J. Doctorate is one third of Hip Hop group and rap label Ivy Local, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 2013 by J. Doctorate, Warren_Budget and Cause Caption, Ivy Local’s unorthodox approach to rapping and the rap industry has been a defining characteristic of the group. Never afraid of sideways glances or poor reviews, Ivy Local has crafted a sound and live show performance that is as unique as the industry has to offer.
J. Doctorate hails from Logan, Utah. After graduating law school and working diligently as an attorney on the east coast, J. Doctorate returned home to Salt Lake City to pursue his undying passion for rap. Known for his heavily freestyle based method of recording, the rapper’s originality and lyrical dexterity is readily apparent across "No Precedent", his debut mixtape released summer 2016. We connected with J. Doctorate to discuss his very DOPE and creative video "Impress You", the "No Precedent" mixtape, his musical influences, and much more. After reading our exclusive interview with J. Doctorate, stream/download the mixtape below and be prepared to be blown away.
We're big fans of your new visual "Impress You"; whose idea was it to fit the ladies with those big heads and was the track for it really a freestyle?
Really appreciate that. I guess it was a chain of events starting with Warren_Budget’s Low_Budget mixtape release party we threw earlier this year. Because it was a mask party, Budget and I ended up checking out Farina’s costume shop in SLC, saw the heads, and the idea was planted.
As for the track, it really is a freestyle. I had worked out the words for the chorus ahead of time only, and that’s it. Everything else - the verses, song structure, how to actually sing the chorus, etc. - was all freestyled in that one take. I rolled with it because I thought it kind of captured everything I wanted about that song. And what can I say, I love that it’s a true freestyle.
What emcees influenced you to pick up the pen and pad back in the day?
In the mid 90’s my obsession with rap started with Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise. That was definitely my track. I was totally captivated by the sound of it. So much so that super young me was compelled to write a remix called Coca Cola Paradise. I was so young and ridiculous that this was literally and earnestly an ode to how much I loved drinking Coca Cola. I was also a huge Ma$e fan in the 90’s, thought No Way Out was incredible, loved the 2Pac greatest hits album that my neighbor played constantly, and also was a big fan of Jay-Z’s Vol 2…Hard Knock Life, among others.
How does one go from law school and taking the bar exam in Philly to releasing a Hip-Hop mixtape while in Salt Lake City?
Man, it’s hard to really make a lot of sense of it all sometimes. It’s been a very strange and winding journey of figuring out what I should be doing here on this earth. I do know that I love making rap music with my best friends and I love living in Salt Lake City, being high up in the mountains, in a city and area on the rise for real.
Tell us about "No Precedent". What does this mixtape mean to you and what message are you conveying to the world with it?
No Precedent is my debut solo mixtape, released on June 13, 2016. It marks a very important turning point for myself as an artist to finally get this released. Over the past two years I had accumulated a ton of songs, and had been featured prominently on Warren Budget’s Low_Budget mixtape, but something was still missing. To capture this period, I needed to package some of my work together in a project, and No Precedent is the result. It feels so good to get it out there, and I fucking love it.
Although No Precedent wasn’t created or assembled with an intent to convey any particular message, I do think it serves to help convey my arrival, and the arrival of Ivy Local.
What is Ivy Local and who is involved with the label?
In the context of a live show performance, Ivy Local means the rap duo of myself and Warren_Budget. But Ivy Local is also the name of our rap label and movement. Founded in 2013 by J. Doctorate, Warren_Budget and Cause Caption, all of our individual and group projects are released under the Ivy Local label.
Being in control of the Ivy Local label and recording out of our apartment gives us the huge advantage of being able to create exactly what we want to make, when we want to make it, without any restrictions placed on us whatsoever. It’s a pretty amazing thing really to have that kind of freedom to make rap music. For better or worse, that’s how No Precedent ended up with tracks like Middle Name Was Birdie, Dollars Circulate (remix), and Booty Gimbal. We call all the shots and sometimes we might get a little reckless. But hey, that’s life.
What's next for you musically after "No Precedent" and what are your goals for the rest of 2016?
For Ivy Local, its all about pushing forward. I think our best format might be the live show and we are trying to play wherever possible. We recently were fortunate enough to open for Riff Raff as part of his Peach Panther Tour at the Complex in Salt Lake City. It was a beautiful night. There’s nothing we’d like more than to keep building on this momentum and play more and more shows, particularly outside of our beloved Utah. I also wouldn’t be surprised if an Ivy Local collaborative mixtape dropped sometime before 2016 is up.
What message do you have for those who haven't heard your music? Why should they go to Getrightmusic.com after reading this interview and download "No Precedent”?
If you want to hear some very original shit, check it out! If you want to hear a track called Booty Gimbal or Leaves Be So Green, check it out! But ultimately No Precedent is the kind of mixtape that is meant to be listened to from front to back, across its entire 43 minutes. No skits, no talking, just hip hop music. It’s an absolutely different type of hip hop mixtape. And I’m very proud of that.