24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
J-Mill: What’s up everybody. I go by the name of J-Mill aka Milla iLLa Gorilla Streetz Certified Records Bawse. You might’ve heard of me from the video game Midnight Club LA with my song “Like Dat”. I’m reppin the DMV by way of Frederick Maryland.
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into and what inspired you?
J-Mill: A number of things led me to where I’m at today. Its a constant grind, a constant hustle but its those same instances in life that keep you searching and leading you from one obstacle to the other. My pops would take trips back home to the Bronx all the time and it was during those times when hip hop began playing a roll in my life.
I have seen it at its rawest form. It was fresh and New. Seeing break dancing and graffiti mixed with the sounds and smells of the city on top of the Tall buildings it wasn’t long before I was hooked on the whole hip hop culture.
Mind you, at that time, I’m from a small town so seeing rap when it was just starting to bubble and literally witnessing it standing in the birth place of where it all started from. All this coming from my advantage point at the time, a small child at 8 or 9, made the big city and flashing lights even bigger to me. The whole scene was inspiring.
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where your from?
J-Mill: It was only a hand full of people rapping in my town but hip hop was spreading fast by the time I got to middle school and was gaining popularity all over the DMV. We had other local acts breaking on radio.
Coming up I was exposed to house music which is huge in Baltimore and Go-Go which is Gigantic in DC and having both styles of music exposed to me early definitely plays a part in the creation of my music.
You can’t live in or be from the DMV and not acknowledge the existence of both forms of music and the impact they have all over but especially in the DMV.
24: What makes you Unique as a artist and different from other rappers out now?
J-Mill: I think the thing that makes me unique as a artist is my ability to do me on a record. I don’t want to be put in a box I want to be able to create the music that I want to create when I want to create it and I believe every artist should feel that way too.
Not all are given that option or the opportunity. I think my business savvy is what differentiates me from other rappers. I’m constantly thinking about the next move sometimes so much so I don’t enjoy the moment as much as I should.
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
J-Mill: Well outside of the music, I run a few websites online 2 of them being a mixtape distribution site and a how to rap site. I’m working on a new revised edition of my book The Official How To Rap Manual and I’m working with a company in Germany who are in the final stages of developing a How To Rap App for the mobile market.
Besides that I’m in the studio making new music and I have a album dropping soon, real soon but who doesn’t right? lol.
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
J-Mill: Most of the producers I worked with haven’t been big names but I like it that way, I’ve met dope producers who haven’t been able to make placement with a major artist and I’ve been able to get exclusives for dirt cheap – Beats that I would never be able to get
from a major producer that price.
Some producers who I would love to work with are J Blaze, Swizz, Rockwilder and of course Dre to name a few. I get beats sent to my email all the time and I listen to everything I get. I need that fire. Producers please send me some hits.
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
J-Mill: Yes the feedback has been amazing and thats a big reason why I continue to do it. I’m currently getting major airplay for my single “Shut It Down” in the DMV area so it def feels good when I hear someone say they heard the record or they rockin with the song.
Shots out to @AjShowtime for being one of the first DJs in the DMV to show love to the record.
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make your self a household name?
J-Mill: It’s very tuff to compete when your giving every single piece of music you make away free. There has to be some sort of value set for your music. Okay, I’ll give it to you free but give me something in return like your email address so later when the not free single is available I can send you the link to buy it.
So I think you have to be on top of new marketing and promotional strategies to improve your brand so your keeping your head above water through the hard times. Its a business and the sooner you start carrying it as such the better.
But it’s extremely hard to stay relevant in a sea of people shooting for the same thing.
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
J-Mill: I think it’s in the place it needs to be in for the times that we live in. Has it changed? Yes it has, i think the industry used to be ran by the streets. Meaning the labels would put out what the streets wanted to hear. Now days I think the roles have changed. The labels now put out what they want the streets to hear.
24: Outside of the music, what else are you currently working on?
J-Mill: See Question 5.
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2012 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artist out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
J-Mill: Honestly, I’m just going to stick to the script and continue to do me. I’m not in a rush by no means, its smooth sailing from here on out. I’m going to go however far and long the music takes me.
The first part of 2012 has been great if it gets better great if it stays the same kool too but I’m just going to continue to focus on doing the the things that got me here.
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
24: Thank you for providing 24HourHipHop.com with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans?
J-Mill: My pleasure, thanks for ridin’ wit me. I’ve been a fan of 24HHH for years. Yeah, run wit me I’m what the game been needin. I can’t do it without you. Shots out to Fred City and all my peops in the DMv. Big up to 24HHH for having me. 1Luv
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