In any underground market, certain goods become hot commodities and The Blow Up’s Black Market is no exception to that economic rule. Each week we’ll bring you the ‘Coveted Contraband’ from The Black Market (based on your ratings).
Check out this week’s gem WhoSaw and continue to light 1-5 stars for future submissions so they can separate themselves as highly coveted contraband!
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
I was proudly born and raised in the south side of Seattle. People always said I was extremely gifted intellectually but at a young age I found myself gravitating toward unstructured, artistic ways to express myself. I was always intrigued by melodies and words so very early on I found myself creating tunes and flows in my mind which translated into realizing my ability to freestyle. I then started putting my pen to paper using my creative intellect to drive my passion for music. This is when I realized I am a creator.
Finish this sentence: “When people hear me, they’re probably going to think of…”
Feeling empowered and inspired to be their own. I am grounded in who I am but of course continuing to grow mentally, spiritually and creatively especially as I take on the challenges that come in life. I want to keep people uplifted and to be able to connect with my music beyond my voice and words.
What sparked your inspiration for a music career?
To be honest, I cannot pinpoint one defining moment because there were so many influences that led me to my connection to music. It’s a combination of being surrounded by music from several genres, everything from my mom’s passion for R&B to my dad’s ongoing obsession with reggae. Many people may not know this but I am half Jamaican. I grew up very much in tuned with my roots, so there were many cultural influences that resonated with me. You know what…I do recall the time making my first song, “Krack Out”. After sharing it with my homies, I had a overwhelming response of how dope it was. I was so taken back by their reactions. That moment definitely reinforced for me what I was capable of and encouraged me to do more.
What crew do you roll with?
I started a music group called Gurulla back in high school. So musically we work together a lot. I am also still close to all my homies from elementary through high school. It’s dope knowing my homies for so long and its crazy we’ve stayed connected.
Who are your go to producers?
Actually it’s one of my childhood friends, Rob Skeetz. When everybody in the neighborhood called me “Baby JO.” Once I started really getting into my music we connected and got things going. Six years later, and we are still making hit after hit.
What other special talents can you throw down?
You know ya boy can cook with the best of them! I have this crazy obsession with food. ALWAYS throwing down! Definitely comes in handy with the ladies…and I never go hungry.
What separates you from the rest?
I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person but again, struggled with being confined to social standards. Music is my outlet to express my intellect in other ways. That being said, I take a more strategic approach to my music which results in a more unique sound. At the end of the day, I am not looking to sound like anyone but I want to create music that is relevant that people can vibe out to.
I will be performing a few of my hits at Vera Project at the Seattle Center on November 10. Also, keep watch ‘cause I’ll be dropping singles monthly leading up to my EP in 2017.
3 definitive tracks or favorites right now:
Man, I can’t do this without mixing old and new. I select these three songs based on creativity, storytelling and originality. You guess which is which.
“Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd
“I need Love” by LL Cool J
“I’m the Man” by 50 Cent