Emerging from the cold and gang infested streets of the West Side of Chicago, a visionary and entrepreneur by the name of Jermaine Montgomery – a creative who would later be known as the unsung Gangster Rapper and Pioneer J.D. Walker.
J.D. Walker currently has countless projects under his belt and is keen to get them out to the public at large asap. In the 2000’s, J.D Walker has continued to reinvent himself in the Entertainment Industry. He’s evolving into the Entrepreneur and Pioneer he has always wanted to be since the very beginning.
Following the release of his single Doo Duh Fool, and prior to the launch of his new book, we caught an-depth interview with Walker to find out more about his journey in music to date, his aspirations and hopes for the future, and his thoughts on contemporary hip hop and the live scene in Chicago right now. Here’s the conversation in full.
Hi J.D – thanks for the interview. Doo Duh Fool is out now and hits hard, you bring together electronic rock and heavy hip hop in a bold way. What inspired this approach to creativity for you?
Produced by Big Spen. I’m always looking for a different sound to write to.
How did the music for the track come to be?
One day one of my producers was just playing around with different tracks he was working on. And when I heard this track, I felt the energy from that electric sound in the track along with the Lil John A’s so I decided to write something to it. Doo Duh Fool.
With all the energy from this track, I’m constantly thinking outside the box, it reminded me of a 3-6Mafia song called Tear Da Club Up. So I decided to add a different twist to it by writing a song for the hardcore street thugs who don’t come to the club to dance. I thought it would be unique to do since I’ve never heard anyone make a dance song for people who don’t dance but still come to the club to enjoy themselves.
What can you tell us about the song – what does it mean to you, and which bar from the track do you think speaks the loudest?
Personally, I feel the song gives people a chance to get to know the way I think mentally. I like to mix my real emotions with my humorous side but in a way where it don’t come off lame.
B. It’s a few bars in the second verse that really come off hard and shows my humorous side. “Hit Tops and Bottoms (A famous clothing store on the Westside of Chicago) so I can get my P-Diddy on, On so fresh and so clean, the new Black Alcapone. Call me Makadocious Corleone! Ask me if I get my groove on. I tellem, very often! I’m subject to squeeze the Charmin(Guns), you fuck wit me I’m bombin (shooting), got something to keep you coming(money), you’ll never know it’s coming, cause we got nothing in common.”
How long have you been making music?
For many many moons. At least 30.
You’re known as the Godfather of the Chicago Underground Gangster Rap scene – how did you achieve that title?
Been doing music so long and struggling so hard that all the artists who came up after me, started referring to me that way so I just embraced it.
B. It has alot to do with me being one of the first Underground rappers from my city to get regional radio exposure.
What’s the scene like right now, and in what ways has it changed or evolved over the years?
The scene has evolved in the way it was naturally positioned to go. I look at it like this. The generation before me, came up at the right time to create the atmosphere for Hip-Hop. My generation, kicked down the doors to gain and demand the respect and recognition for Hip-Hop. The generation after me, began to take Hip-Hop from the Underground to the masses.(Mainstream)
And the generation after them, along with the social media era, began to master the art of Hip-Hop to the point where yesterdays Underground Gangster Rap is today’s pop music. A Beautiful thang!
You have to be a true Hip-Hop “engineer”/trendsetter to understand that natural advancement process of Hip-Hop.
What are your thoughts on mainstream hip hop at the moment?
I’m loving the state of Hip-Hop today!
These shorties nowadays is truly reaping the benefits of a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears that generations before them laid down and sacrificed. They’re more independent than ever and they’re getting paid to do it. They could be whoever they wanna be and still make it in this business as long as they keep making good music. Power to the people! The artists has the power in their hands now and its up to them to bargain and negotiate their own fate. 100% Independent! I love it!
How important is live performance for you as an artist, and what makes for an ideal live show?
Live shows is the “icing on the cake” for artists looking for longevity in the music business. Always was that way and its gon continue to be that way. Your fans really need to connect with you to feel your hunger and pain for you to establish true success.
Super Swagg is a less intense, colourful track with an element of melody and pop to it. What inspired the making of this track?
I just felt like the industry need more songs to glorify women. Because we know that their are a few good ones left. For every 20-25 thots, you’ll find a 1 true lady. But they’re definitely a find.
How do you decide what to write about and what direction to take things in musically?
Realtalk! I just listen to the music. Unless an idea come to me personally, most of the time, I just let the music talk to me.
What do you hope people get from your music?
I just want people to respect my grind. I just wanna keep making the best music I can make as long as there is breath in my body. If one person find any comfort or inspiration from my music, book, life, or any of my endeavors, I’m truly grateful.
What can you tell us about your upcoming book, and what made you decide to write it?
My book “Chicago Underground Hip-Hop: How it all started “, is true Chicago Hip-Hop history from my point of view. It details everything, and everybody who played some kind of role in contributing to the advancement of Chicago Hip-Hop.
B. Getting older made me decide to write about it before someone try to do it and leave me out of my own city’s history. I love my city but Chicago has a crab in the bucket type mentality. It has always been every man for themselves and it’s still going on today. So sad!
What books have you read that have had a notable impact on your life or your career?
Langston Hughes’s A Raisin in the Sun.
Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Donald Goines’s Iceburg Slim.
What comes to mind if I ask you to name one of the best hip hop tracks from throughout history?
That is very difficult for me. I won’t even try it. Not in this order but, Run DMC King Of Rock, Krs-1 My Philosophy, Tupac Pain, DMX Here We Go Again, Kanye West Through the Wire.
What’s something you’ve learned about the music industry during your journey that might be valuable for up and coming artists to know?
Share your talent and experiences with the world. Feature as much as you can. Have fun and love what you do. And never give up!
If you could perform at any venue or event in the world, which would it be, and why?
The Olymics or the Superbowl.
If you could sit down to lunch with absolutely anyone, who would you invite – and what would you ask them about?
Malcolm X. I would ask him what he think I can do to help our people come together and support one another.
What’s the bigger picture – where do you want to take things over the coming months and years as an artist?
I would love to be in Chance the Rapper’s position. I’ve always tried to position myself to help bring bigger and better opportunities to my city and my people.
What’s the best thing people can do to support you?
Buy and support the music and the book. Listen to the music to get a small glimpse of my life.
What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
I lived in Yokohama, Japan for 3 years.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Follow me on all of my social media outlets. Reach out to me for any shows or features. And thank you to all the fans, supporters, and fellow artists. Last but not least, Hip-Hop is Alive and Well!
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