New York-based turntablist Mista Sinista was introduced to DJing by his father, who would spin breaks in the family's basement while Sinista was still a little boy. He started spinning on his father's turntables at age 6, and by 14 earned his own pair, with which he began spinning at parties. He honed his craft throughout the '90s with the help of friends and fellow DJs Dr. Butcher and Rob Swift. In 1997, he joined the acclaimed DJ crew the X-Men, soon rechristened the X-Ecutioners. Along with appearing on the group's singles and their full-length album, X-Pressions, Sinista also collaborated with Common, the Beatnuts, Al Tariq and Princess Superstar among others. 2000 was a busy year for Sinista, with both a solo single and the X-ecutioners' major-label debut arriving, as well as new collaborations with Cella Dwellas, Dead Prez and Common. He left the X-Ecutioners by 2002, just before the release of the LP Built From Scratch, to pursue other projects.