EIA: Thanks so much for doing this, you just released your first video for your track “Let’s Get It”, what was the experience like?
Jus: Absolutely my man, thank you for the opportunity. I’ve been releasing music as a hip-hop artist for a little over two years now but sort of lacked that visual tool to help people see what I’m doing and what I’m trying to accomplish. “Let’s Get It” was a perfect track to film my first video for because it’s really telling what I’m about… real hip-hop, real lyrics, no gimmick type rap music. In the video, I’m doing what I do on an ordinary day: chillen, smoking and vibing with friends. It’s just me living life, and that’s what I hoped to show people.
EIA: Will we see anymore videos this year?
Jus: Absolutely. I hope to put out about 3 or 4 videos for tracks off this new tape and will also be featured in a bunch of my fellow artists videos as well. Keep updated @ http://www.youtube.com/justhewop.
EIA: What is your plan for 2011? You already put an album out last year, but what would be your main focus this year?
Jus: I put out “Dwell In Possibility” in June of 2010, and that was a great stepping stone. I’m currently writing and recording my 2nd official tape “Supply & Demand” which will really tell my tale as a 21 year old hungry kid from the shoreline of Connecticut. I’m also playing a bunch of shows and hopefully doing a little tour this summer or possibly even fall. Anything to build a buzz and help people see I want to keep real hip-hop alive.
EIA: Where did the ambition to try out hip hop come from?
Jus: I’ve always loved hip-hop, man. Like, I eat sleep and breathe this stuff. I can recall hearing P.M. Dawn and A Tribe Called Quest records as a toddler! I used to sneak into my parents room and watch “Yo! MTV Raps” when I was like 6 or 7, no lie. I was always a strange little kid who was intrigued by urban culture. I’ve been writing lyrics since I was around 9 or 10 and recorded my first “track” at age 11 in my buddies’ bedroom over a Dr. Dre beat. It’s funny because I still remember my verse from that song, haha. I fronted a bunch of hardcore bands in high school, but always had this urge to try hip-hop out as well. I was constantly freestyling and spittin’ for friends at parties and what not… and they really gave me the confidence to pursue this rap thing for real. The rest is history, I suppose.
EIA: Who are your main influences?
Jus: I love Nas man, he’s probably my favorite emcee along with Big L… they really go hand in hand for me. I also really really enjoy AZ, Big Pun, Children of the Corn, Common, Jadakiss, Styles P, Murda Mase, Eminem (early), Cage (early), Jeru The Damaja, Jay-Z (early) Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim Allah, Biggie, Cassidy, Papoose, there’s so many man. I love true lyricists and emcees who tell a great story. As far as producers, I love DJ Premier, of course, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Easy Mo Bee, all that golden age stuff!
EIA: I loved that you were wearing an American Nightmare hoodie in your new video. What other hardcore bands are you into?
Jus: Yeah, man. Hardcore is pretty much my second love. 7 Angels 7 Plagues is like my favorite band of all time. I really dig Misery Signals, Shai Hulud, Tunes For Bears To Dance To, I Have Dreams, You & I, American Nightmare, Creation Is Crucifixion, Beloved, Norma Jean (early), The Chariot, there’s a bunch of these bands I like a lot too.
EIA: If we were to look at your “Recently Played” on your itunes, what would we see?
Jus: Haha, lemme check… I’ve got Chris Brown, Panic! At the Disco, Raekwon, Drake, Coheed & Cambria, J Cole, Mac Miller, and Fashawn on there as of this week so far. I’m a pretty eclectic kind of guy.
EIA: How have your first shows been?
Jus: The shows have been dope, man. It’s crazy because I play live with my band “Jus & Company” and kids are going SICK during our set. Dancin, reciting my verses, really just vibing with my music. It’s been so much fun, I can’t wait to tour and hopefully eventually do this year round.
EIA: If you could share the stage with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Jus: Hmmm… these are great questions my boy, haha. This is tough…. But I’d probably have to go with Big L man. He was murdered 12 years ago and his verses just send shivers down my spine. He was so gifted, I’d love to bring him back and pay homage to one of the greatest of all time.
EIA: Thanks a lot man!
You can download Jus’ first full-length Dwell In Possibility and other tracks he’s released for free HERE