Although his father worked with one of Hip Hop’s most beloved groups, JY started his career with only a simple tape-recorder. Void of the carefully produced beats, star-studded features, and developed flow that he now has this New Jersey emcee began rapping at the age of six just so he could hear himself. By the time he was a teenager, he made up his mind that he wanted to rhyme, and after taking it seriously for the last few years JY is working on his second project due out before Christmas of this year.
In this exclusive interview with DXNext, JY talks about what went down when it all began, some of the mistakes along the way and where things currently stand. Now at just two years past his teens it is evident that he wants more from his career than just to hear himself and he is working hard so others will hear him too.
Just a Name: “I actually started off going by the name Jynx, but there was too many people comin’ out with the name Jynx or [Jinx Da Juvy]. I just shortened it because every time I would record a song I wouldn’t say ‘Jynx’ I would say ‘JY’ as an abbreviation. I just took that name and it started to stick because I just wanted to distance myself from all the Jynxs that I’ve seen on MySpace and everything like that. It doesn’t stand for anything but it’s just an abbreviation of what I use to be.”
First Recordings: “I’ve always been around music and my father use to road manage for Pete Rock & CL Smooth [click to read] in the early ’90s. I was always into it and when I was 6 I would be freestylin’ to tape recorders just to hear my voice back. Back in the early ’90s, I was more so influenced to Rap because of Wu-Tang Clan [click to read]; me and my brothers were really into them. I would just record myself sayin’ a Method Man rap or a RZA [click to read] rap or anything like that. So it started at like six or seven [years old] but I really started takin’ in seriously when I was like 18. I’m 21 now.”
Musical Mentors: “Currently, I would say I look up to …it might sound cliché… but Jay-Z [click to read]. I also just started gettin’ into Andre 3000 [click to read] a lot. I would say those two are the two top that I would listen to.”
It’s a Breeze: “For me and my friends we categorize my music into our own genre that we call ‘The Breeze’ music. There’s a feelin’ that I try to capture when I make songs and that’s just feel-good Hip Hop. For instance, when you first hear the horns of ‘They Reminisce Over You’ by Pete Rock & CL Smooth or any song that you can think of that makes you feel more positive about yourself. I don’t really come across as the gangster rapper or the thug because my life doesn’t involve any of that. We tried to make a concept that we could all run with and be happy with and that’s what we got, ‘breeze music.’”
Internet Ignorance: “The last project was called It’s Daddy and I made that mixtape in three weeks because I had made a song called ‘Checkin’ for Me’ and that song was received very well. Everybody from my management to people I played it for, they would always tell me this is the song for you. I put it out but I didn’t embrace the Internet at all, which is a failure on my part. I also didn’t shoot any videos. All I did was I would perform like at different colleges all the way from Jersey down to Miami; just performin’ and givin the CDs out. Everybody liked it and I had somethin’ for everybody on that CD it’s just that if I would have embraced the internet a little more; it coulda been somethin’ more than it was.”
Current Events: “Currently, I’m craftin’ my second mixtape called The Hiring Process and I plan to release it December 4th. This project means the most to me and I’ve been workin’ on it since It’s Daddy came out in April 2008. I’m really takin’ my time with this project and makin’ sure I have the right promotions behind it. The promotion for this project is very different from the last.”
Making Connections: “I’ve actually been startin’ to rub shoulder with a couple of bigger artist that have respected my music; like I said one of my favorite artists was Joe Budden [click to read] and I had the pleasure of workin’ on a song called ‘Tell Me What It Is’ with him and Cory Gunz [click to read]. The original ‘Tell Me What It Is’ was actually a solo song of mine that was on It’s Daddy, but Joe and Cory both liked the song and they hopped on it for me. I also have Freeway [click to read] and Young Chris [click to read]. As far a production-wise, we have Rockwilder, Buckwild, and Ski Beatz. As I’ve been goin’ along I’ve been networkin’ and meetin’ the correct people.”
The Official Unofficial Situation: “Label-wise I’m startin to work with, and I’ve always had ties, down in Atlanta with Trenchwork, which is a new record company run by two producers that go by Nard & B. They’re actually Grand Hustle producers, and they’re like family to me. I’ve known them for a couple of years now and we’ve actually been workin’ a lot since last summer. They started gettin’ involved, and as far as makin’ the actual music they’ve been helpin’ choose. I’m blessed that it’s comin’ along this well. So that’s like the closest situation that I can say; it’s not official yet but they’re definitely gonna be presentin’ the mixtape along with my own company, Get Lifted Entertainment.”
How to Get More: Visit Whoisjy.com.