Who is J-Hut? That’s a difficult question to answer. To some J-Hut is an independent rapper who runs an independent label, 5 Star Hustle. To others, he’s a family man who goes to hard to his circle of friends and family. After you speak with J-Hut you come to realize that he’s actually all those things, and some.
The Milwaukee born, Charlotte NC resident has been making music and money for the last 5 years now. Starting 5 Star Hustle as a way to help some of his friends get into the music business, he would later see that the labels best chance to get off the ground properly would be to put himself into the spotlight.
Since then, he’s released a slew of mixtapes that culminated in the release of his debut full length album, And Then There Was Me. Produced entirely by his in-house producer Drumlord Rocki, the album featured a smash hit waiting to be found called When The Money Calls. The song charted 5 weeks straight on the Top 100 Urban Mediabase charts this year, bringing Hut into a new circle of supporter who are as dedicated as him to taking care of the families business.
Yo! Raps had the chance to speak with J-Hut about how he got into Hip-Hop, his single When The Money Calls, his new management situation and the Carolina music scene.
Who is J-Hut as an artist? Describe your style.
I really can’t describe my style of music. I honestly enjoy making music that makes other feel as if that they can relate. I can say I enjoy making music for the ladies though as I strive to entertain them the most, but really I make music for people who have two ears, and open mind to hear something new.
So, how did you get into Hip-Hop?
I’ve always enjoyed the essence only Hip-Hop. I’m a fan of all music, but Hip-Hop captured me early. Me and the homies use to always freestyle and rap over classic Hip-Hop instrumentals so it’s something that kind of always been there.
Who are some of the artists that did inspire your style?
I wouldn’t say that any one artist or artists inspired my style. There are those who I did come up listening to who inspired me to rhyme. Cats like 2Pac, Biggie, Nas, KRS-One, Outkast, 8 Ball & MJG, Jay-Z, Juvenile, Scarface… they were what I would listen to when I was outside doing my thing. The list goes on and on to be honest. A lot of great artists I salutes for their contributions.
Talk about the single When The Money Calls. Did you expect that to be as big single as it got?
Not at all! I always knew that the When The Money Calls record was going to be a big one because it’s a safe commercial record that all human life can relate to. It was just a matter of time really. The reality of it was more people will like the record then those who dislike it but you can’t expect for everyone to love everything. You will have your haters and doubters but at the end of the day; music is music. The song took off like it did and I’m grateful, but I’m not stopping there. I’m going to continue to make the music that someone like myself would listen to and purchase. Not everybody has had a chance to hear the record yet, so me and my management team decided to re-release the record to radio and this time get the whole world singing, “I only answer when the money calls.”
…and you have an album out as well. Speak to us about the album and what should we expect when we pick it up?
And Then There Was Me is a self-made, independent album that was put together in conjunction with Drumlord Rocki of the Drumlordz. That’s my in-house producer. We have many tracks that many souls can relate to. There’s Gucci Shades, When The Money Calls, Out Her Clothes, Dreamers, What U Talkin Bout and many other bangers on the album. We released it this early this year and I’ve been pleased with how it’s moving in the streets and on iTunes.
You mentioned to me that you also have a new manager.
Yes, Senator Skid. I actually met the homie Skid threw a mutual friend both he and I have and the rest is history. The man was over there at Bad Boy under Puff for many years and of course inherited some of that knowledge of what it takes to build an artist into an iconic figure. I felt like it would be a great match-up so I went up to NYC with the team and we sat down with Skid and got to the business.
Why is J-Hut and 5 Star Hustle the next big thing in the music business?
J-Hut can only do what J-Hut does and that’s music and business. There are not many artists that strive to succeed in both music and business. It’s hard to somehow balance the 2, so if I’m looked at for being a huge movement within this industry for that, I'll it. I never said I was the best rapper or entertainer in the world but what I would say is that there’s no one I can think of that goes harder than what I do and that are willing to risk it all for the sake success. I am.
How impactful has the Internet been in your career so far?
Internet is very important now days with not only this music shit but everything. I appreciate all the blogs that have posted the videos and the music. I have nothing but respect for Yo! Raps… they’ve been a support system for me from the jump. It’s rare that somebody from the streets like myself can get bloggers to get with what I’m doing so when they do, I salute!
What can we expect from J-Hut in the future music wise?
We might be dropping a mixtape here and there for the people to rock to but for the most part we’re focusing on hitting the road. There are some promo tours on the agenda and talks of some appearances on some national tours
As an indie artist, what would you say are some of the biggest challenges facing indie artists today?
I would say the biggest challenge has been finding dedicated individuals to this game. It’s hard work but yet it’s a science to this shit. You gotta know what you’re doing and who you are dealing with otherwise you will be going in circles.
- By Mekha