FEATURE: J-Kwon, Gettin’ Grown

Way before Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” and the GS Boyz’s “Stanky Legg,” J-Kwon had us two stepping in the club. Coming straight out of St. Louis, the then teenage rapper introduced himself to the world with his hit song, “Tipsy,” in 2004. Though Hood Hop earned a gold plaque, Kwon wound up homeless shortly after the dissolution of his former label, Arista Records.

Back after a five-year break, Kwon recently released another dance song, “Louie Bounce (I Smacked Nikki),” leading up to his sophomore album, Hood Hop 2.5, which came out earlier this week (July 28). Now independent, the Lou representative is ready to return full force without major label backing. XXLMag.com recently caught up with Kwon to discuss his current label situation, his new music, and the death of dance music.

XXLMag.com: Where have you been?

J-Kwon: Aw, man. Working, in the studio. Just working hard.

XXL: You kind of disappeared so we were wondering what was going on?

J-Kwon: Man, I don’t even want to get into all that. You know the industry don’t like me. I can’t expose everybody like that, yet.

XXL: You say the industry doesn’t like you, but in the beginning when “Tipsy” was out, you were doing well.

J-Kwon: They still didn’t like me then, though. They didn’t wanna spin my record. They ain’t wanna spin it, until they had to spin it. That’s just how the game is. You see how hard it was for me to get another album.

XXL: What is your label situation right now?

J-Kwon: I don’t have one. We doing this independent. Me and Gracie. Hood Hop Music.

XXL: So your latest song “Louie Bounce (I Smacked Nikki)” was strictly independent?

J-Kwon: Yea. That’s all independent. We’re on our own tour. State to state right now, so that’s all out of our pockets. Ain’t nobody helping us with that.

XXL: What’s next for you?

J-Kwon: I don’t know yet. T-Pain just bought a big ass chain. I don’t know what I’ma do. I gotta do something.

XXL: Do you still work with the Track Boyz?

J-Kwon: Nah, I don’t work with them, but that’s my uncle. He brought me in the game so that’s always love.

XXL: Is there anybody you’re looking to work with?

J-Kwon: No, I don’t wan work with none of them, man. They crazy.

XXL: Are you still living in St. Louis?

J-Kwon: Yeah I got a crib.

XXL: How do you feel about other STL rappers?

J-Kwon: Man it’s dead. Me and Nelly run St. Louis. I ain’t lying. We don’t even like em’ for real.

XXL: You don’t like any STL rappers?

J-Kwon: Hell no. They cool. They peaceful. St. Louis real broke up. Like a jail cell or something. You got your set over here. You got your set over there. They stay in they lil turf. I’m from the Southside.

XXL: I noticed there’s a lot of dance music in St. Louis-

J-Kwon: Nah, see that’s where y’all getting it twisted. You know what, I shouldn’t have dropped that “Louie Bounce.” They made me drop that. I’m not messing with no more dance records cause that ain’t what St. Louis is, man. Real talk. St. Louis is hood, man. We got music. Dudes who actually can rap, whether I like them or not, they got records. We just be picking the wrong ones sometimes. We just be picking the wrong ones sometimes. Tryna give everybody what they need, I’m finna give em’ what they want though. Watch this, though. You finna see it. Watch this.

XXL: A lot of the artists are just catering to the crowd they’re performing for, like at the clubs.

J-Kwon: Yeah, cause they tryna get on. Cause everybody feel like you can’t get on unless you supplying this type of record. It’s just a lot of these kids don’t have the bread to put up they self so just go with the flow. That’s not what it’s about—hardly what it’s about.— Kamaria Gboro

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Ugh. Garbage.

    • J-Garbage

      Hot trash.

    • JRed

      Yeah he dissapeared off the map but I had heard some shit from his Hood Hop 2 which I bought yesterday off I-Tunes… shit is pretty hard.. sounds a lot better than his first album

    • FRI$CO

      HAHA JKWON GOT KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT BY JDIGGS FROM THE CRESTSIDE CREW AT AN AWARDS CEREAMONY, IF U WANT TO SEE THE FOOTAGE CHECK OUT TREAL TV VOL 1

  • http://pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    this guy sounds like a dickhead in interviews.

  • Young History in the Making

    You mad? Tell em why you mad J-Kwon..

    • 619

      Hahahaha! I was just thinkin’ the same shit when I was readin’ the interview, I could hear D-Dot’s funny ass voice screamin’ “tell ‘em why you mad son”.

  • swizzy

    i always wondered, wat the fuck happen to j-kwon? his album was proper , i mean it had its couple of good solid tracks, and i kno hes a real niggah, cuz that one track ” they ask me ”
    i wanna hear some shit like that from him, or another hood hop somethin to break my neck with ya digg, but fuk dance musik

  • Enlightened

    Actually, he sound real focused in this interview to me. He somebody who has had that reality check to industry politics. I never liked his flow – well he did seem like he had some growth on that one song off that soundtrack, but I respect him a lot more after this interview. I might give him a listen

  • L.a Vet

    nigga was he smokin crack before the interview….

    Track boyz production was the best thing for that boy…

    nigga was soundin too much like 5 anyway…

  • Grimey G

    Wow that is an unintelligent individual. At least he kept his answers short and didn’t ramble on like some stupid rappers who don’t realize that their stupid *Cough*Game…..Young Buck*Cough*

  • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    I was kinda wondering what happened to this cat…. now I’m not. Thanks a lot, jackass.

  • money mitch

    I think he confused the industry not liking him for real hip hop fans not liking him dude is whack as hell. and who gives a fuck if he a real nigga or not? if you can’t rap keep your ass away from the microphone in the words of big l and pharoe monch DON’T TOUCH THE MIC IF YOU AIN’T ABLE TO SPIT PUT THE MIC BACK DOWN BOY DROP THAT!!!!

  • Silly Willy

    What the hell is this ???!!!

    I’m just wondering, whatever happened to Ebony Eyez ?

  • three2sixCubed

    The article is called gettin’ grown but in the photo you got him with a LV backpack on? Leave that shit for the kids. XXL y’all need to pick your photos better. Anyway J-Kwon sounds bitter and lookin’ to snatch some heads off. I don’t know tho wish him the best @ whatever he does.

  • WESTCOAST

    JKWON IS DONE, OLD NEWS. JUST ADMIT IT U WERE A ONE HIT WONDER…POINT SAID.. STOP CRYING..

    P.S. SEEMS LIKE HE GAIN SOME WEIGHT….
    THATS WHY THEY DROPPED U FROM THE LABEL..
    KILLA KALI.. SNITCHES..

  • Detroit Dave

    Beanie Sigel, Killer Mike, Dogg Pound, Young Chris, Devin the Dude, Ray Cash the list goes on…..outta all the rappers in the world that have taken a hiatus, why would they do an article on him?

  • holywood_p

    Yoooooooo! Im in st louis right now////born and raised….

    and while he was talkin some truth about the city being divided and on the whole dance song shit….he dont run shit over here ya diggg…

    come to the L u wont see from or here bout J-kwon…he went to jail for child support n that was the end of him…

    he real cool tho lol saw him n his boyz outside awhite castle once…they enjoyed our music lol

  • hollywood_P

    and he look like sheek from the lox wit a fucked up jaw in the pic lmao

  • El Tico Loco

    Did anybody notice the contradiction?
    —————————–
    XXL: So your latest song “Louie Bounce (I Smacked Nikki)” was strictly independent?

    J-Kwon: Yea. That’s all independent. We’re on our own tour. State to state right now, so that’s all out of our pockets. Ain’t nobody helping us with that.
    ——————————————-
    Nah, see that’s where y’all getting it twisted. You know what, I shouldn’t have dropped that “Louie Bounce.” They made me drop that

    So are u independent or not? if you are drop whatever u wanna drop.

    • Sleepy Wonder

      Word, Right? LOL! Didn’t He Try To Beef Wit The Chef Because Both Of Their Names End With Kwon?

  • http://xxlmag.com yogi22

    Ha!

  • Apple Drank

    St.Louis is the home of wack rappers

  • the Change

    J-Kwon Thanks for growing up & seeing how retarded Hip Hop has gotten. Same dance bull shit. What the Fuck America do we all dance every single damn minute better yet second of the day, Hell No. So thanks for not wanting to put out any more dance music (even though thats not ever going to stop). An for get those who feel like he pissed off, shit i would too if fake peeps were not giving me my dues.

  • mazemayhim

    Funniest interview I’ve read in a minute. Niggas just hatin cuz he ain’t give ya’ll something to gossip about in the interview. Niggas may as well hit him on twitter if ya’ll wanna find out s#!t like: “Trackboyz and JD stopped phuckin wit me cuz I broke the OATH”, “I’m betta than Chingy”, “I got Louie bag and you don’t. U ain’t fresh azimis”, “I got MC Get-Busy on my album along wit production by the John Blaze producer of ’09″, phuck dat! I like this interview. The nigga album slapped. And he AIN’T wack. I’m gonna go re-visit the “Hood Hop” album just cuz 1)It was THAT raw and 2)Niggas on here hatin on J-Kwon…then “poof”, mazemayhim disappeared.

  • $ykotic

    Yo, after reading the drop & the comments, now I see.

    You had a hit, got in the door and thought you could marinate. It’s harder to STAY in the industry than getting in the door.

    PLEASE STOP THE “WE RUN” WHATEVER STATE. YOU AIN’T GOVERNOR, SENATOR, LOBBYIST. DON’T EVEN OWN THE CONCRETE IN FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE(This is a blanket statement for all that choose this rhetoric).

    AND YOU’RE RAPPING. WHICH IS THE ENTRY LEVEL POSITION ON ANY LABEL.

    Brother man I wish you all the success in life and any endeavor you choose but step up your intelligence game.

    I was interested, but left with no reason to be.

    • *BLOCK*

      BLOCK “BLIZZY” BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      CO-SIGN

      PLEASE STOP THE “WE RUN” WHATEVER STATE. YOU AIN’T GOVERNOR, SENATOR, LOBBYIST. DON’T EVEN OWN THE CONCRETE IN FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE(This is a blanket statement for all that choose this rhetoric).

      I HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR A WHILE NOW!!!

      NEVER THOUGHT TO LOOK AT IT LIKE THIS THOUGH

      “AND YOU’RE RAPPING. WHICH IS THE ENTRY LEVEL POSITION ON ANY LABEL.”

      I GIVE DUDE SOME PROPS THOUGH WHEN HE FIRST STARTED HE WAS HOMELESS ACCORDING TO HIM…AND IN THE INVTERVIEW HE SAID HE HAD A CRIB…AND EVEN IF HE MEANT BABY CRIB ATLEAST HE HAS A BETTER PLACE TO SLEEP THAN IN DIRTY ASS JUNIORS PISS SPOT FROM LAST NIGHT!!

      Youtube.com/federalranga <—-FREE PROMO!!

      *BLOCK*
      ~FRONT LINE ALLIANCE~
      CAROLINA SURVIVOR

  • mazemayhim

    Oops…that’s a Gucci bag lol @ least I didn’t have the tat guy put Louie when he shoulda put Gucci on my arm, word to Crooked I

  • stlsouthsiderida

    im from tha southside of stl and i aint never heard bout j-kwon on tha streetz that nigga aint hood how you gon diss yo home city …. to be foreal we dont even like nelly in tha lou

  • Terrell Pollard

    first of all this nigga j kwon is talkin outta pocket..him and nelly run what?…Ya’ll niggas aint never 2 be seen round this motherfucka..and if anybody do run da Lou i would have to give it 2 da boy Nelly other than dat..J kwon a bum ass bitch ass nigga man…im from da Lou I know…he gonna say he dont like stl artist but some of them can rap i just dont fuck wit em..CAVE ENT stand up man 314. Holla Dirty

  • http://www.biguklove.com amy

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  • render

    I thought this nigga died or got locked up after tipsy

    yall gonna give skee-lo a feature next?

  • niggafrommemphis

    jkwon,you better watch those stl niggas,they will beat yo ass for sayin some reckless shit like that.plus,u sounding like a bitch.if u don’t like the niggas up there,disrespectin them ain’t gonna help u.oh,i forgot all about you,ain’t nobody up there talkin bout you

  • niggafrommemphis

    nigga look like he goin back to school,kanye west ass shit,who dressin these niggas

  • Cobra

    need to tack that bookbag off his back & read…gotta be the worst interview ever

  • http://www.kkk.com phil

    niggers are so god damn dumb

    all one-hit wonder douche bag no music taste having nig nogs

    yall all suck

  • D real St. Louis

    sound like some real bitch shit..I’m StL all day..what who the hell is jkwon? and Right we dont fuck with Nelly in the Lou..U punks buy that country grammar shit..that nigga will need brass Knucs if he ever caught in Wellston!! 6.4 blocck..

  • http://facebook.com/ Raeann Rosso

    hi