With two tours and over 250 performances under his belt, GOAT, born Justin Griffith, has been relentlessly building an independent movement since 2005. This elementary music teacher hails from Dallas, Texas, and represents “The Intelligent South”, bringing soulful indie music laced with melodic and poetic lyricism. PegasusNews.com states, “Each of his songs takes on its own distinct flavor, pulling from varied musical and lyrical sources.” When writing and recording, GOAT (Grades Of Absolute Truth) is a focused musician carefully crafting each phrase to perfection. On stage, he immediately attracts his audience with an inviting, endless energy by combining singing with rhyming, instruments with live looping, and multi-media visuals. Some refer to him as the illegitimate child of promiscuous genres. Some name him one of Dallas’ top independent artists. After checking out his credentials, no one can deny the work ethic of GOAT. Past releases include We Rise Up (2011), Mileage: Retuned (2011), Mileage (2009), The Four Track Sessions: Volume 1 (2009), Dallas Got Next: The Mixtape (2007), and Absolute Truth (2006). He is currently in the studio recording an extremely insightful project entitled senseLESS, which highlights the abuse of our five senses.


IAA: What is your musical background?

GOAT:  I started playing guitar when I was 12, so my journey into creating music started there.  For years, I played guitar, bass, and sang backup vocals in rock, blues, and metal bands.  After several of my groups split up, I began experimenting with producing my own music and built a small home studio set-up.  Then I began focusing on more complex rhyme schemes in my poetry and lyrics, which evolved towards hip hop.  Since I knew I wanted to build a career in music, I desired to learn more.  I studied audio engineering and music production at The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio.  Then I studied Classical Voice at The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Music.  After I developed my sound by independently releasing projects and performing constantly, I realized that my material had elements of multiple genres due to my love for various types of music.

IAA: Why do you want to record and release your own music?

GOAT:  I don’t want to record and release music; I HAVE to.  I would go so far as to say I’m addicted to it and would go through a constant withdrawal if I put it down.  It’s a form of therapy for me, a needed outlet to help me cope with my thoughts.  That’s my selfish answer.  My selfless answer is this: I believe that my calling is to influence people’s lives in a positive way and make people think deeper, so I accomplish that through music.

IAA: What are your songs about?

GOAT:  My life experiences, your life experiences, struggle, confusion, relationships, hunger, anger, frustration, hypocrisy, partying, making mistakes – I could go on, but let’s just say it covers a lot of ground. With each project, I like to have a good balance of content, so you can’t get bored.

IAA: Who is your fan base directed towards?

GOAT:  I’ve seen 4 year olds singing my hooks and I’ve had 60 year olds buy a CD from me, so the age range is wide.  My music attracts listeners that like to dig deeper than the surface, people that enjoy hearing musical stories with messages.  At the same time, the catchy melodies can get stuck in anyone’s head.

IAA: Who are your musical influences?

GOAT:  I’ve been influenced by everyone from Lupe Fiasco to Chamillionaire to Brandon Boyd (Incubus) to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Trace Adkins to Edgar Allan Poe.  At this particular moment, my main lyrical influences are Brother Ali, Cee-lo, and Grieves.  Brother Ali is one of my favorite humans on the planet. His lyrics speak to me like no one else’s and I appreciate the genuine truth that he speaks and maintains in his music. Cee-lo is quite possibly my favorite artist of all time. His versatility is untouchable by anyone else and for an artist like me, that’s important. Grieves is one of my favorite writers and I admire his independent work ethic.

IAA: How would you describe your music to people?

GOAT:  It’s soulful indie hip hop – meaningful and insightful lyrics, live instrumentation with a homegrown feel from “The Intelligent South”.  My music is the illegitimate child of promiscuous genres.

IAA: What makes you stand out from other artists?

GOAT:  You can’t stuff me into a box. I’m not afraid of blurring boundaries and I don’t believe in fitting into a category. You never know what to expect with me. At performances, you may see me rock with instrumentals or just an acoustic guitar and mic. You may experience visuals, a live band backing me, or a live looping set with multiple instruments and toys. One second I’m aggressively rapping and the next I’m singing a soulful melody. I’ll do what the music calls for.

IAA: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?

GOAT:  I’m finishing up the writing process for my upcoming release senseLESS. It’s a project that I’ve been working on with producer, musician, and long-time friend – Justin “Double J” Jones. All of the songs are based on the abuse of your 5 senses – sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch, but there’s a lot more to it than that. To build a bank of inspiration to write lyrics from, I decided to design and put myself through a 40-day cleanse. I did obvious things like not drink any alcohol and diet restrictions, but I also documented how many times I visually admire women, didn’t allow myself to hug people, watch movies, listen to the radio or CDs, and some other wild stuff.  If you wanna see how I did, I graded myself here – http://musicbygoat.com/senseless-cleanse-overall-success/ Then I designed five 48 hour experiments to deprive my senses – I attempted to drown out 1 sense at a time. For example, I blindfolded myself for 48 hours during the sight experiment. I documented the whole thing here – http://musicbygoat.com/phase-2-of-the-senseless-cleanse/ I’ve decided to wait to complete the final and most difficult experiment closer to the release – more details to come.

IAA: What are your career goals?  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

GOAT:  My ultimate goal has always been to make a living from music.  In a sense, I’ve accomplished that through teaching and income from releases and performing.  I intend to continue stepping up that ladder of success by building a larger regional and national following through regular performances and creative releases.  In the next 10 years, I have goals of national touring, product placement, songwriting for specific purposes (for example: movie soundtracks, educational songs), and building an indie label that houses artists that I believe in.  I also see 2 of my endeavors building a huge amount of momentum and gaining attention from sponsors/media.  One of those things is a non-profit organization I started in 2008 called H4, which stand for Hip Hop Helps Heal.  We throw two benefit shows annually to aid specific concerns of the community.  At this point, we’ve already raised and contributed thousands of dollars to organizations, such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Toys For Tots, American Lung Association, and National Breast Cancer Foundation.  The other movement that I’m involved in is DFW Cypher, which sheds light on the lyrical talent we have in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.

IAA: How can your fans access your music and contact you?

GOAT:  You can find out more about my music, videos, and show calendar at musicbygoat.com.  Sign up on my newsletter to receive info on upcoming events, free downloads, and exclusive offers.  If you want to drop me a line, ask a specific question, or book me for an event or house concert, send a message through the contact page of my site.






  1. G.O.A.T. is a huge talent and force on the Texas scene right now. I love the senseLess concept. Looking forward to hearing it

  2. GOAT is a hero to me and my kids! Love the fact that he has so much infulance on my fam… Keep kickin ass bro!!!

  3. I’ve seen GOAT perform maybe a dozen times over the last several years. He consistently brings it and performs with passion. He also thankfully, rotates his set often so even if you see him a few times in a row, he’ll mix it up. The new stuff he performed at this year’s Elements of Hip Hop show sounded great and left me looking forward to the senseLESS project he’s been working on.

  4. His lyrics have always been what draws me to his work! Been a fan for years and have always wanted more. Great article Goat!

  5. You been playing since before you were 12…I remember us playing my mama’s busted up piano way before we got into guitars I was 9 or 10 so you had to be…6 or 7 yrs old? I remember we got those little stickers and labeled the keys and played “Heart & Soul”, “Chopsticks” & all that stuff.

  6. A few years ago, JRabb introduced me to GOAT….around the time ‘The Four Track Sessions: Volume 1′ was released and I got hooked to the vibe his music brought. Awesome write up for such an inspirational dude. Keep doin’ your thang playboah! Hard work obviously pays off.

  7. Great article!! Ive had the pleasure of watching Goat evolve musically and personally over the past 13 years. I remember coming to pretty much every show in the early performing years….cheering my friend on as the crowds increased in size and the music grew in depth and variety. Goat has something incredibly Touched with his work ethic, talent and refusal to get lazy. He has always sought to challenge himself.deeper with each turn that life and the music scene has presented him with. Dallas is lucky to have such a fearless creator out there bringing the talent.

  8. I started a clothing line, bout year ago and had the privileged to work with him. First he is soo talented,passionate, and hella hard worker. Also has many positive characteristics as an individual- Very humble, supportive, and give back. He has been involved w/ tons a charities, and supports the DFW scene. LOVE HIS MUSIC

  9. GOAT!
    Thanks for the inspiration you share with children and adults. I am one of the nearly 60 year old that has all his CD’s. I am waiting patiently for senseLESS. Can’t wait to see how e experiments u did with ur sense are interpreted in you lyrics! This article reveals who u really are.
    Keep on sharing!

  10. GOAT!
    Thanks for the inspiration you share with children and adults. I am one of the nearly 60 year olds that has all his CD’s. I am waiting patiently for senseLESS. Can’t wait to see how the experiments u did with ur senses are interpreted in your lyrics! This article reveals who u really are.
    Keep on sharing!

  11. GOAT!
    Thanks for the inspiration you share with children and adults. I am one of the nearly 60 year olds that has all his CD’s. I am waiting patiently for senseLESS. Can’t wait to see how the experiments u did with ur senses are interpreted in your lyrics! This article reveals who u really are.
    Keep on sharing!

  12. Yo I’m from Dallas , always have been. About three years ago I was in San Diego I got invited to this little bar by the airport. Only to find this young,cool kat, was from gville . It realy was one of the coolest shows I had been to.

    Shout out the rec. and poor vida

  13. Word, from top to bottom, that’s the true GOAT! As time takes hold, your actions define you, and everyone wants to leave their mark on this earth. My friends, get behind this one and help to lift up an artist who is nothing short of a musical hero! Put your ear to the ground, something quakes in Dallas!

  14. GOAT great article. Keep working hard and much success to you. Checkout my article as well and comment.


  15. I was lucky enough to meet GOAT at a very young age. Because of that, I’ve been able to witness his growth and transition from rock to hip hop. He’s by far one of the most talented artists I’ve gotten to see and he continues to amaze me with the new directions and risks he takes. Having worked with him in H4 since he founded it, I can also say his generosity and drive to help others is staggering. I believe that the people that get to work with him (professionally, musically, charitably) are truly lucky.

  16. Goat is exactly what his name means… Grade of absolute truth! As an artist myself I admire the drive and determination he has! I’ll be a fan till the end! Word!!!!

  17. Grades of Absolute Truth. I’ve been a fan since back in the day. Good to see the progressiveness of a DFW hip hop artist get recognized. G.o.a.t.’s talent is unquestionable. One.

  18. True greatness in every aspect. I have been blessed to know GOAT for almost 12 years & have shared the stage numerous times. I can’t think of a person more driven & positive. A true star who deserves the best out of life.

  19. Straight up, this man works on his craft while others play with a gift. Music is more than what you can dance to, it should inspire the artist as well. You can hear that in all of Goats music.

  20. I have the honor and pleasure of working with Mr. G ( his professional name at school) and his love for music is evident even when working with students(K-5) on a daily basis. He is loved and respected by our staff but it’s the students that he affects the most. They love what he does in class to make music fun! He just recently created a video with other staff members from our district to educate students and teachers just how important it is to eat healthy and exercise. The video won 1st place and the music was rapping in everyone’s ear. He is a true talent and there is no one like him out there. I personally am a big fan and his music constantly plays on my playlists especially when I’m running. His music inspires me to never give up on my DREAMS!! Love u Justin!!

  21. A musician to his core…I’ve known Goat for more than 10 years, and have never known anyone who more precisely embodied the focused nature of someone who has truly found their purpose in life. The style has changed, but never the obvious talent. 🙂

  22. I have watched Justin’s music grow with him for over a decade. It truly puts a smile on my face to read this article and know how true it is. I enjoying seeing him perform because of how honest and raw every set is. His music can’t be put into a box and neither can he. Much love GOAT. I look forward to continuing to get to see where you take all of your talent in the future!

  23. A fan since I 1st heard him about 3 years ago. I will always be a fan of GOAT! He has heart, soul, rock, rhythm and blues. DEEP Passion with obvious talent and the drive to influence both the young and the old. Proud to be a part of his generation and helping push forward the growth of humanity. <3 GOAT with the teeth (not the grill)

  24. GOAT has a beautiful insight on music, an awesome writer and a great support to the Dallas Hip hop community. you gotta love his original sound and rhyme scheme. congrats to GOAT and all of his success, we look forward to hearing more of your soulful sounds in the future. Much love from the kids next door FTR 😀

  25. Great interview. Anticipating for senseLESS to come out, the process for the making of that album takes true dedication. Going that extra mile to write music is a mark of a true musician.

  26. To sum it up, it’s not just the music. He’s good people too. This was a great article but G has many words to come.

  27. Awesome to see such a great article about not only a Fantastic performer, but, one of the best people I know, altogether. We love seeing your performances (each one different than the next) & even just hanging out with you is such a blast. Thank you for your inspiration and energy, my friend.

  28. The versatility and work ethic is one of the things I admire most about any artist, so to see that GOAT excels at both earns much respect from one artist to the other. The new project’s concept is very new and innovative. Keep up the hard work my friend.

  29. I have been following Justin (aka GOAT) since 2005. So many times in the music industry you find musicians transforming to make money by following social trends. So many times you find solo artists who disappear or become inundated by the industry. NOT GOAT! You find someone who stays true to his convictions through personal reflection with all of the PC filters turned off. A real-world message that affects people on a personal level. True there are other artists who have this talent… but how many of them do it to make the world a better place? In a time of terror levels, digital loss of personalization, and an overburdening government, climate chaos and the ever present work grind…. GOAT is more than a musician… he is an anthem that shows you that you are not alone in your daily strife as he is not afraid to put his own trials and tribulations out there for the world to see…. and to relate to…. Someday people will realize that it is the ones who strive to make the world a better place without personal gain that should be put on pedestals… not those who contort the world for their own personal gains… until then… I will await the new Senseless album and my next installment of what real non-clear channel music has the capability to spawn…
    Creativity and Camaraderie!

  30. Been bumpin Goat since Bioglyphic. One of the most genuinely good dudes Ive met in Dallas. Congrats on your continued success!

  31. I have known and loved GOAT since high school. My first impressions of him are still right/applicable… musical genius. I think most people relate to not being tied down to one genre and his “real life” lyrics. To watch him perform is to KNOW him personally… He’s always himself but he’s always interesting. Tons of respect for you Justin!

  32. Great Interview…Goat is madd talented in more than one aspect. I remember seeing this guy perform years ago at a local show and in my honest opinion he put on the dopest performance..the guy deserves all the success that comes his way. Not only this the guy takes time out of his day to give great advice to upcoming artist lol…so you gotta truly respect the guy

  33. This interview is on point. I believe Justin (Goat) is the essence of music. His talents go far beyond lyrics, poetry, composition, and instrumentation. Goat’s music inspires, teaches, and identifies with his listeners regardless of their age, race, or gender. His musical artistry is as diverse as it is relatable. Goats perseverance, creativity and need to discover every aspect of his craft has truly made him unforgettable.

  34. Great Read! Hard work Pays Off!! Much Love GOAT! Lets keep it goin’!! DFW Hip-Hop has been alive and well and working together more and more. Unified we can move mountains! Respect to industryallacces.com for shedding some light on one of our talented artists. We need more support like this from media outlets. DFW Culture!!

  35. Respected and loved by many, GOAT symbolizes the advancement of intelligent and thought provoking art. When creativity, dedication and passion coalesce, he is a shining example of what happens when these elements fuse. Many artists, from unknown garage practitioners all the way to internationally known superstars, rarely incorporate the importance of “education”, whether the subject matter is on fundamental arithmetic or complex life lessons learned from daily struggles. In a time when almost all messages are lost in the multiple translations divide by the many different perspectives, his music and his words attain an “easy to swallow” sized pill of insight that has long lasting side effects well after you think his medicine has been dissolved in your system. Dallas is proud he is part of the movement that represents the underground hip-hop scene.

  36. Goat! That was inspirational. You’re amazing. I enjoyed seeing you. Refreshing to hear something new, fresh. Like a clean white shirt. Hah. You will only shine more, I don’t see this kid fading out too soon. Stick to what your doing. Your sound is intoxicating.

  37. This was a great write-up. You truely are an amazing & devoted person in every role you play in your life. Music to you is a necessity to live. It’s like your heart beating, taking a breathe, blood circulating, but most of all the brain because it is constant even in the dream state it keeps going, like you GOAT. You don’t need to use the word “addicted” it has negative connotation, rather it IS you, music is a normal necessary bodily function, haha!
    You make such an impact in all you are committed to or on anyone who is involved with you. I have to say, due to my occupation, that your biggest impact is on ALL the children you work with, they have been influenced by your greatness.
    GOAT with your passion, commitment, respect, TALENT, business sense, this can go on…you deserve to succeed & be recognized for all your hard work.
    You ARE the full & real deal! Luvz my friend! I am ever so proud!

  38. Yo Goat! You have mad skills man, keep doing what you do best ! Congratulations on all if your success, and much more to come 🙂

  39. Great article!! GOAT has so much passion, you can feel it when he performs and he is such an amazing artist to see live. And he just keeps getting better!

  40. I have been a huge fan of Goats for 11 years. I am always anxiously waiting his next album and not so patiently. He puts on a very entertaining show and there is no doubt in my mind that with his drive and extreme motivation he will make it big one day.

  41. I had the pleasure of being turned on to Goat early in his musical career. Having the opportunity to witness the evolution and growth of his passion in music has been an inspiration. Goat has always stood out from his peers but not just for his eclectic fusion of genres but also for his determined work ethic. This article breaths life in to the unstoppable force that is Goat and I am pleased that the spotlight is being shed on such an original artist that has solely built his image in such a cut throat industry. Great article for a great man!

  42. First of all, wonderful write-up! Second of all, GOAT, even though you are the illegitimate child of promiscuous genres, I still feel that it is an honor to know you! 😉 & as time goes on I can’t wait to get to know you better through your musical evolution & in talking and hanging out 🙂 I have been a fan since the first time I saw you perform at arnetic & it’s been a privilege to befriend such an awesome man/musician :P;)^_^ <3

  43. This gentleman really digs deep for his music, and that is what I respect the most from him! I want to do what I can to help him get out there more through the radio, shows, whatever!!!

    He deserves it!

  44. Intelligent rhyme schemes + thoughts? Sign me up. Hip hop is evolving and growing up. Been waiting and watching for that. Cheers to GOAT and all he represents. Good article & best of luck to you as an artist & cheers to the development and advancement of soulful creativity via hip hop.

  45. Great Article!! You are a very talented and humble person.Thank you for sharing your music with me and I look forward to hearing more!! Greatness 🙂

  46. The Homie GOAT really is absolute truth! I have nothing but respect for you man! With a lot of the BS that gets out it is great to see this much talent comeing out of Dallas in one individual!

  47. There aren’t a lot of artists I can say this for. The fact that the album is PA doesn’t detract from the message. GOAT tells it as it is and isn’t afraid to be honest. Great interview with a great artist!

  48. Love this article!! I’ve seen GOAT perform a couple of times and it was a privilege to say the least. Such an inspiring artist. Keep doing your thing Homie. Can’t wait to hear senseLESS!!

    Peace && Love

  49. 1st of all, I know GOAT personally and I must say, there are few people in this music scene who are honest enough to walk the straight path and still be cool as hell… Been on tour with him and I truly enjoyed every minute of it. Laid back but very professional. Make us all proud son…

  50. GOAT, a genius! From the 1st time I met GOAT and heard his music, I was a fan. He is very intelligent and has been blessed to be a blessing to others through his music. Great article.

  51. What else can I say that hasnt already been said?! My dude is absolute greatness and has always been there when I called!…Hard work shows…If u aint ever drowned ur “highest low” with “toxic tears” ur missin out!

  52. I really can relate to the music Goat writes. When I listen I feel as if I’m not alone (if that makes sense.) Goat is by far one of my favorite musical self reflections. I’ve never been good at the written word.

  53. As a local Dallas artist that has seen GOAT perform and shared a stage with him, I am very pleased to read this article. His lyrics are enlightening and makes you think. With music like his REAL HIP-HOP will forever live PROUD!

  54. Great article. One of the best hip hop artist from Dallas. Thanks to GOAT, he has really helped put Dallas in the hip-hop spotlight.

  55. Great write up and interview. I have had the pleasure of seeing GOAT live on a number of occasions and absolutely love his lyrics. All of his songs seem so personal, making them so relatable to a wide range of audiences.

    As a person, GOAT is so inspiring. From his amazingly laid back, friendly personality to his work with charities, he is a great inspiration for anyone who has the privilege of knowing him or just hearing his music.

  56. I was beyond mesmerized the first time I saw GOAT perform. His style and enthusiasm for his music and his audience heightened my level of energy to a pure rush of pumping adrenaline. After that first show, I invited all of my best friends to his next show, all of whom immediately became huge fans. I will follow GOAT anywhere he goes to perform!!! If you have not had the opportunity to see him live, it should be placed on the very top of your bucket list. He is not just a talented musician, he is a “saint” in his community; constantly holding drives for charities that help underprivileged children. My life has changed immensely since the first time I met him. Please allow him to change yours too!

  57. This is truly inspirational. I am always impressed every time i see GOAT live, He puts alotta time and effort into his music and it shows. Great live show very dope lyrics that are reflective and entertaining. Now after reading this article I have even more respect for his committment and dedication to his craft.

  58. Wonderful interview/article! Love the senseless concept! It is such a wonderful thing to have someone use their music for good, wish you the best GOAT!

  59. Great article! Very interesting study. I enjoyed reading the overall results. Goat is a very talented artist, one of the best in Dallas, in my opinion. He always has the sickest lyrics! Stoked about the upcoming Album! Keep it moving GOAT.