After 4 failed record deals, time spent behind bars for drug distribution, baby mama drama and dealing with his inner demons, John Paul aka JP, hailing from Broward County Florida, is set to make his mark in the Hip-Hop game. Formerly of the group Official and now a partner in Crisp Money Entertainment, to which he signed himself, JP tells Yo! Raps why being a good father is important to him and how his life is not like Eminem’s despite him being Caucasian.
John Paul is all about writing bars and coming up in the music industry. He has even gone through racism in the Hip-Hop community, due to individuals who believe that you can’t be white and successful in the Rap game without a big name co-sign. John thinks differently! His motto is: “Come in with a spark and leaves it with a mark.”
Yo! Raps got the chance to catch up with Florida’s Hip-Hop great white hope and this is his story!
Thanks for taking the time out to chop it up with us. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers and anyone who may not know you.
My name is John Paul, my homies call me JP. I’m a hip hop artist out of Broward County, Florida. I’ve been doing music off and on for 10 years and originally went by the name JDoT. I’ve been signed 4 times in the last 5 years and finally after almost throwing in the towel I partnered up with a childhood friend and incorporated Crisp Money Entertainment and signed myself to myself.
You started in 2002 with the group Official, unfortunately you all eventually parted ways, how was it being a part of a group?
Being in a group was fun and easy. We each only had to write 16 bars per song and we always fed off each others energy. I also learned ways to grow creatively from members in my group.
How would you describe your sound and style as an independent artist for those that are unfamiliar?
I definitely sound like no other artist in Hip-Hop at this time. My biggest influences are 2Pac, Eminem, 50 Cent, T.I., Young Jeezy, Young Buck, Kanye West, Jay-Z… the list goes on and as of recently I’ve become a big fan of 2Chainz.
You've had quite a few ups and downs in this industry, many would have thrown in the towel by now, what motivates you to keep going?
I'd really have to say I'm self motivated at this point. Besides the small circle which is our team and Crisp Money family, I’ve always had the odds against me. Even now going into a radio campaign we are hitting road blocks based on race and genre of music. It’s like a white boy from the middle class isn't able to produce dope urban records and be taken seriously and get airplay without some big name feature co-signing him from the hood. I'm okay with being the underdog! I know nothing good is easy and nothing easy is good. I won’t throw in the towel because that’s the easy thing to do. That's what everybody does and that's what separates me from them.
A lot of what you've been through in your personal life is similar to what Eminem experienced, how do you think that affects your music?
Besides being white and having baby mama issues, my personal life is not like Eminem. I sold dope all my life and went in and out of jail consistently. Yeah, I battle with addiction and race when it comes to Hip-Hop but I have grown from those experiences which has made my music stronger. I feel like once anyone takes a chance and gets to know me and listen to the lyrics of my music, then anyone can see my life and Em's are completely different. Eminem's life and music only influence and inspire my outlooks and opinions. The way that affects my music is that I won’t take shit from anyone.
Can we expect to hear about the things you've been through being portrayed in your lyrics?
Absolutely! My life and your life inspire me to write high and low points through my creative thought process when making music. My new listeners and fans will be able to relate to my music.
Success has been a long time coming but you seem to be closer now than ever before as a solo artist, what do you think sets you apart from other emerging artist?
My background, my label, my network, no fear, my producers, and work ethic will by separate me from other emerging artists. Plus the fact that I’m open minded to try new things. I’m not afraid to go Pop. Not a lot of rappers are willing to go thru what I am or already have.
Many artists are establishing brands around their music from clothing to shoes, have you put any thought into possibly adding other components to your brand?
Fuck yeah! Every song has a concept and or slogan that can be branded. However, I'm focusing on one thing at a time and that's to find a radio record that will catapult us to be given that opportunity to take advantage of all avenues.
Is there anyone in particular that you'd like to collaborate with now and why?
Not really! Right now I am focused on my development as an artist and my music. In the future I may be looking to collaborate.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
By far my biggest accomplishment in life and in music is being a good father! To always be there when I need to be. Taking my life experiences to be a better example as a father.
What's your ultimate goal in the entertainment industry?
To come in with a spark and leave it with a mark [laughs].
How does it feel to be working with hit producer Gold Ru$h again?
Amazing! He's by far the most talented hands on producer I have ever worked with.
Has there been a release date set for your debut album?
Not at this time, but when there is I'll be sure to let everyone know!
Let our readers know how they can keep up with you online.
You can find me on my official website at www.officialjohnpaul.com.