RESPECT. had the pleasure of sitting down with the 2012 BET Sprite Hot 16 contest winner “Jus” and for those of you that do not know the contest was judged by Platinum Recording Producer DJ Khaled & Rostrum Records A&R Earl Johnson. During the brief interview, we were able to discuss topics such as what are his expectations for his upcoming single release “Ridin” slated to be released on January 2, 2017. In addition, Jus is looking to reinvent his career and has expectations of being signed to a major label by the beginning of 2018. Furthermore, he discusses his experience hosting BET Experience Show at L.A. LIVE in 2013.
The inspiration from “Ridin'” stems from my personal relationship as well as what I see in other people’s relationships. Women being mistreated in different ways. In a relationship, you need trust and loyalty. My lady has dealt with being mistreated by an X in her past. So every day I make sure to be the man that she needs in her life. Proving to be trustworthy, loyal, and a protector of her wellbeing and heart. I hope to inspire all the lovers out there to step up for one another. My new single and music video “Ridin'” drops January 2nd.
RESPECT.: What are your expectations for the single at this point?
I really expect my single “Ridin'” to draw attention to the way we display women. How we treat women. The single is going to do very well. It’s not like anything in hip-hop right now. It’s what hip-hop needs right now. It’s a contribution to the game.
RESPECT.: Describe what it was like winning the BET Sprite Hot 16 contest in front of DJ Khaled and Rostrum Records A&R Earl Johnson in 2012?
Winning the 2012 BET Hot 16 contest was a dream come true. It was a huge deal at the time as well because I’m from San Diego, CA and it wasn’t too much happening for Hip-Hop in my city. I didn’t even think my video would be seen. When DJ Khaled, someone who I admire and study, picked me to be a finalist I just thanked God and told everybody and they’re MOMMA to vote for me. I would spend days just calling, texting messaging, and emailing, people. When got the call BET saying that I won with over 10,000 votes, I was floored and thankful. It was all a blessing. I cherish that moment. I cherish the day I performed in the BET Cypher. After it aired, I received a lot of love from the likes of Vibe Magazine tweeting about me and Doug E. Fresh I was starstruck meeting Doug E. Fresh. I actually stood out to HIM. That says something.
RESPECT.: You hosted the BET Experience Show at L.A. LIVE in 2013 and you had the chance to interview stars such as Dr. Dre, Chris Brown, Tyga, Schoolboy Q, Brandy, Mario, Ray-J to name a few. What was that experience like for you?
It was a lot of fun. There was so much to see. I also learned that you can’t listen to the media when it comes to these celebs. A lot of them are super cool. I really got along with Marques Houston, Keke Palmer, Boris Kodjoe, some of the Basketball Wives to name a few. We were all just kickin it. Laughing and talking. I really enjoyed that. Also, Brandy Norwood said I was cute. There’s an ego boost for you… hahaha. Just sayin’…
RESPECT.: In 2017 you are looking to reinvent yourself under “Jus” can you tell us why you decided to change your name?
I decided to become a musician when I was 14. That’s when I started taking music seriously. Learning to write songs, recording. I’ve been performing since I was 5 years old, but at that time it was just to have fun with my big brother and my father. I fell in love with hip-hop around 8 years old. My favorite artist was Tupac. Of course at that age, I didn’t understand everything. I just liked his sound and how fearless he was. That pulled me in.
By 2018 I will be signed to a major label, preferably We The Best/Epic, or Epic Records. I will be 3 albums in, and 2 Grammys deep, all while working on my fourth album and preparing the release of the first single from it.
RESPECT.: Do you have any initial thoughts on the Chargers possibly relocating to LA?
I hope it happens. I’m not a Chargers fan. I’m a Rams fan. It would be dope for San Diego to have a basketball team, though. That is if they do leave. January 15th is the decision day.
RESPECT.: Who are some of the musicians you would like to work with at this time?
I would LOOOOVE to work with Kehlani. She is VERY talented. My favorite song right now is “Distraction”
Of course, I want to work with Drake. Who wouldn’t?
Kent Jones because he’s SUPER unique and diverse with his awesome talents and styles. His verse on DJ Khaled’s album “Major Key” instantly made me a fan.
Diddy because anything with Diddy is a SMASH HIT. I’M SUPER inspired by Diddy. Another person I watch and study.
DJ Khaled because of how positive he is. His diligence. He IS hip-hop and he cares about the music from beginning to end. I just finished reading his book “The Keys”. He is an awesome human being and an inspiration to focus, ambition, and drive.