JU THE UNKNOWN
So I first meet Ju The UnKnown in Kc Missouri April 28 2011 through the affiliation of my V.P Msfefe ( N.A.B.), I was in KC for the week to promote The Elegant Hoodness Musical Program’s Grand Opening at Balancas Pyro Room. Ju accompanied N.A.B. as our personal paparazzi to 90.1 Fm while we kicked it with Radio Personality “Kool Wayne” who also is an advocate for the unsigned community in KC. And we were able to chop it up a bit and discuss his role in his community as a Hip Hop advocate and Entrepreneur. We talk about KC artists embracing the Hip hop Essence and the importance of embracing the internet. So in keeping with the reputation of N.A.B. we introduce to you “Ju The UnKnown”.
N.A.B.: Ju the unknown? Where did the name come about?
JU: I came up with my name because I was trying to make it in the game as a producer for years. I have numerous production credits under my belt, but know one really knew of me.
N.A.B.: So you are a native of “The show me state” known as #kcmo. Tell me how growing up in KC has influenced you as producer and you the entrepreneur?
JU: Being from the middle of the map it has been a long journey trying to get on in the game. Kanye will even tell you, "He had to move to NYC to get on". I am a go getter and music is my 1st love, but I also think outside the box when it comes to taking on a new business venture. I have owned everything from a production company, plumbing company & most recently, my performing arts center, media co. & website www.undergroundsoundspin.com . The West cost has influenced KC music for years, all the way back to NWA' "cruizn down the street in my 64". Me personally being a true musician I have always listened to all types off music such as clapton, prince, marley etc. Even tho I listen to everything Rap is my 1st love. I'm from the generation who started this thing!
N.A.B.: Do u remember the 1st beat you created? Was it hot or lame?
JU: I sure do! It was my senior year in high school. That's when I really told myself that I wanted to try to do this. I made a track for my guy named Sir..(Back then) now he is known as Xtacy. He used it for our high school talent show. I used my cousins esonic (I think that's the name) keyboard. I took that track & 2 more tracks down to Jackson State University so I can demo my skills and link up with peeps down there that fall.
N.A.B.: I see you have been running your own label independently for a while now. why create your own label and not just continue to produce artists?
JU: Well I'm not doing the label thing anymore. I found out that it takes REAL money to be successful in marketing an underground artist. To answer your question, I started my label by running into several TALENTED artists that I was freelance producing for. It was 2 in particular that made we want to help get them out here & noticed. My guy till this day "J-Beezly" & the homie "lil Reg" (RIP)
N.A.B.: How does music from KC differ from NYC?
JU: Well NYC is always going to be the Mecca for Rap/Hip Hop. Anyone who say’s different ain’t being real with themselves or the game. KC flavor has always been cousins with the bay area type flavor music. The bay area gets heavy play here so naturally we gravitate to that west coast mob style. I have seen a change in the later years with the explosion of southern hip hop. KC style is now like a fusion of west coast & the south. We do still have our back packers here but they are the minority. The one thing I have to say about the east cost, the beats are now more mass appeal friendly. The production was the major factor when it came down to comparing the sounds, but since the launching of the neptunes they kind of opened up the east coast flavor.
N.A.B.: Who are KC’s top 5 unsigned?
JU: That's a hard one, lol...let me know if u talking in my town or in the country...
N.A.B.: Tell me more about undergroundspin.com <http://undergroundspin.com> and its services and how an artists can get involved
JU: The www.undergroundsoundspin.com idea came from me 1st always trying to think of a way for me to work for myself & secondly doing something that I love. I was just riding in my car one day and it just popped in my head "how hard would it be to start an iTunes for the underground" with a twist of the source/wshp. So I researched it, proposed it to my childhood friends for investment support and they bought into it. But like most things it was some drama with one of my boys. The site was originally called hoodspin.com but since we parted from the original group of people myself and new partnership decided to change the name to what's now known as www.undergroundsoundspin.com. It was just the natural venture to do for me, specially the way that the music industry is highly dictated by the internet.
N.A.B.: You have recently started shooting loads of music video and trailers of the hottest events in kc. which do u love more, producing or directing and editing?
JU: Yessszziiirr! JuJu Media spawned from my website. We live in a very visual seduced society, so u must have video in order to help market your brand. The videos came about by the lack of $$$. Instead of paying for advertisement I decided that it would be smart to go around to all the events and do FREE video interviews and have everybody shout out the site. It was a win, win . The artist got free shine and our brand got free commercials so to speak. It’s been a success, we have generated a light buzz, but we are not done by any means. On top of that we have launched out digital film division that specializes in music videos. It’s starting to take off also, production or film? Well It’s the matter of where I'm at in my life (father, husband, 36). Music is my love but being creative is how my brain is wired, I can draw, music & now I proven myself to be able to produce/direct some pretty cool videos. So as long as I'm feeding creative appetite then I'm cool! The one thing that I have accepted is that the music game is a young mans game, so I am really putting my energy into film/website and behind the scenes thing.
N.A.B.: What do u think the unsigned artists in KC need to do to stand out from all the others?
JU: KC artists need to embrace the music heritage that the KC music scene has embedded in its DNA. We are from the city that at least 5 historical artist from James Brown to Michael Jackson has song about. KC artists need to up there game and get on there cyber hustle and utilize the internet. Get out of that "selling out the back of the trunk" mentality and get into the digital media scene. Yeah we are not in LA or NYC but with the power of the internet we can go there with the click of a button!
N.A.B.: Where can folk interested in your production and site hit you?
JU: Follow me @jutheunknown, facebook I'm Ju Rou, or you can txt me or call me direct 816 382 1765 I aint hard to find, ya boy "Ju The Unknown"
Written by: A.D. The General Courtesy of The Elegant Hoodness Musical Program 2011