2J The Richest is a young Atlanta rapper signed to Quality Control Music Group.
The 15-year-old has respect for Hip Hop veterans, but he draws inspiration from artists like Lil Yachty and the Migos, who he has the honor of being around all the time. He collaborated with Yachty in the song “Kryptonite” below.
2J’s plan is to perfect his craft and fill the void for “clean rap” that is appealling to all ages. ” I want to bring that back and create music for all ages. I want kids to play my music in front of their parents and not have to look for a clean version because it’s already clean. It doesn’t get much cleaner than me.”
Check out the full interview below:
Where’d you get your name 2J The Richest from?
My real name is Joshua Johnson so people always used to call me JJ.
That’s cool. How old are you? You look so young.
Aww. And how long have you been rapping?
For about a year.
What inspired you to rap?
I went to a Lil Yachty concert and got invited on stage and the crowd just got to me. I wanted to rap after that.
And now you have a song with him. How did that come about?
My dad is the plug.
What does your dad do?
He works with Quality Control, on that side of things. You know, a little plug in, plug out. And we just got it done to be honest.
It’s always beautiful when you have your parents pushing you towards your goals and supporting you.
That’s why I really think I’m going to win because I have two parents supporting me.
That’s definitely a major key. Your song with Lil Yachty is called Kryptonite and you’re basically calling your love interest your kryptonite. Can you relate to that in real life? Do you have a girlfriend you would consider to be your weakness?
Nah, I do not have a girlfriend right now. I talk to people. But if I did have a girlfriend, she would be my kryptonite.
Are you still in school full-time?
How is is balancing school and your career?
It’s tough. It’s time consuming because I can only go to the studio on weekends because I don’t like to go there for only a couple hours then leave. But I’m doing it. It’s working. We’re starting to work more. We got to see how it balances out. It’s going to be tough but you gotta do what you gotta do.
You got plans on going to college?
Yeah for sure. I got to go to college. My parents push it a lot. I look forward to it to be honest. A lot people say college is where the greatest memories are and I want to get that experience.
So how is it over at Quality Control considering that they’re getting praised for being the modern day Cash Money Records?
Being over there is big. Just being around them and being able to travel with them and be so casual with them is cool. I can go to school and say I’m with Quality Control and it’s a big deal. But I don’t see it that way because I’m with them all the time. But we’re building more, and working more. There’s a lot of good things on the way.
Like what? Tell me.
A concert. Publicity. Music is getting better. We’re improving. So we’re just working and trying to perfect our craft. By the time we put it out there it’s going to be big.
That’s what’s up. Who are some artists that you draw inspiration from?
Besides Lil Yachty, who really put me out there, I used to listen to a lot of Playboi Carti. Migos. Plus I’m always around the Migos and they really gave me the music inspiration like their cadences and stuff.
Some new rappers receive backlash because people don’t respect them as “real rappers” because they excessively use auto tune and were discovered on Soundcloud. Do you think it’s important to study the history of Hip Hop before getting into making music?
For sure. When doing something you got to know what you’re doing. You got to know how to put it out there. For New York, they started it. So you really have to give them their respect and watch and study the game. Even if you’re producing something new. You still have to watch and study.
That’s so refreshing to hear you say that because I don’t think many young artists agree. They be quick to diss legends like Tupac and Biggie.
They knew what they were doing. They created the wave. We would’ve have gotten our wave without them being there and doing what they’re doing.
Definitely! I want to build on the point you raised about New York rap. I’m a New York native and I’ve only visited Atlanta once, but it seems to be more unified over there.
Their willing but at the same time you have to know your boundaries. You can’t overstep. But they definitely flexible to a certain extent.
What do you mean?
You know how hard it is to get someone like the Migos to listen to your music? They’re real flexible with that.
Can your fans expect you to make any genre-fluid songs or experiment with other genres besides rap?
I’ve definitely been experimenting. But why not? We might give it a try and see what’s in store.
Do you have a full project out?
Yeah I do.
What’s the name?
It’s called Voncola X.
How was it making that?
It’s definitely complicated. It was more like fun. I was having fun with it and experimenting. Trying new voices and cadences. That’s why half the songs are me trying to rap rap and the other half I’m just making good music. So I think we’re experimenting a lot on that tape.
Building on that point, would you agree consumers only care about good music now instead of the lyrics?
For people who like a good beat, I don’t think they’re listening to the lyrics to catch a vibe with it at the moment. At a party, you don’t want to listen to the lyrics. But you can’t take credit away from the lyricists. It’s hard creating a song where you rapping real stuff and you got to form everything together. But those people need their credit. They do what they do. Like J. Cole and Kendrick. But we also need the Young Thugs. Everybody likes different sounds. Kendrick’s “Humble” gives you lyrics and a hard beat. It’s like half and half, but sometimes it blends together and creates a different wave.
You mentioned you’re working on shows and new music for your projects. Which direction do you want to lean towards for the music?
For my new projects, I’ll try to be lyrical, because I like rapping about real stuff.
What you went through at 15 years old? Laughs.
I never went through the troubles of other people. I’ve been in private school my whole life.
That’s still an experience worth telling.
I want to bring that clean positive rap. I feel like we need somebody to do it.
Like a De La Soul, Will Smith, Fresh Prince kinda vibe going on.
Exactly. I want to bring that back and create music for all ages. I want kids to play my music in front of their parents and not have to look for a clean version because it’s already clean. It doesn’t get much cleaner than me.
Do you have any release dates for these projects or you’re still in progress?
Um, I’m still in progress. I’m playing around with some stuff but there’s definitely a lot of more heat on the way.