After hearing Sheek’s harsh words, this former D-Block member finally speaks on having his label budget stolen, being blackballed by Funkmaster Flex and why he appeared with 50 Cent in the Bronx.
For the past six years, J-Hood has patiently waited for his time to shine. After signing with the LOX and their D-Block Records imprint, the self-proclaimed “baby-faced gangsta” prepped for the release of his debut solo album, Tales From the Hood. The LP was intended to drop in 2004, but three years later, the 21-year-old’s career is still in limbo. Frustrated with the delays over his album, J-Hood asked to be released from D-Block Records earlier this year. While the breakup seemed cordial, the situation quickly turned into a verbal brawl between Hood and LOX member Sheek Louch. A YouTube video surfaced on the Internet two weeks ago showing Hood dragging his D-Block chain on the concrete and appearing on stage with 50 Cent during a concert in the Bronx. While Sheek fired back in an interview on XXLMag.com last week, it’s now J-Hood’s turn to tell his side.
Obviously, the question on everyone’s mind is what prompted this war with D-Block?
The past six years I was with D-Block they were prolonging my project and just dragging it along. As an artist, I was supposed to see progress and instead I saw myself regress and stay stagnant. I felt I couldn’t grow. There were a lot of reasons, on top of that, which caused me to leave.
Why has this beef turned into something personal between you and Sheek, then? Why are you only calling him out?
There is no beef between Sheek and I, because beef is when you ain’t safe to walk the street and your moms can’t go to the grocery store. The real issue is, we can’t see eye-to-eye. I think he definitely did a lot of bullshit. The streets and the world needs to know what he did by holding me back, prolonging my project and just being jealous, period. The problem I have with Sheek is on some other shit that I am more or less upset about – how he turned out to be regarding my deal. I don’t have a problem with Jada and Styles.
Throughout this whole ordeal, your character has continually been questioned. Do you feel like your reasons for leaving have been ignored by the public?
Everyone will have their opinions on what is going on, but they will never know until they actually sit down and talk to me. I don’t have an actual beef record towards them. The only reason I showed up on stage with 50 Cent is because I had a meeting with him prior to the concert. We had a five-hour meeting discussing different things and he gave me his opinion on a lot of things. The only reason we had the meeting is because I am still searching out a label for a deal and everyone knows when you’re looking for a deal, you have a meeting with different companies, regardless [of] if it’s Cracker Jack Records. You aren’t supposed to discriminate against nobody. I know we were supposed to have a little problem with [50 Cent] when I was on D-Block, but I ain’t with that camp no more. So for me not to talk to him wouldn’t make any sense. The only reason I was there was to enjoy the show because [Tony] Yayo called me and told me they were doing a show at that spot and told me they were on their way to get me. I didn’t go to the show to be a part of it. 50 asked me to come on stage and that’s how it happened.
So if there’s no beef and this isn’t a publicity stunt, why release a YouTube video dragging your D-Block chain on the concrete?
I know it looked kind of crazy on the YouTube because the way they showed me dragging the chain and saying “Cheek Louch.” But I want to let people know that I didn’t mean any type of disrespect-to Styles and ‘Kiss-by dragging the chain. I mean, when I did it, I was fed up with the rumors about homie [Sheek] taking my chain. But it definitely wasn’t set up like that. I can actually say that the decision to drag the chain may have not been a good one because I did go overboard, but it was frustration.
What did you think of Sheek’s interview with XXLMag.com last week?
He’s a funny dude. He can call me little man and all that because I probably do look little to him. I mean, he’s in his late 30s and overweight, so I must be a little dude to him. So he got a little funny off calling me by my government name, Joshua. But I can easily call him Shawn if I wanted to, but it makes no sense. I was with them for six years and Sheek is currently dropping his third album. It’s funny because Sheek is trying to put out more albums than ‘Kiss and P because he is used to hearing people talk about Styles and Jada from the Bad Boy days. Even back then, people were saying they were the hot ones of the group. Then, when I came along, he looked at me as competition instead of an artist on his label. That is why I never came out, because he didn’t want anyone else in his camp to be considered hotter than him and that is no way to run a label. It’s not my fault he always felt inferior and intimidated. So for him to do this fake bully shit is wild.
Sheek feels 50 used you as a puppet to get at D-Block. Do you feel that way?
He definitely would say that because what else is he going to say? If you actually look at it, 50 went on the radio and said we had a meeting and that I was a nice MC and he felt Sheek was moving me around. So of course he is bent out of shape because that is the first time 50 ever said his name through the whole ordeal. Even when [D-Block] was beefing, 50 never said his name. They all just ignored him. The fact that he went as far to say that when I get a deal, come holla at him and he “might” let me out. Come on, saying all of that makes him sound like the perfect hypocrite. That’s the same thing they [the LOX] was beefing and crying to Bad Boy about and then you turn around and threaten me? It’s foul for him to do me like this when I was the one who was there sticking by them, riding with them while they were doing me dirty. I found out that he and Super Mario [D-Block general manager] were the only people authorized to release any funds on the D-Block label. So what they did was took $140,000 of my $250,000 budget and split it.
So at the end of the day, you didn’t get your push because your budget was taken?
Yeah, they took half of my budget and the project didn’t even start yet. On top of that, my house had burned down last year and I lost everything. [I] was three minutes from being killed myself. And while all this is happening, I’m sitting there waiting for my advance from KOCH [Records]. At that point, I had been waiting nine months for my advance, and as an artist who was signed, I was really only supposed to wait no longer than three and a half months. If I am supposed to be a part of your crew, why am I the only one waiting when everyone else had they money? The only reason I received $25,000 is because my house burned down. It took my house [being] burned down for them to even go to the label and get them to release my funds. Sheek went with the whole sob story, so the label cut me a check for $60,000, and once again, they took my money.
Are you afraid of being blackballed in the industry? Funkmaster Flex already said he’ll never play one of your records.
He [Sheek] is definitely doing that because he told someone else that I was a great writer and [I was] going to be a star, but I wasn’t going nowhere because he was going to make whatever calls he had to make to stop me from getting out there. So I was already prepared for that kind of action. But with Flex, he doesn’t know any better. He is only going off what he thinks he knows and it doesn’t seem that he cares to know the real story. He is just going off what he heard from them.
Musically, what do you plan on dropping in the immediate future?
I’m about to really turn it up. My mind is clear now and I feel better on every level. I have a mixtape coming out called the Rebirth, which is going to show and prepare everyone for what I am about to bring. Right now my hunger is strong. It has no guest appearances because I wanted everyone to listen to what I have to say. People don’t realize I was held back for six years by the same people that I was helping get situated. A lot of people are running around acting like my album never dropping was my fault, like I didn’t have any songs ready, which was not the case. I appreciate everything they did for me, as far as giving me the opportunity to be heard. But if it wasn’t for the skills I possess, it would be totally irrelevant right now because they definitely didn’t help me like other labels help their artists grow. These dudes knew I am taking care and providing for my mother who is recovering from liver disease and my sister who has autism and they still didn’t look out for me. They still did that to me and that shit ain’t right.
What else do you have planned?
Well, I have a contract cleaning company called Clockwork Cleaning Services. We get paid to clean offices and banks. I did that because I’m trying to do different businesses besides music. I’m also venturing into acting. I have already been featured in a film called Devil Dogs 2 that airs on Black Starz. I’m really just getting to the point where I’m [letting] people know who J-Hood is. I have been in the background for so long that I’m finally going to put my name in the forefront.