Rappers that pull their strongest influences from artists like Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye and Barry White seem to bring an element of surprise to their lyrics–true life, love and soul. Iowa born and bred J. Wright is one of those rappers—but wait, he doesn’t want to be called a rapper. He’s an artist that draws inspiration from the music his parents listened to.
After losing his father, he found solace in poetry and those poems transitioned into rhymes. His interest in music came from a business angle, so after researching how to create your own home studio, J. Wright did just that, in his basement. He sold out of all 500 copies of his first mixtape and knew that he was meant for this. He’s not a one-sided hip-hop artist; he wants to transcend race and evoke an emotional connection with his music. This mini-mogul in the making has his hands in everything from music to jewelry and refuses to lose! Read his testimony below about becoming a mogul, being true to himself and what makes him the prototype.
How do you think the transition from poet to rapper helped your career?
It was for the best because in my music, I tell stories. It’s more than me just rhyming. It helps people connect to my music a lot more because they know it’s coming from my heart. It’s something I’ve actually experienced.
There’s something about people that go from poets to rappers. You guys have more of an emotional connection. Is that something you bring?
I’m going to it to a different level. I’m going to do something that we don’t have right now–the LL Cool J type of poetry–love poems that we don’t have anymore. I’m not going to talk about “busting it open” or nothing like that in my songs.
What type of artist would you say that you are?
I’m the prototype for what’s new. I’m bringing a little bit of everything. I’m not trying to be just one thing or something that I’m not. I’m a little bit of everything. I flash a little bit, I come from the heart always and I’m all about the ladies, so I’m bringing everything together in one melting pot.
Define the artist that you are.
The artist that I am is going to continue to push the envelope. I don’t ever want to be thrown in the box of a rapper. I will get an acoustic guitar player, go to an open mic and straight rap over him playing the guitar. I’ll get a rock band and rap over that. I’ll do a church song with me rapping on it. Anything you can think of, I’m going to try it.
What’s the most important aspect of your music?
It’s me. It comes from the heart. I would never sugarcoat anything or make anything up. If I say I’ve done it or been through it, then I’ve done it and been through it.
Everybody and their mommas want to be artists, so when you tell people that, you fall on deaf ears because, who doesn’t want to do it? You had a plan, so that makes you smarter. Are you trying to be a mogul?
**read the rest of J. Wright’s interview here**