- Right Now - J-Hop
What is your background? tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth:
I grew up in a middle class home with my mother, brother, and father, in St. Louis Missouri. I really had a pretty smooth childhood. I was exposed to a lot in the sense of I was never uncomfortable around black or white people, but I understood the different issues we faced at an early age, my parents worked really hard to expose me to those type of things. I went to a white school, but when I came home I was around black people. I really was a sit back and look at the world type of kid, I guess that what really helps me with making music lol.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music?
When I first heard D’Evils by Jay-Z, I was like 14, that’s when I knew I had a love for this I just couldn’t believe how crazy his wordplay was, it was just wild to me how even though I wasn’t from New York or moved crazy weight I could still see the vivid picture he painted. Moments like that are when I felt like I was learning more about the world and seeing that you can help people understand and empathize with experiences that they have also been through, or even ones that they haven’t been through. That’s one of the greatest beauties to me, because nowadays the world is so divided and people are afraid of what they don’t understand, but through music you can help close that gap, and I feel as though I can be one of the catalysts in helping that happen.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why?
I’m inspired by just greatness so of course the Jay’s, Pac’s and BIG’s, but greatness is never defined by one genre so I also thought of course, Michael Jackson was incredible, Prince, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Kanye… The Rat Pack lol. I just love music, I’m really easily inspired. My biggest influences would have to be Outkast and Jay Z not always in subject matter but the technicalities of the music and the feel is something I’ve always tried to piece from them. If I had to collab with anyone it would have to be either Stevie Wonder or like Kanye just because it’s so much I can learn from them and I just know it wouldn’t be over until whatever we created is a hit lol.
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music?
I like it, it’s more open now like there are so many different sub genres of hip hop to the point where it almost can feel like entirely different genres. Contrary to popular belief you can like Future, Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole at the same time lol. People always want to talk about hip hop is dead and no one raps anymore, but if you look at the biggest hip hop artists there all spittin. Everyone just gets so caught up in Twitter and sees this one style of rap getting all the RT’s and things like that and wants to say hip hop is dead and stuff, but Twitter isn’t real, social media can be a very useful tool, but it’s not real life lol. I feel it’s just all about balance and I think we have a good balance of a lot of different styles in the game right now, but I will say if you can really, really rap I believe it’ll add more longevity to you.
Currently, what projects do you have in the works that you are most excited about?
I have this project I’m working on called 70V, it’s really my most introspective and complete body of work, it’ll give people a chance to really get to know who I am and it’s helped me learn more about myself. It’s been therapeutic as hell, and it doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It should be pretty cool when I drop that im like 60% done with it now, so it’s definitely on the way soon.
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months?
Man first to be completely finished with college because balancing all of this can be hard at times… a lot of times lol. I really want to be able to focus more entirely on the music, also to get these projects done and really get out here and make a mark in my city, show people that St. Louis has a lot to offer, and really just separate myself from the pack, continuing to grow with my team, perform at more venues, and have my face seen more.
What are your long term career goals within the next 2-5 years?
Next 2-5 years? Really being able to sustain a living off this music, make a difference in the lives of people, because it’s really bigger than just the music. Man people are out here dying for just being black, it’d be selfish if God blesses me with an opportunity to possibly make a living off what I love and I don’t give back to people, because in the big scheme of things that’s what really matters, this music is a vessel to help make positive changes. I really just want to bring hope into the lives of people that have lost it. From a musical standpoint to answer the question I really want to be in position to be a voice for our generation and put out some of the best music that we’ve heard, hit people the same way Kendrick and J. Cole hit me now. If it comes with accolades that’ll be pretty cool, but that’s not my primary focus, I just want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I’ve done for myself, others, and of course my family.
If you had one song out of the catalog you have created to show a person what song would it be and why?
Ahhhhh the song I really want to say hasn’t released its on that 70V project, but as of now it’s this collab joint I did for Charles Lauste ep XXII, a track called “Do You.” Because it was the first time I really felt comfortable opening up and letting people into my world and showing my vulnerability, my thoughts, a little more about who J-Hop is. It really just showed a lot of growth in me I feel, so shout out to Charles Lauste, and my other Get Rich brother, Young 99 for that track.
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter?
I make my truth. It won’t always be any one type of style, whatever I’m going through good or bad you’ll hear it in the music, because we are all real human beings, life isn’t a fairytale, and we don’t always need the glitz, glamour, and facades. It probably sounds crazy for me to say that, but I feel like people honestly forget that sometimes. It’ll help you know you’re not the only one struggling when you’re down, but also can be there to pick you up when you need it. And when it’s time to T up and life is bussin, I got that for you too lol. We are all in this together, the listener gets an opportunity to grow with me.
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be?
Honest, versatile, wavy, hype, vulnerable
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different?
You never know what you’re going to get from me, I make whatever I feel. I can’t and won’t be boxed in, I’ll show my highs and lows. I try to be versatile, one moment I’ll make a trap banger then the next I’m giving you an introspective look or something along those lines. I’m a true student of the game, but at the same time I’m still only 22 years old and you’re going to see that side of me. Go listen to my tapes Trvp Hopper then 7Days back to back and you’ll see what I mean lol.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey?
Listen I know everybody says this, but bro if you put in the hours, if you focus on the foundation of the craft, if you’re honest with yourself about where you are musically you can really make it happen. I’m nowhere near on, but I’m seeing the growth and I’m seeing opportunities that come from really just putting the hours in and being a student of the game. Whatever you put into the universe is going to come back to you straight up. No matter what just work. I’m really big on the Law of Attraction.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
Follow me on twitter @Jdashhop, I’m on Instagram @younghoppa_. You can find all my music on my soundcloud which is soundcloud.com/jhop-4. Go listen to 7Days on there, TRVP Hopper is on my soundcloud, Apple Music, Spotify all that just search it and it’ll be there. So yeah tweet me, chop it up with the kid about music or whatever. I’m not a superstar with a crazy schedule or anything like that lol
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
I really just thank everybody who takes the time to listen to my music and hear me say what I have to say, whether it’s some wild thing or some smart things… sometimes lol. I’m just super appreciative of everybody who gives my music a chance. I really have a lot to say and I hope we can all grow together and make the world more bussin than it was the day before.