Former Air Force Aircraft Mechanic J.R. Bricks is flying high above his competition. Coming from a strong military background has allowed Bricks to become accustomed to many cultures and ways of life from around the world, which has been an experience that has helped to carve out his own niche in the market.
His image, charisma and polished lyrical flow could garner Bricks with more global acceptance than the average rapper. The hard work and talent of this musical, business savvy MC hasn’t gone unnoticed as he’s caused some serious fire on the independent circuit with the release of his newest mixtape Call Of Duty and the lead single On the Come Up, featuring Tyler Woods.
J.R. Bricks has been acknowledged by his peers as an emerging artist to watch. Senior A&R of Universal /Motown Records, Octavis Crouch states that, “J.R. Bricks is truly an original and compelling new voice on the Hip-Hop landscape.”
You’re a former Air Force Aircraft Mechanic, how and why did you make the transition to become a rapper and CEO of League of Champions Music Group?
It was always my passion to make music. When I graduated from high school, I thought I was just going to get signed by a major label when I mailed them my demo. Well, to my surprise at 19, it didn’t work out like that. So I went to college. I was still doing music but wasn’t getting anywhere plus I didn’t have any money to fund it. So I decided to go in to the military and fund my music career that way. Once I was financially stable, I left the Air Force and pursued my dream.
You come from a military background as both your parents were in the Army, so you’ve traveled around the world. What was that experience like of living in different countries and have you incorporated these experiences into your music?
Well, at a very young age I had to learn to adapt to my surroundings and that’s one of the biggest things that makes me a "dangerous" artist. I will be able to adjust to the change of music as the years go by. The style of clothes I rock to the way I act all stems from my exposure to other walks of life that I was exposed to internationally.
Last December you released your new mixtape Call Of Duty, which has had rave reviews and features in XXL and The Source. Can you tell us about the mixtape?
The mixtape represents hope, for everybody who's chasing after their dreams and or the people who doubt them. The mixtape demonstrates that you can accomplish your goal if you put God first and put your mind to it. This project symbolizes progress. From the first track you will get emotionally involved with my music. You can hear the passion and hunger in every melody, 808, and lyric. The Call Of Duty project is two years in the making and it's a great body of work.
The lead single On The Come Up features R&B artist Tyler Woods. Have you collaborated with more artists on the project and in general?
I collaborated with Bronx Hip-Hop titan Fred The Godson. He kills my second single Throw It Up. Shout out to Fred The Godson! Laws (J.U.S.T.I.C.E League’s artist) got on the Throw It Up remix, which will be available on iTunes around in late February.
Where can people go and get a copy of the mixtape?
They can download copy of Call Of Duty off my blog site at www.jrbricks.com and www.datpiff.com, where you can download my previous projects as well.
You started to cause waves when you put mixtapes out with DJ Smallz and DJ Doo Wop, can you tell us how it all started for you?
It all started when MySpace was really popular and I was messaging every big DJ in the industry and I got two outcomes every time I reached out to one of them. Either I received no response or they charged an insane amount for hosting. Then out of nowhere DJ Smallz replied with a reasonable price and we put together my first project Last Of A Dying Breed through his company Fear Factor Music Group.
Then I released my second mixtape entitled My Name Is Earl, which I recorded right after I left the military and touched down in GA. I bought my own studio equipment and went in. Since the project had such a throwback Hip-Hop feel, it was only right that I had the legendary New York DJ Doo Wop host it.
You’ve created a buzz throughout the South by opening up for various artists such as Too $hort, Lil Boosie and K-Ci & JoJo. What has been your most memorable experience so far and what have you learned from doing the shows?
Wow! The most memorable experience I had was when I opened up for K-Ci and JoJo. When I finished my performance I chilled backstage and watched K-Ci and JoJo perform. In the middle of their performance, K-Ci passed out on stage and just laid there. There was a moment of silence and everybody looked at each other like, “Is he okay?” Then suddenly he breaks out singing again. It was hilarious!
Senior A&R at Universal/Motown Records, Octavius Crouch has said that you are truly original and you are the compelling new voice on the Hip-Hop landscape. What do you think makes J.R. Bricks stand out from other rappers that are out there at the moment?
Shout out to Octavius! Firstly, my delivery and diversity makes me stand out. I was born in Florida but most of my life has been overseas; so if anything I rep Germany. I have interacted with a lot of cultures and learned their customs and courtesies. I will be more globally accepted than the average Rap artist. Secondly, I’m a perfect blend of image and music. I got the "50 Cent body" for the ladies and dope music for all types of listeners from Hip-Hop heads to bandwagon fans. Thirdly, I am always willing to learn and grow as an artist.
Are there any artists or producers out there that you would like to work with?
I want to work with Ryan Leslie, Pharrell, Kanye West as far as production goes. In terms of artists, I definitely want to work with J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean. Those guys are dope!
I mentioned that you are also the CEO of League of Champions Music Group, can you tell us about the label are there any other acts signed to it?
Right now, we have two in-house producers, King Turo and M-Print. M-Print is also a rapper and we intend on releasing projects by him as well.
What are your plans for 2011?
In 2011, you can expect more mixtapes, singles, and videos. 2010 was The Come Up and 2011 is The Transition.
What was the last album that you bought? Why?
The last album I purchased was Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I bought it because I got to study my competition. Oh yea, and I knew he would deliver another classic.
Can you tell us your website addresses so our readers can connect with you?
Check me on my blog site at www.jrbricks.com and more importantly, I need you all to follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jrbricks. I would like to say thanks to Yo! Raps for giving me this opportunity!
- By Jai Boo
"Next 2 Blow" Potential:
Five Mics: New Superstar
Four Mics: Established Artist
Three Mics: Regionally Known
Two Mics: Hometown Hero
One Mic: No Chance