What if I told you about an MC whose rocked shows with Mistah Fab and has gone on tour with YG? You’d probably think that he’s pretty dope. What if I also told you that he’s made songs with Nipsey Hussle and has an upcoming show this Wednesday with T-Pain? Chances are, at that point, you’d be asking me what his name is and where’s he from? Well, his name is J-Key and he’s repin’ Everett, WA. Now I know what your’re thinking, who the hell is from Everett, WA? But then again, my question to you is, who the hell is from Fayetteville, NC… exactly.
To come out of a city rapping where most don’t expect it takes more than just being nice on the mic. It takes being a grinder, a get the job done by any means necessary mentality. And it’s this mentality that has put J-Key in the position that he’s in today, a position to win. An MC like J-Key is always on the move, but fortunately I got an opportunity to catch up with him for a few questions.
Tony Delerme: What was life like before you started rapping?
J-Key: Life’s been pretty much the same. Always had to work hard except now it doesn’t seem like hard work.
Tony Delerme: How long have you been rapping?
J-Key: I’ve been active for about 5 years. But I’ve been involved in music since I was about 6 yrs old, I’m 22 now.
Tony Delerme: What got you into rap?
J-Key: My oldest brother, as well as the art, culture, expression and the style.
Tony Delerme: Who were your favorite rappers growing up?
J-Key: Jay-Z, Biggie, Method Man, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Mos Def, Cory Gunz, T.I., Jeezy… too many to name.
Tony Delerme: Who are your favorite rappers now?
J-Key: Jay-Z, Kayne West, Drake, and T.I. With those four it’s more than just music or lyrics. They’ve all branded themselves as successful men, not just as “rappers”.
Tony Delerme: Are there any current artist you aspire to work with?
J-Key: Currently I would like to work with Asap Na$t & Schoolboy Q.
Tony Delerme: You have a show with T-Pain coming up, how did that come about?
J-Key: Neumo’s, in Seattle, contacted my manager about me performing on the same stage as T-Pain, so big shout out to Neumo’s!
Tony Delerme: Do your have a relationship with T-Pain at all? Can we expect any collabos’?
J-Key: I don’t have a personal relationships with T-Pain but I’d definitely be honored to get him on a feature or any project in the near future.
Tony Delerme: You also did a show with Mistah Fab last year. How did that come about?
J-Key: My manager and Mistah Fab have known each other for a long time, so when he came into town it was the perfect situation.
Tony Delerme: You were on tour with YG not too long ago as well. How was that experience?
J-Key: Being on tour with YG was the most fun I’ve had. They get loose and turn up at every show to give their fans what they want. It was also a learning experience being around the team like Tee Flii, YG’s manager and DJ Mustard.
Tony Delerme: Do you have any more shows coming up soon?
J-Key: March 12th at Neumo’s w/ T-Pain. All other show dates can be found on TheOnlyJKey.com
Tony Delerme: On your last mixtape, Who’s Looking, you had Nipsey Hussle and Glasses Malone as guest appearances. How was it working with them?
J-Key: Working alongside Nipsey Hussle and Glasses Malone was a great, always a good vibe to be around. Definitely looking forward to working with them again.
Tony Delerme: Do you still have a relationship with Nipsey and Glasses?
J-Key: The relationship is always going to be there, I just haven’t spoken to either of them recently since we all have so many projects going on at the same time.
Tony Delerme: “Swag Rap” is my favorite track on Who’s Looking, what inspired that song? Sounds like you just went in the booth and spazzed out.
J-Key: Spazzed out is exactly what happened. My producer was playing beats and when I heard “Swag Rap”, I was like “I NEEEEEEED THAT ONE!”. I love giving my fans raw bars. Every once in a while, I can do that on a beat with a looser concept… and that was a rap!
Tony Delerme: Can we expect another mixtape from J-Key this year?
J-Key: As far as a mixtape, there will most likely be a “Who’s Looking Vol. 2” at the end of this year or early 2015.
Tony Delerme: What’s the overall game plan for 2014?
J-Key: I got a couple things to look forward to in 2014 like more projects, more visuals… I’m just gonna say, bigger and better!! I know my fans are going to be excited.