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Interview with talented hip hop artist JJ Sam

JJ Sam is a very consistent artist who just dropped another EP after his first EP “deadly alliance” in the beginning of June.

This EP “faded realm” brings a different vibe then the first project. This project is more showcasing storytelling. JJ is not letting up and is in works of working on new music as we speak.

“I was born in Washington DC, and raised there and a little bit in California. 28 years old. I always been apart of entertaining as I started off dancing at first at a young age all the way up to mid-high school then found love for poetry since then.”

How did you come by your stage name?

JJ Sam: Originally my older brother came up with it randomly. He would call me and be like “JJ Sam what it do” then one day at football practice one of my teammates out of nowhere started calling me jj Sam as well so that just stuck with me and everyone started calling me that. All it is, is my initials of my birth name and half of my last name.

 

When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?

JJ Sam: Well I’ve always had a thing for poetry since elementary school and my brother was doing music at that time as well so it’s really in my blood I feel like but I wrote a poem to a beat in 7th grade I believe. Not sure how old I was but that was that and ran with it. It was when I started rapping in front of my class one day when I knew I wanted to take it serious. The reaction they was giving me felt great. It got to a point where they wanted me to rap to them every Friday so I had to write all the time. Then someone wanted to battle me which started another big crowd and let’s just say I still haven’t took an L since.

 

To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?

JJ Sam: The crazy thing about me is that I consider myself very versatile. I feel like I can do it all, any style, any genre, any flow, etc. but the style that birth me was big L. It was when I heard big L rap is when I knew I wanted to take it serious. Rest In Peace to L. But he was amazing and the shock value he had when I heard him made me be like “I wanna be like that” you probably can’t really hear it today because I didn’t want to sound TOO much like him so I had to find my own style just incorporate his influence but he’s in there. So to answer that question, big L is a big reason for my pen game.

I love your latest release “Sanity”. What inspired you to write it?

JJ Sam: Faded realm was more of me trying to get people to know me a bit outside of the rappity rap side. It was really about me trying to find myself because it can be hard in this era to be a lyricist and get people to really listen to you. I feel like in today’s generation people hear you but their not listening. Which led me writing tracks like sanity and a beautiful mess. Sanity was a track I was just feeling altogether. It originally was just for myself but the artist I collaborated with on “a beautiful mess” sounded great on it in my head. So I sent it to her, she loved it and bam she knocked it out. The producer named the beat sanity and I just took that title and went with it. So We wrote a story about sanity in a relationship. We have been getting great feedback when we collaborate together.

From a business point of view, which artists in the game do you think are really pushing the boundaries and changing it up?

JJ Sam: It’s people like Joyner Lucas, Tobe Nwigwe, Nick Grant, and plenty more I can name but how they push the independent side of the industry is crazy to me. Their music is authentic along with their videos. I just feel like being independent shows a different side of business because now you have to become a true businessman or woman and still be true to who you are.

What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?

JJ Sam: As far as challenges go I would probably have to say working with other artist that aren’t in hip hop. I know I said before I’m versatile which I feel I am but I can’t act like it isn’t difficult at times working with people outside of hip hop. The artist I worked with a beautiful mess and sanity with isn’t hip hop or r&b. She is electronic. I’ve worked another electronic group as well which was very different from my sound and I’m not sure when they are going to release the tracks but adapting to their style was a tad bit complicated but again I feel like I’m versatile so I figured it out. My greatest attribute is being versatile like I said before. I don’t think I’ve heard a beat that I can’t do. It might take a second to get something down but after a few listens it’s water to me. Which is why when you listen to my music you never really know what sound your going to get. Some might see it as a bad thing but I don’t. That’s me being me and me being my own artist.

 

What do you love about hip-hop music?

JJ Sam: I’m not sure what it is about hip hop, but I think it’s the expression behind it. Everyone has their own vibe and I just get a great vibe out of hip hop. It’s a different type of poetry. All music is expression but just different types. I love all music as well though, if it sounds good it sounds good. Hip hop is that one genre I feel like you can merge it in any other genre and it’ll sound amazing. Gotta love hip hop.

 

What’s your favorite song at the moment, and why?

JJ Sam: I don’t think I have one favorite song. There’s tons of songs I love but to name one I would say “casualties of a dice game” by big L. That song paints a picture perfect. It’s literally a movie in 3min. I love songs where you can picture it in your head vividly. That’s the poetry I love about hip hop.

So what are your plans for the future?

JJ Sam: My plan is to just keep dropping music left and right until it’s my time. The key to success it to stay consistent and never give up. Work hard and the reward will be amazing to you. I have music videos in the works along with singles so be on the look out for that. Along with more collaborations. Just keep a eye open for those, everything is going to be refreshing and eye opening.

To stay updated, please check JJ Sam’s social media pages:

https://soundcloud.com/jj-sam?ref=clipboard&p=i&c=1

https://www.instagram.com/iamjjsam/

Thank you!

What do you think?

Written by Emily

Emily is currently finishing her studies in journalism and popular media abroad in the School of Media studies in Tel Aviv. In free time she writes for several popular magazines and loves hip hop culture very much.

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