Interview: St. Paul, Minn Based Rap Artist Taylor J

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Taylor J is Minnesota's hottest new rapper on the scene, and he's just the right blend of mellow and turn-up. He dominates the sing-song rap style that has blown up the game the past couple of years - a hard sound with a hint of Jeremiah. His integration of RnB influence juxtaposed with rap and electronic production influence show us that Taylor K is an artist to watch out for. 

After reading our exclusive interview with Taylor J, be sure to follow him on Twitter and definitely go to his website to get some DOPE Scenious merch.

How did you get into music, and who is the 91 Family? Are they a collective you're a part of?

I’ve always been into music since I was born. I fell in love with it at an early age. But my older brother is the reason I started making music back in 2003. He’s an artist too. I always wanted to do whatever he was doing so I started by just impressing him then it turned into my own craft. The 91 Family is me and Lex. A brand we started. In the future we may add other artists and producers. 

How did you find your sound and how would you describe it? 

I found my sound just working and experiencing stuff over the years. Studying different artists and sounds. Eventually created my own naturally.  

So you're from Minnesota - you don't really hear about a big rap game out there. Do you think you'll be the first to really blow up and dominate the scene? It seems like you're already on that road. 

There’s a good number of people from Minnesota who are successful in music and who are dominating. Nobody has become like a major mainstream artist yet since Prince. But I’m working on being that artist. It’s happening right now. 

Earlier this year in June, you released your first album "Who Would've Thought", and are currently finishing up your second album, titled "Only Us." Can you tell us about that upcoming release and what that album is all about, along with a bit about your creative process?

"Only Us" came from the mindset me and my team grew to have during this journey. And events that happened along the way. We find ourselves saying “Only Us” when something outta the ordinary happens to us that would normally happen to somebody else. Kinda in a sarcastic way. But it also is the way we were forced to make it. Wit no help no extra shit or assistance, literally "Only Us". My creative proceeds is simple; I listen to beats till I catch a solid vibe and I just go. It’s a gift from God; can’t really explain it. I just go. 

Do you have any singles out from that album yet that readers can check out?

Not yet I'ma drop the first single soon tho. 

How did you and Lex Luger get connected?

Through my in-house producer KUSH2X. Lex had a show in Minneapolis and Kush told him he should work wit me. And he was wit it right away he said he been fuckin wit the music. Since then it’s been takeover. 

How do you decide on collaborations and producers, and do you ever produce your own tracks? You seem to have quite a range on your SC, and not everything sounds the same, which a lot of rappers and artists can fall into.

I just go for what sounds right. Not for what’s popular. What’s necessary. What compliments the overall sound. I'm producing now, just getting myself sharp before I step into the field wit it. That’s a whole different takeover that’s gon' happen when it’s ready.

And how do your find collaborators and a team for your music videos? We love the 5 Guys shoutout in your "Five Times" video. 

I rock wit the people I been rocking wit. Everything is in house. People I’ve grown with over the years. I don’t really search. 13Twentythree shot "Five Times". That’s my GoTo in the Twin Cities. 

Who are your biggest inspirations and how do you use them as your role models while creating your own innovative sound? 

I’m inspired by overall life. People and situations. Experiences. Natural inspiration that I can learn from. All the music and sounds that are out there, is just a tool box for me, for whatever I need. I learn and grown and get ideas and inspiration from everything around me. 

What's your dream collaboration with an emerging/indie artist that you're really digging right now?

Don’t really have one. Wish I could’ve worked with Prince and Micheal Jackson. Other than that, Andre 3000.

What's the number one thing you try to avoid as an artist?

Negative Energy.

Connect with Taylor J: Twitter | YouTube | Website