NYC United States
Who is J-Zone? New York’s cult icon and x-rated maverick guides us through the rise and fall of his hip hop love affair.
_(artist-name)J-Zone_ has been a cult favourite since the very beginning. Coming of age in New York during hip hop's teething period in the 80s and 90s, he developed a low tolerance for time-wasting but a high threshold for curiosity, delving through his family’s record collection and any instruments that were lying around. Once J-Zone realized he could piece together a hip hop record all on his own, the flood gates were opened: he landed an internship at Power Play, and became in-house engineer at Vance Wright's studio, before attending SUNY Purchase College for audio engineering. Soaking up all this knowledge and influence lead to his debut album _(album-title)Music For Tu Madre_: an irreverant slice of narratorial artistry, with breakneck sampling and honest social observations, full of verses focused on everything from frustration with the daily grind to dating tips. With _(album-title)A Bottle Of Whup Ass_, the madcap J-Zone persona became more fully developed, setting the scene for the much loved and critically-lauded _(album-title)Pimps Don't Pay Taxes_ with his Old Maid Billionaire crew Huggy & Al-Shid. But as the Billionaires went their separate ways, and after his solo albums _(album-title)$ick Of Being Rich_ and _(album-title)A Job Ain't Nuthin' But Work_ displayed just as many un-apologetically nonconformist beats and confrontational rhymes as ever, the J-Zone story drew to its (perhaps inevitable) conclusion. J-Zone opted to retire in 2006, playing his last show with _(artist-name)Cee-Lo Green_ to a handful of A-list friends. Whether the going was rough or smooth, J-Zone could always see a great story through the haze, leading to plenty of good material for his 2011 book _(album-title)Root For The Villain: Rap, Bullshit, And A Celebration Of Failure_. Still as unpredictable as ever, J-Zone has returned to music with a new record _(album-title)Peter Pan Syndrome_, adding to the catalogue that is a testament to just what you can achieve whether the world is on your side or not.