For the latest installment of The Whole 9, we kick it with Bay Area rapper J. Morgan. He recently dropped a video for his single Real Love. Check out the interview below, and for more, find him on his website.
the9elements: What made you decide to become a rapper?
J. Morgan: Since I can remember I’ve always wanted to perform for people and I’ve always been intrigued by music and especially live music. It always seemed magical. I originally fell in love with rap because of my peers and then as we got older I’d see the freestyle sessions and stuff like that and I wanted to participate because I knew I had music in me so I practiced and slowly started jumping into the mix.
Once I graduated high school and started working full time I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in music because that’s what truly made me happy and I knew that I had a story and perspectives that nobody else could translate but me. I slowly started putting the pieces of the puzzle together and started honing all of the different skills it takes to make music and get it heard.
T9E: What’s the first rap song you ever heard?
JM: It might of been something else and I just can’t remember but the first memory I have of rap music is NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. My Dad had just bought a 89’ Mustang 5.0 and we were driving it back to Santa Rosa from Richmond. My dad is mostly a Rock and Roll person but for some reason he decided to throw on the “Straight Out Of Compton” album for that ride and it really got my attention.
I was probably 8-9 years old and he explained to me that I couldn’t repeat any of the words I heard in this music and I all I remember for the next few days is Ice Cube’s verse from “Straight Outta Compton” playing over and over in my head and trying not to say any of it out loud (laughs). Then a couple years later when I started hanging out with friends outside of the house is when I really started being exposed to the entire culture and just fell in love.
T9E: What was it like coming up in the Bay?
JM: It was a great experience as far as culture and being around different types of people. I think being born and raised here helped mold the unique individual that I grew up to be. The music scene is great too because it’s so diverse and there are so many different outlets to express yourself. With all of the self made artists here it really made the decision to pursue music a lot easier because there are so many demonstrations from Bay Area rappers on how to be successful independently (E-40, Mac Dre, Too Short, Berner and etc.).
T9E: How did Real Love come together?
JM: “Real Love” was a concept that was pitched to me by my producers at Stife (production team). Monét and I came into contact on Instagram awhile back and had been going back and forth on collaboration ideas. Once I wrote my parts and laid the vocals down I sent it over to her to see if she liked the idea and vibes and the rest is history. The video was a combination of my vision and her vision along with Los Angeles director Enkrypt.
T9E: What are your thoughts on the year in music so far?
JM: I am really excited about my releases that I have planned for the last quarter and of course my album Can I Live. My last album Livin’ Lyrics which dropped earlier this year was streamed over 100,000 times on Spotify and I have a few music videos from that project that were received really well on YouTube. I’m really happy with where I’m at and I’m thankful for all of the support I’ve been getting from the fans. I’m glad to have spent another year doing what I love making music.