Meet J-Hop: Budding Star from St.Louis
As an artist, one of the most important traits to have is consistency. Thanks to the internet, music lovers have access to discovering new tunes on a daily, making it imperative that artist put extra thought into the roll-out of their projects.
It’s not always an easy task for artists to do, but St. Louis emcee J-Hop has mastered the art of creating timeless music and creating a buzz about his projects. J originally gained notoriety after releasing a freestyle to Jay-z's Open Letter while in college.
Molded by the sounds of artist like Nelly and Wu-tang, the Mizzou alumni is known for delivering infectious flows and lyrics. With tracks like Vibrant, My Way, Say My Name and Wise Whys, it’s no denying that he is one of the most promising artist coming out of St. Louis.
We recently got a chance to talk to him about his rap journey, opening up for Bryson Tiller, the creative process of creating A Lil Hoppa and more. Check out the full interview below:
How do you feel now that your new EP is out?
J-Hop: I feel pretty good, it was stressful getting it all done. The first song, the intro we got mixed literally a hour before we dropped it. It was hectic but I’m glad its out and people been liking it so that’s always amazing.
You had one producer on this project, Charles Lauste. How did you two link up and start working together?
Hop: We went to Mizzou together, and we were roommates sophomore year. So I been working with him since 2013. So that’s why most of my songs are with him and we have good chemistry together.
Was it hard to transition from St.Louis to Chicago?
Hop: Most of the people I work with are from Chicago, so it was real easy. Especially since I knew a bunch of people from Mizzou, and my engineer all from Chicago, so the transition was seamless.
Whats next for you?
Hop: I have a project I’ve been working on, it’s tentatively called Young Hoppa Vol.1 . I was originally planning on dropping at the end of 2018, but I wanted it to be as flawless as possible. So that’s why we dropped the EP, but I’m dropping a full length project. I’m looking to drop around May.
Any features on the project?
Hop: I can leak one haha, Big Neph is on the project. some of my favorite artists are on it, but I can’t tell anything yet.
When did you start rapping?
Hop : I started rapping around 17, I was in a poetry class in high school and my teacher told me I should do something in the arts. I’ve always been a hip-hop junkie. I would freestyle to different beats and It was something that kind of took off on its own. The more I did it the more I started to like it and yeah, here we are!
What were some of your influences growing up?
Hop: A lot of Nelly, St.Lunatics. A lot of people from the south such as the Hotboyz, Ludacris, Young Joc. And as I grew up, I started listening to Jay-z, Nas, Wutang and stuff like that. So as you get older you learn more about story-telling. So a little bit of everything.
When did you first start to get traction?
Hop: It’s crazy, I got good traction out the gate. It was a freestyle to Jay-z’s Open Letter and that went crazy at Mizzou. Then I made another song called New Wave and DJBooth picked that up instantly. So my first two songs out of the gate did amazing numbers. I’ve never really had a hitch in the road.
How was it opening up for Bryson Tiller?
Hop: It was amazing, I got to chop it up with his DJ and he was real receptive to my music and what I wanted to do. I gained a lot of supporters off of that show. It was a great experience.
How does your parent feel about your Artistic Endeavors?
Hop: They didn’t take it seriously until they saw the amount of time, effort, and money I invested into myself. My parents have always been supportive of my dreams. When I moved, they were really receptive and understood that I had to expand my horizons.
What artists are you a fan of in the city?
Anybody you want to shoutout?
Shoutout Ryan, Preach, Cory Miller, Shoutout Charles Lauste, Shoutout Sheren she was the singer on the project, shes so talented. We call her hunnit K Ren because everything she drops gets 100k views. Shoutout Femdot, Ohana Bam and gang.
Be on the lookout for Young Hoppa Vol 1.coming soon!