Speech was born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He grew up on two sides of life: the ghetto of Milwaukee, and suburbia. Speech learned to draw from the pains and beauty of both. He would absorb the plights of his people and yet the retreat of middle class blacks to primarily white neighborhoods. Speech experienced hardcore racism as a young boy. With this background, Speech started the music group Arrested Development. The group is based in Georgia. From humble and rural beginnings, they became a pioneering force in the music world. Arrested Development received two Grammy Awards (Best new artists & Best rap single 1993) for the album "3 years, 5 months and 2 days in the life of..." Their second album "Zingalamaduni" was met with critical acclaim and nominated for a Grammy. Speech has toured with Hootie & the Blowfish, Chaka Khan, James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, and The Roots. Speech has also released five solo albums since 1996. He is married with two kids.