a demo album for his group, Ground Zero. The album earned positive reviews from the critics. A year later, Jean joined a new band, Natural Resource. The group released several fairly successful singles with the assistance of the Makin Records label.
A little later, Tsidi worked on the singles of other artists, who signed on with the label. Bad Seed and Pumpkinhead were among them.
Natural Resource fell apart in 1998. At that time, Ibrahim changed her pseudonym from What? What? to Jean Grae, which came from the movie X-Men.