The last time fans heard from Midwest rapper J-Kwon was back in 2004 when he dropped his debut album Hood Hop. The album did exceptionally well, peaking at number 4 on the Hip Hop and R&B Billboard charts, and introducing the hit single “Tipsy,” which also did well, taking the number 2 spot on the Hot 100. However, J-Kwon fell out of the spotlight after his label home Arista Records was dissolved in a merger with J Records, prompting the then-17 year-old to ambitiously create his own label, Hood Hop Music.

The experience was crazy, because it was what I had dreamed about,” explains J-Kwon referring to his short-lived yet remarkable popularity. “I had dreams like making it to Saturday Night Live and Jay Leno—and I did that. Repping St. Louis was quite easy, because I had my friends and I was doing it. You’ve got Chingy, Nelly, then you’ve got J-Kwon.

Now, at the age of 22, J-Kwon is teaming up with Gracie Productions and EMI to release his second album in five years. Titled Hood Hop 2, the release will be a digital one, meaning that the album will only be available online and iTunes.

I didn’t get to graduate high school, and I can’t sit up here and say I never got to the point where I wanted to quit, because I have gotten to that point, I have been at that breakdown stage. I really work so hard for this, and people don’t know I put everything on the line just for my fans.”

Hood Hop 2 will be available online on February 17th.