IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
J bOY: I grew up in a small eastern Texas town called Longview; better known to others as
View-Town” or “Tha 903.” Though it is a small town with a population of around 230,000 people, it boasts a violent crime rate that is 65% higher than the Texas average. We are the city of G’s.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
J bOY: It is inspired by the loss of people early on in life, the desire for more than I saw around me, and the original sounds of the 80’s. Everything came to a head at the early age of 11. Being fully immersed in the street culture landed hip-hop and me on the same freeway. It is a way to tell everyone what’s on my mind and to give those who speak the same language and live the same lifestyle a voice they didn’t have before. This speaks volumes to me. I didn’t know it at the time, but years later this music would become a saving grace for me.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
J bOY: I want to be able to truthfully write lyrics and spit them myself about my own life- the same life others rap about through ghost writers and live vicariously through others about. To me this would be the reward itself: to pour your heart and soul in to a project. Completing it all in-house; everything from lyrics to recording, engineering, even the front to back cover is like watching a child be born. To put your work out for the world and hear the lives you touch through your songs is better than life itself. To do this for a living would truly be heaven on Earth.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
J bOY: My music is about all of the aspects of living a life that society says is wrong and shouldn’t be lived. It shows that we are not animals, nor barbarians. We are only what society has forced us to be in order to survive. We live the same as every other person. We have moms, dads, kids, and relationships, just like you. The same ups and downs too. We are your neighbors, your entertainers, and we are the people who grind the hardest jobs because we have no choice. We are the soul and the heartbeat of America and we aren’t going anywhere. It is not gender biased; yet tells the story of my life as I walk it. I am the streets.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
J bOY: As a young child influences stemmed mostly from Big Daddy Kane. A few others were sprinkled in as well, such as: Jam Master J, KRS ONE, and NWA. Not long after that, the music took a change to reflect even more of what I was experiencing on a daily basis. LL Cool J’s “Momma said knock you out” was a hit home winner for me. As I grew older and deeper along the freeway of life, the music seemed to follow my path. I was influenced by Easy E, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the biggest of them all being from the South: Scarface. The complicated rhyme schemes, while telling stories with plots and ploys, mesmerized me. Scarface has the ability to paint entire movies with his album. Lyrically he goes over most people’s heads; but to those who speak and live as he does it is crystal clear that he is one of the greatest artists to date.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
J bOY: Music written and told in truth is given a life of its own. It is a living, breathing, free-range beast with life and character developed on pen and pad. Sometimes it is freestyle off the top of the head- no thinking, no nothing…just walking in to the booth, hitting record, listening, and starting to spit. From there it is released in to the world to run amongst the people and do what it does best.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
J bOY: The ability to do everything involved in the album production process all in-house. Add in a unique southern accent which only comes from east Texas, combined with a natural voice that carries with it the emotion of the author. Clearly spoken words to paint vivid portraits and scenes in a language dedicated to the people who live my lifestyle and the people who live it with them, both family and friends. I speak it because I live it. Listen and see for yourself.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music career and how did you overcome?
J bOY: The hardest challenge to overcome has been having a family that is well-known throughout various aspects of the entertainment world; yet, being told at the age of 12 that my music was too “vulgar” only to witness hip-hop grow in to the “vulgarity” that my family shut me down behind. Then to turn around and be ostracized by the same family who makes their living doing what I strive to do is a form of torture all of its own. To me this is like adding bottled rocket fuel to an open fire. With or without them success will be achieved. Just keep adding fuel to my fire so that my desire will never die.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
J bOY: I am currently involved in quite a few projects. The next one being the release of my solo album, titled “Texas Trillogy” (Date TBA) along with the accompanying “Keep it Trill” Texas based tour. This will all be followed shortly with my mix-tape “Reloaded” which gives the audience and fans a deeper, raw off the dome glimpse inside the mind and life of J-bOY. I am also working on putting the finishing touches on another album called “613” to be released very soon with my brothers from other mothers, the group known as the “Level Head Gang.” 2013 has proven to be a busy year, but 2014 will be six times the work and two times the play. You know what they say all work and no play makes for…
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
J bOY: My main goal, as with most serious artists, is to gain access to the industry so that I am able to support and care for myself, my family, and my friends by producing music. I want to be able to touch people all over the world with the music that I make. I want to tour and have tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people at a concert all sing along and know the words to my life story. I have worked very diligently for the past few years to build the majority of skill sets and acquire the tools needed to successfully produce studio quality albums and mix-tapes from start to finish, all in house. With my various skills, an unmatched grit and grind, and a few resources, in 10 years I will have a successful industry based music career. In 10 years I will also have my own label “Grown Maan Entertainment” fully licensed, incorporated, and running on its own accord so that I can give others from my lifestyle a chance to escape their situation and make a better life telling the story of their lives.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
J bOY: The easiest way for fans to reach out to me is through social media. To hear my music, get free downloads, collaborations, engineering services, watch videos & get FREE exclusive offers given only to my fans; even be able to ask me questions direct go to reverbnation.com/JbOY52. I can also be reached through Facebook, Twitter and InstaGram. For all of you video surfers you can even reach me on Youtube. Though very busy I try to keep them all up to date. This coming year, I plan to bring fans some exclusive behind the scenes look into what goes on to bring the music to them as well as some backstage glimpses before show time. Stop through any of the following places and holla at ya bOY!
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