Featured Story, Hustling & Hip-Hop

JR is Holding it Down for the Midwest


FB_IMG_1423351794734A new St. Louis rapper has hit the scene and his rhymes and lyrical content are on one million. JR is holding it down for the Midwest and he’s put the streets on blast with his new single and video, I’m Just Sayin. Hustle City hasn’t had a rapper with this much star potential since Nelly and considering Nelly just dropped some verses on the remix of I’m Just Sayin JR is in good company. But he had every reason to become a product of his environment.

“I was born on October 15th, 1988.” JR tells Gorilla Convict. “My mother was young, real young. She was a foster child herself, she was like 14 when she had me. When she found out she was pregnant with me she ran away. I was born in the city, St Louis. I spent my whole life here. Her foster parents found her and we came back out to West County.” Despite the eventful beginnings JR’s life settled down and eventually he found that he had an affinity for music.

“I always grew up around music. When I was a kid I did all the musical classes and shit, you know what I mean?” JR says. “I did all the little classes like violin, band and all that. I was doing band for a long time throughout elementary and middle school. Around eighth grade I was in band and my partner was in choir and all the bitches was in choir so I was asking him how do I get in choir. He said just come down on lunch break and I ended up getting in choir.” And from there his journey into music began but it didn’t go smoothly.

“I am in choir and I tried to sing but a nigga’s voice be changing around that age and I figured out that singing wasn’t exactly what I needed to be doing.” JR tells us. “But I stuck with the music. I had a group of friends that started a group, Hot Squad. We just basically started out on some regular kid shit in the basement and it started growing from there and people started responding to it and I was digging it.” From choir member to rapper, the evolution had begun.

“I started enjoying learning how to make music. My own music.” JR says. “From top to bottom.” And Hot Squad enjoyed some success and JR was hooked on performing and all that it entailed. “We got big, we were on TV throughout St. Louis, we were on the radio, we were doing a bunch of parties and selling out a bunch of shows. We were some kids but after a while a group is a hard thing to keep together, musically, people get older, they grow, they grow differently, some people grow in different directions. The group spilt up, but i never stopped doing music.” Hot Squad wouldn’t last, but JR was onto bigger and better things.

“From about 14 to 18 I was doing the group thing. As soon as I got out of high school I started doing it solo. I started doing my own shit.” JT says. “I just enjoyed that more. It was a lot easier. I started doing my own shit and I ended bumping into Brian Johnson, Killer B, thats one of the people I’m signed to right now.” Brian Johnson was the CEO of Untouchable and the two shared a vision.

“We started cutting some records and the shit was crazy so we kept working and we kept working.” JR says. “We ended up getting a meeting in New York with Sony. We supposed to go take a meeting with Sony and we get up there and the mission was bunk. We came up there and we supposed to meet, but we were basically up in New York assed out, you know what i mean?” Stuck in New York city looking for a deal with Sony JR found something different.

“By the grace of God we ended up getting a chance, our people Reno from St Louis, just happened to be in New York the same day.He ended up introducing us to AG and at the time he was at Def Jam. He was an A & R at Def Jam so i got a meeting with him the same day. He listened and he liked the record. That shit was crazy.” The New York trip caused a lot of buzz back in St. Louis as the streets speculated on what it meant.

“We came back to the city, they was trying to work out some paperwork that weekend with Def Jam. There was a lot of buzz going around the city that I signed to Def Jam. It could’ve happened but it wasn’t right at that point and time. I decided to go another route. Me and AG and Killer B, we all just started working together.” Instead of a record deal with Sony or Def Jam JR put together a dream team to guide his career.

“We put AG’s experience within the industry in marketing and managing together with the music that we got, which is crazy, and we just started our own machine.” JR says.  “Its at that point right now where we made I’m Just Sayin and the song is going crazy around the country.” Nelly liked the song so much he dropped a verse on the remix.

“In the remix I got the big homie Nelly and the homegirl Tiffany Fox, that shit is going crazy.” JR says. “We just dropped the video for I’m Just Sayin also. The city hasn’t had anybody in a long time to call themselves the face of St. Louis so we just trying to change the game. With every move we make we trying to be the best. We trying to be the best we can with every move we make and see the impact of everything we do.” And with the image, attitude, music and swag of his home town JR has the ability to have a huge impact.

Check out I’m Just Sayin and judge yourself-