Hip-Hop Soul: J. Holiday

Since you’re taking back control of your music, who are you looking to work with on the new album?

Not that I stay away from features, but I’ve noticed that a lot of artists use the features to sell an album. I never wanted to be one of those artists. I always wanted J. Holiday to be the focus of the album and not, Ah man, you hear that song he did with such and such? I don’t wanna specifically go chase certain artists. I mean there’s always gonna be artists that I wanna work with in my career, but not specifically for a certain album.

Okay, well since you’re not a big fan of using features for yourself, XXL wants to know five of your favorite hip-hop collaborations with R&B singers and why.

I say Fat Joe “I Won’t Tell” and you know I think that’s pretty obvious why. [Laughs] It was pretty much my first real look as far as a song featuring me, and it did pretty well and I feel like it’s a good record. And of course it’s catered for the ladies. [Next] I got “How Do You Want It,” “Brenda’s Got A Baby” and “Keep Your Head Up.” Those three are just ’cause I listened to so much Tuac when I was growing up and he always had something to say. [It was] content that just makes you think, you know what I mean? Then I got B.I.G. “Fuckin You Tonight.” I do love making music and that’s straightforward. R. Kelly is definitely someone I look up to and of course I miss Big and Pac, man. I think we need more people to do their studying and their research. And then “Ready or Not,” by Fugees. That’s another group that I listen to a lot and I always looked up to Wyclef and Lauryn Hill.

Of the artists you just mentioned, have any of them had any influence on you musically in your career and growing up?

I’d have to definitely say Tupac with “Keep Your Head Up.” One, because my father died when I was younger, so I was pretty much raised by my mom and it just sent out a very positive message, especially to the single mothers. The first album I did I had “The Back of My Lac” and “Ghetto” and then on second album I had a song called “Homeless,” so you know it’s just about the content. I love content. I’m starting to feel like the lyrical content is starting to be slightly lost.

You’re saying artists these days are lacking content. What advice would you give an up-and-coming artist?

The first thing I would say is to always stay true to who you were not who you are now. Stay true to who you were when you first had that hunger and nobody knew who you were and you were like, Man, I’ma keep pushing and pushing and pushing till I get on. When people get on, they stop pushing and they start changing. Second, I would say know your business. Meet the people, shake their hands, have the conversation with them, you know. Third, I would say it’s not all about the fame ’cause one minute they love you, the next minute they don’t really like you anymore. I mean, they did it to Jesus. Last but not least, you gotta stay prayed up. If you don’t acknowledge God eventually…everybody has their down moments, but if you don’t acknowledge God, you’re down moments will come faster than later.

  • Hannya

    I wish much success to Holiday. I bought both of his albums and i love them both. Hopefully he can get some more fame and recognition that he deserves.

  • Jesus ain’t happy about this one

    how can you take someone seriousl when they compare themselves to Jesus.

    • MuzikNLyfe

      I dont thik that he was realy comparing himself to Jesus but, he was giving an example. If people can forget about someone as powerful as Jesus, whats to make you think people won’t forget about you…

      • liz

        i agree

    • Kim

      UGH Lord JESUS, the man is making a general reference of how two-faced people can be. Example: People Idolized Jesus Christ for the work that he did and for some time he had a huge following. Right. However, Powerful & influence leaders felt threaten by Jesus Christ, for he was against their agenda. These leaders of course manipulated and even. Now, IN COMPARISON: In the music industry, J. Holiday was the idolized by many when he came out. People loved his voice, his style, His lyrics. However, The almighty leaders of the music Industry found reason to shut him down and lead many people to abandon him as an artist. Clearly, J. Holiday is a follower of Jesus himself, So, I’m sure Jesus understands where he’s coming from. Seriously, Relax. I’m just glad to know that he even recognizes God in this dane age. SMH. Anyway, More power to J. Holiday. I really do miss his voice & musical Style. The Man definitely deserve more shine. PEACE

  • joe blakk

    he didn’t compare himself to Jesus read it again he was saying if they did to him why wouldn’t they do it to anyone else that’s all

    for anyone else please read before u look like dumbass over here

    • You fuckin dumbass!!!!!

      YOU FUCKIN MORON. HOW YOU GON TELL OTHER PEOPLE TO READ IT WHEN YOU CLEARLY DIDN’T READ IT YOURSELF.
      HE DID COMPARE HIMSELF TO JESUS. ITS IN FUCKIN QUOTATION MARKS AT THE TOP YOU FUCKIN MORON.
      THIS NIGGA AIN’T GOT NO BUSINESS BRINGING UP JESUS. FUCKIN RIDICULOUS,

      • Bo

        Man sit your dumb ass down somewhere. Joe blakk is right.

        • someone ure not

          ok clearly you didnt read what he said i know J personally and he always gives Jesus credit in whatever he does unlike a lot of artist who sell out and forget the very one that got them the fame. so whoever you are get some of the hate out of your system and stop trying to find something to complain about. It boils me how so many people always have something bad to say about J if you took the time to get to know him you would know what he is really like soooooo again sit down with all that riggamaro and support instead of hate… btw how can you say anything about Jesus and your cursing… stop casting stones that will soon enough turn around an become bullets aimed at u.

          • U R A LOSER

            You crazy.
            I swear u fuckas could look at a clear blue sky and convince urself it’s black.
            I’m sure Holiday didn’t mean any disrespect but he did compare himself to Jesus. How do you simpletons not see that. I don’t get it.

  • Annonymous

    All I can say is that this man is AMAZING + just so damn REAL. “Always stay true to who you were not who you are now.” [thumbs up there] You go J. Holiday. We love you boo!

  • http://www.twitter.com/KingJHoliday KristiLuvNC

    Why can’t we have more men like this in the industry…or people, in general.

    I really hate the fact that Round 2 didn’t have as much sucess as it should have. I still listen to it as if it was released last week! It has substance….and it showed growth from Back of my Lac…if u ask me…

    I’m so ready for the next cd because J never disappoints.

    The good R&B artists that are true to their music are swept under rugs and thrown under buses b/c labels are so busy tryna push the “artists” that are willing to sell-out to sound pop and whatever else.

    Good interview J.Holiday….U da bestest! …and you shouldn’t feel like Round 2 was not as good…because it was…i just feel like you didn’t have strong support from the label…

    Keep singing the real shit…we’ll forever love u for that….xoxoxo

  • http://twitter.com/team_jholiday atarah

    great interview j and xxl make sure everyone goes and follow j holiday on twitter @kingjholiday and his official team @Team_JHoliday asap!! much love

  • http://n/a Patrise Grimes

    Hey
    Jholiday the interveiw is encouraging and I’m glad you are coming back. This time will be even greater. Always remember if no one is saying anything negative about you then check yourself and what you’re doing. People will always have something negative to say that’s the way of the world. Continue the journey and your next level. God got your back, and remember God gave you the talent so put your best foot forward, and by the way I loved both of your albums and your first mix tape too.

  • Grimey

    Fuck you and Fuck Gay Holiday.

    • nYoFace

      ur a loser Grimey

  • S.

    J Holiday, amazing as always.
    Haters – have way too much time on their hand haha, need to get a life. If you have nothing positive to say about J then don’t say anything at all!

  • Shelle

    J Holiday deseves much love & RESPECT – he is talented, works hard, he appreciates his fans. Haters stay in the trash were u belong.

    Keep doing what ur doing J holiday – so glad u stick to ur principles and are true to yourself. Don’t change or be manipulated into being something ur not. I may never really know u personally but u bring positivity and I can see ur heart is in the right place with songs like Ghetto & Homeless. You are far from one dimensional and can be deep when ready – (deeper than the River Thames Ha Ha – sorry a little London humour – my bad).

    Loving ur attitude to life, God gave u a talent, so glad ur sharing it. U def make a girl go weak at the knees LOLXXX:)

  • http://www.twitter.com/kristiluvnc KristiLuvNC

    it’s obvious that J. Holiday is a great artist but just got caught in the mixup of label politics. I dare you to go buy his albums and listen for yourself. You will then realize his passion and dedication for R&B/soul.

    I will forever be down with J.Holiday…when all of the pop-r&b singers have had their day and nobody wants to listen to that crap anymore, J will still be here-doing what he does best-singing and performing.

  • http://xxlmag Dee

    I LOVE J. Holiday!!!! Both albums! People slept on Round 2. It was the bomb!!! Turn up the radio, is my joint!!!!!! Please come back, The INDUSTRY NEEDS YOU!!!!!!

  • Kim

    UGH Lord JESUS, the man is making a general reference of how two-faced people can be. Example: People Idolized Jesus Christ for the work that he did and for some time he had a huge following. Right. However, Powerful & influence leaders felt threaten by Jesus Christ, for he was against their agenda. These leaders of course manipulated and even forced people to abandon Jesus leading to his demise. Comparison: In the music industry, J. Holiday was the idolized by many in the when he came out. People loved his voice, his style, His lyrics. However, The almighty leaders of the music Industry found reason to shut him J. Holiday down leading people to abandon him as an artist. Clearly J. Holiday is a follower of Jesus himself, So, I’m sure Jesus understands where he’s coming from. Relax. I’m just glad to know that he’s even recognizes God in this dane age. SMH. Anyway More power to J. Holiday I really do miss his voice & musical Style. The Man definitely deserve more shine. PEACE