By Niki Gatewood
Perhaps divine providence brought JW to Hip-Hop. If he is recording in the booth or if he is delivering his message live on stage, J Dub’s lyrics carry his testimony. The sheer depth and pure authenticity of his lyrical psalms resound with his Hip-Hop congregation. Building on his respect for the music, Dub has earned the respect industry pace-makers like Jazzy Pha, Todd Cutter and Jae Millz. They were among the fist people to recognize and challenge JW to embrace his then, dormant lyrical ability. The Broward County native is thriving in his new Georgia home. JW’s raw talent is complementing the other artists on Young Jeezy’s CTE label. “Baik At It,” the initial single from his debut album Fully Focused, is constantly spinning throughout the South. Only time will tell if JW will be back at it for years to come.
AllHipHop.com: On June 20th you got put on in a very public way. Young Jeezy gave you your CTE medallion and chain during Atlanta’s Hot 107.9’s B-Day Bash. How would you describe that experience?
JW: That was a great experience; big up to the whole CTE fam. You know that n***a Young that’s my dude, that was big. That was love. The birthday bash is a big event that they throw every year in Atlanta. I come from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I appreciate Atlanta; they have embraced me. The city of Atlanta got a lot of different people from everywhere.
I’m always ready, man. It ain’t nothing, a n***a ain’t camera shy. I got out there and repped; I repped CTE, I repped Grade A. I repped [for] every n***a that’s in the struggle and every person that’s vibbing with me…
JW Gets His CTE Chain From Jeezy
AllHipHop.com: What characteristics do you possess that will help distinguish you from other CTE artists?
JW: I’m me. I’m not knocking anybody. Big shout out to everybody from the label—we’re all blessed in our own ways. There’s nobody in this world like me; ain’t nobody like J Dub. I know I’m blessed. I come from the core, I come from the heart, I’m not a rapper; you can label me a preacher if you want to. I just keep it real. I’m here to enlighten these people, to motivate to encourage them and to let them know that this ain’t just any type of music; I deal with life. I’d just like to share my story; because, I know that my story is like millions of other people’s stories in the world. I just try to motivate, man, and keep it real…
AllHipHop.com: Let’s get on “Baik At It.” That beat by M-16 is stupid, wow.
JW: That’s a hot beat and I just kept it real on the track. So, you can’t get nothing but something good on the track. As long as the people enjoy the music we will continue to make that good music. Shout out to my boy M-16 [and] shot out to Jagged Edge; they showed me a lot of love—Twin and ‘nem. I got a song called “You Already Know,” produced by M-16 [and] “I’m So Arrogant.” There’s other hot tracks right now, down in Miami, shout out to DJ Nasty down in Dade [county and] DJ Khaled; they’re going in. M-16, he’s doing his thing; he’s very talented. He did “Duffle Bag Boy,” too.
AllHipHop.com: It seems the public is experiencing a love/hate relationship with Hip-Hop. We love its essence but hate the commercialization; how would you describe your relationship with music?
JW: Man, I’m in love with music. I’m married to music; it’s something that I appreciate. I appreciate the culture [and] I appreciate the art. I know that y’all probably hear this so often; but, I’m not a rapper. I say that; because, I literally only been doing this for about a year and a half. I know that God done brought me so far and so fast, in a year and a half— I don’t want to speak too fast but I got a major, major label looking at me with a great deal looking ahead of. So, I’m praying on that there. I don’t want to disrespect n***as that have been doing this s*** for 10-15 years and haven’t accumulated as much success or potential that I’ve got in so little time. You know what I’m saying?
AllHipHop.com: According to JW is there a distinction between Rap and Hip-Hop?
JW: As far as Hip-Hop, I know that Hip-Hop is a culture and with Rap—I feel that either you’re going to be an artist that respects the culture or you’re just going to be somebody that respects the art. You got n***as out there that haven’t been through half the s*** [that] they talk about; but, the s*** sound good. They [are] rappers, you feel me. Unfortunately, I’m not that type of person. What you hear in my music is real life. If it ain’t me [then] it’s my n****s or it’s my family; it’s real life. The s*** that I’ve done dealt with [shaped] the way that I see life. My lyrics reflect life through my eyes. Rap or Hip-Hop—it is what it is—I’m just here to make my mark in it…
AllHipHop.com: I want to discuss your identity as a man and your image as an MC. How do you plan to prove to the public that you’re not an empty gimmick?
JW: By just being me; I ain’t got nothing to prove to nobody. I’m me; I’m okay. I’m making music that expresses me and the people that I represent—which is who ever is motivated to make something more for they life—whether they’re still in the streets or if they have a job or a career. I want to motivate and empower them. I talk about God in my music. I talk about college in my music. I talk about football and I talk about hustling; because, this is my life. So, I ain’t trying to prove nothing to nobody. I’m just being me [and] either you’re going to like it or you ain’t, you feel me. I want the majority to like it because it’s honest and it’s the truth…
AllHipHop.com: Well check you out. [laughs] I respect your confidence.
JW: …I ain’t in no competition with nobody. I’m just expressing my life. Big shout out to DJ Khaled. You know, Nobbs, Rick Ross, Young— these people that [I’m] meeting in the music world, they are respecting it. They get the authenticity from me, they get the realness from me; I don’t have to try to be nobody else, all I got to do is be me. I’m that n****. I’m great. I’m magnificent. I’m blessed; I’m highly favored. Why would I have to try to prove something to somebody?
AllHipHop.com: I think I might like you.
JW: I’m just keeping it real; that’s something that the game is missing. When I speak I ain’t trying to be arrogant; but, my voice is very powerful; it’s been that way since I’ve been young. I feel that God has given me a platform to just be able to talk and give expression to more people. Some people say, ‘Damn, Dub, you know, you talk about God on this here—I can feel that—you talk about the streets [and] I can feel that.’ Yeah [that’s] because; it’s real. I ain’t trying to prove nothing to nobody—I ain’t got to prove nothing to Young—he can be the biggest D boy in the world—that ain’t my life. I did it; so, I talk about a little bit of it.
I earned my degree so I talk about that, too. I played football; I talk about that, too. There’s a million n****s out there that wish they would have made it to the NFL—they are in the streets right now—wishing that they would have kept playing ball. I just try to motivate and tell my story and tell my life and motivate people. I think that’s why I’m here for. I think that’s why God gave me this gift. I ain’t just doing this s***… I’m grateful for where I’m at right now.
AllHipHop.com: You earned your degree in Business Management from the University of Illinois; how has this established knowledge assisted you with your time being an artist?
JW: I’ve been a businessman [and] I followed up with that in school. Just like many other athletes, they’ll probably tell you [that] when they first went to college—I’m from the hood. I’m from Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County—I’m from the heart of it. Every n**** from the hood, you can go to Ft. Lauderdale, they will tell you I’m from the hood. I caught a delivery charge back in ’99; them n****s be talking that s***. I did that s*** when I was 18 years old, I’m talking about out here really hustling, they can check the record for that. I ain’t bragging. [chuckles]
[When] I went off to the college, it was more like the hood really wanted to see me make it the league; they really wanted me to make it. So, it’s like every other athlete that’s in the world; they really ain’t focued too much on a degree, they thinking they gonna make it to the NFL. I got into the business thing because I always knew I was a businessman; that’s one of my advantages. I think that’s helped to get me to where I am, too, and by the grace of God. I handle everything as a business…I ain’t never worked no 9-5; it just helped me to be able to deal with a lot of different types of people. …I think that the business part is something that I’m really on. I know if my business is right I’m going to be straight.
AllHipHop.com: Get It From The Muscle, your 2008 award-winning mixtape earned you respect from the streets. Now that you’re working on your debut album, Fully Focused, how do you plan to maintain your core audience as you transition to the mainstream?
JW: Shout out to Figga Records and Real N***a Radio—every n***a in the ghetto and in hood knows about Figga Records—they supported me; I gotta give a shout out to them. Me and the DJs we have been working the streets hard. I got Get It From The Muscle, Vol. 1 and I got Get It From The Muscle, Vol. 2 out right now with DJ Folk; it’s hot. Y’all go get that, it’s out there. I’m working on the second part of my album. It’s going down. I’ll be working with Khaled [and] I’ll get with Trick [Daddy] and them.
AllHipHop.com: You have the last word; what do you want to say?
JW: I always say keep your head up; whether you’re in the streets or if you’re working. Stay faithful to yourself and stay true to yourself. That’s what it is; it’s all good. Shout to all my fans. I’m going to give you something authentic; it’s going to be real. To all my ladies, y’all are starting to help a n***a’s buzz. All the real n***as out there y’all are feeling me; I appreciate y’all. I’m going to keep pushing. Man, I love this here; I’m going to be around. Ain’t no way that I’m ever giving this up.