JR Writer Interview: urban.mvremix.com The future for The Diplomats is certainly looking bright with J.R. Writer on board. The Harlem World emcee has been tearing down tracks for the past year and is now ready to step out on his own. With a new deal with Koch Records in place, the summer of 2005 should be sizzling, as J.R. drops his solo debut. All the Dipset fans know your history, but for those that do not, let's just go back and talk about your history and past. Were you born in Harlem and raised their your entire life? Yeah, born in Harlem Hospital and raised on a 131st and Lenox. 2005: Approach Amplafire Bushwick Bill (Geto Boys) Big Noyd Copperpot D. One Freestyle J.R. Writer K-Os Needlz One Be Lo PackFM Professor Ecks Session Seth Dublin Tonedeff Willie D (Geto Boys) 2004 listings 2003 listings 2002 listings 2001 listings 2000 listings 1999 listings 1998 listings What was J.R. like as a kid growing up in Harlem? I was just running around like a rebel. I was getting kicked out of school because I was fighting all the time. Of course, I started to rap as well. But from the ages of 13 to 16, I was locked up. I wasn't really out for most of my teenage years. But before that, I was just hustling. I was 11 and 12 hustling, robbing people, all types of crazy shit. I was a rebel, put it like that. When you were locked up, what did you learn from that situation? I learned that all the stuff I was doing wasn't worth it. So when I came home I just concentrated on getting this money. Because the stuff I was doing wasn't going to get me anywhere. So I focused on what I had to do and I eventually got where I wanted to be at. With all that you went through at a young age, what kept you strong over the years? To tell you the truth, I didn't really care man! When I was locked down, I just didn't care. But with my last bid, I finally focused and realized I had to get things right. I had my family worried, so I decided just to stick with this rap shit. And throughout my bids, I would just sit there on my own and write. I would write, write and write some more, to the point that I had whole garbage bags of rhymes. So when I came home, I was just like, 'This I what I want to do'. How did you first link up with Dipset? It was through somebody who knew somebody. I'm from Harlem, so there is a lot of battles and cypers going on in the streets. So I was on 125th and 8th one time, it was in the summer, people were rapping, so I got up and the crowd was going crazy. So I met this dude called Vonnie, and he had me going around battling and we started making tapes. We were doing DVD's, public access shows, mixtapes, everything. And after awhile he introduced me to this dude name Gooche, he started the Taliban. Shout out to the Taliban. And Gooche at the time was real tight with Cam. That was right around the time Cam signed with The Roc. One-day Cam pulled up, he was with Juelz, and they just left from The Diplomats Vol. 1 mixtape video shoot. And he pulled up to the corner; there was a bunch of people outside, and my man Brazy called me over to the car. He was like, 'Come spit for Cam one time'. So I went over there, blew it down, and Cam was like, 'Your hot, but I ain't situated right now. So I'm gonna take your number and call you when I'm situated'. So a couple weeks later, they called me and I'm down at Baseline working with Juelz on his album. Me and Juelz linked up, we clicked, and I got on his album From Me To You, on the song "Squalie". After that, its just been love. So you came in when the group was already established. Was that transition hard at first, trying to fit in while at the same time establish yourself? They weren't establish when I came to the group. Cam was the only one signed to The Roc, Juelz and Jimmy weren't signed yet. But when I started working with them, Juelz was just in the process of getting signed, so there was no problems. I knew my time was going to come, I just knew I had to wait and chill out for a second. So the streets have spoken, and you are officially one of the hottest cats out right now. How does it feel? It feels good man! It feels good to be acknowledged and appreciated! But just to let y'all know, I got fire man. My album is going to be crazy! I'm going to have the game in a frenzy. In your opinion, what is it that you possess that makes you one of the hottest up and coming emcees right now? I got that hunger! A lot of rappers don't have that hunger. I have the fire and hunger, when you mix those two it just sounds great. Yeah, I heard you kill it last night on Hot 97 with that freestyle! That was crazy! Yeah! I just broke my record, last year I did six minutes, but last night I did nine minutes. I just tore it down like I usually do. Was that off the dome? Because it sounded like it was written, but also off the dome. Yeah, it was a little mixed. So I heard you just inked a deal with Koch Records, tell us about it. Me and Cam sat down with a few people, because we were in a bidding war. We were in mad meetings with Warner Bros, Sony, and a bunch of labels. But basically, they were just talking. They wanted to sign me, but there was no paper work being exchanged, it was just talk. So we kept it moving, and Koch stepped up. I had a meeting with the CEO, Head of Marketing, A&R, everybody, and they were all feeling me. My dude Alan, who owns the label, told me, 'I got your whole mixtape in my I-Pod right now, I want to do this'. So I said lets do it, they got the paper work situated and we inked the deal, me and Hell Rell. With Koch that is a good situation because you are making a lot more money off of each album than you would with a major label, right? Oh, for sure. We get $7 an album. Do you have a date or time period for when the album is going to drop? June or July, its going to be a sizzling summer. What is the title going to be? Right now, I don't have a title. I was going to name it Writers Block, but that was my mixtape name and I don't really want to make it the same. But I'll have a title in a couple of weeks. Who is producing on it? We got Develop, he did the intro for Diplomatic Immunity 2. We also got Country, Heatmakerz, Skitzo and a couple of others. What about guest appearances? Are you just keeping it in the Dipset family? Yeah, right now I'm keeping it in the family. I am going to sit down and listen to the whole album and if I need to I may get a singer or something. But I really want this album to be all me. The next album we can get a bunch of features. What type of songs, issues and concepts are you going to be addressing on your album? I'm going to be talking about my struggles and what I have been through. I am going to give y'all a 1995/96 album where you can sit down and listen to the whole album and don't have to skip through tracks.