J. McCoy started his career early with TV commercials at only four years old. He then landed a lead role in the Tupac Shakur featuring Nas music video for Thugz Mansion which he credits as inspiring him to follow his dreams as a rapper.
Recently signed by veteran record executive Vincent Herbert to Streamline / Interscope Records, this young gunner is currently in the studio working on his debut album tentatively entitled The Freshman. Nikhil Sharma caught up with him to find out more.
How long have you been involved with Hip-Hop?
J. McCoy: I’ve been involved with hip hop all my life! My earliest memories is when I was about 5 years old.
I’ve heard that you have recorded with E-40 and UGK among others how has it felt being able to record with these artists?
J. McCoy: It was such a great experience just to be able to even get anywhere close to these hip hop veterans. My late great Uncle Chad aka Pimp C. inspired me to go hard even at such a young age. I learned a lot from working with them. Look for a new joint with me and the Bay Area Ambassador E-40!
How did it feel to be chosen to be the representative for the Tupac Shakur Leadership Arts Campaign and what did it entail?
J. McCoy: I felt very blessed that the Tupac Shakur foundation choose me to be a representative and share some of my experience I had doing the Tupac ft. Nas “Thugz Mansion Video”, it has been a great and humbling experience for me to say the least.
What are your views on the future of the Hip-Hop Industry at the moment?
J. McCoy: Well right now the hip hop industry is at constant change so I’m sure that it will keep changing as the years come along and I know that I’m going to have a influence on the game. I feel I’m one of the only young dudes that have come along with the whole package, prolific bars, mad swag and stage presence, no gimmick. HipHop is my life! I represent the culture to the fullest.
Tell me about your feature film, “Caught On Tape”.
J. McCoy: I played Vivica Foxx’s son and Sticky Fingaz step son “Tommy” in the film. I can’t give the whole premise away but, my aunt buys me a video tape recorder and that’s who things get caught on tape.
How would you describe your sound?
J. McCoy: I would have to say my sound varies based on which producer I’m working with, but what you are guaranteed is that I go hard on every song, spittin’ dat fire. Real soulful hiphop, my sound is basically universal cause it will bang hard anywhere in the world.
A lot of artists have said that Hip-Hop is dead or too commercial these days. What are your views on the current Hip-Hop scene?
J. McCoy: I most definitely wouldn't say hip hop is dead but I would say it is suffering because not too many artists are really focusing on the lyricism. Obviously the simple dance songs that are catchy dominate the radio stations. I ain’t mad at them tho, cause everybody got them own expression of Hip Hop, I let them do them and I’ma go hard droppin’ dat real spit, my goal is to be considered one of the greatest one day.
Are there any artists you would like to work with (underground or mainstream)?
J. McCoy: Man I have full list , but Kanye West, Ludacris and Drake off top are the ones I would say are on my immediate list.
Where are you from and does that influence your music and sound?
J. McCoy: I was born in Fresno, California and grew up in City called Hanford, California and Beverly Hills, California. My music and sound hasn’t been influenced by these cities because I’ve been blessed to work with many talented producers from all over the country. I hear such a variety of production I get this special feeling in my bones and just start spittin’ over most of the joints that become my songs.
What does the future hold for the Young Teen Prince of Hip-Hop?
J. McCoy: Well that’s an easy one to answer. I’m performing all summer in concerts, I’ll hopefully be working on my next movie in September this year. My Freshman album we are working on releasing also in Sept. / Oct. We plan for our major label release to happen in the first quarter of 2010. I look forward to touring overseas soon as possible. I want to see the world doing what I love and what people love to see and hear me do.