INTERVIEW WITH JUSLO



Q: How'd you choose your name?


A: In 2018, I started rapping like semi for real. And my first actual rap name was LeeLo because I come from Lee County, FL and my real name, my birth name, is Logan. So ya know, LeeLo. But after awhile it got kinda difficult just because it's kinda hard being a rapper who's talking bout some real rap shit when your name is LeeLo. People were calling me a Disney Channel rapper, and ya know I was just thinking of the Lilo and Stitch jokes, like bro we're over this we gotta get past this. So me, Sam, a couple of my friends got together, it was like a couple days after New Years last year and we were kinda just like brainstorming. We're like "Hey like what's a good name, what's a good name blah blah blah blah". And then finally, I was like well I'm just me, I'm just Lo. We dropped the "T" at the end of just, and ever since.


Q: Also bro, ya know how did you get your start man? And what were some of your biggest influences?


A: Yeah so I started like doing music shit back in 6th grade. I was in band in 6th grade so I played the trumpet, and I just got an interest for music. When I grew up, my dad, I used to steal his like LL Cool J/ Common CD’s, take them to school show all my friends, and I just thought it was the coolest thing. Just something about Hip Hop was just so appealing to me, it was so different. I went to predominantly white schools growing up, so I was one of the only kids that came from a background where hip hop was such a pillar in the household that is was in my house. So it was something that made me different, something that made me stand out and I liked that. And growing up I was in choir after that first year in 6th grade, from 7th grade on I was in choir and I never really prided myself as a singer, but it was just something about singing that was enjoyable to me even though I didn’t really think I was that good. But then, I met Sam, who’s actually my manager, Sam Moreland, and we became friends and had a mutual interest in hip hop. So we would not go out to any parties or anything in high school. Like we were the guys that Friday night we would drive around, it’s so weird to talk about now looking back on it, but it’s like we would drive around for like 4 hours just in loops around the same area, just freestyling to as many beats as we can, and finally it got to the point where I was putting whole songs together just off freestyling. You know what I’m saying like coming up with a hook, redoing the hook, doing verses, all that. So then, Sam was like “Yo my cousin’s got a mic, why don’t we just get it and see what happens”. So we got his mic, we went in his garage, put a sock over the joint, and we recorded voicemail freestyle and this other freestyle called Little Jit I Know. And I wasn’t expecting, like it was just fun you know what I’m saying, I wasn’t expecting anything from it, but we posted it on Soundcloud and Instagram, and people were actually like yo this is fire. And so then I was like wait a minute we might have something here. And at the time I was going to Messiah College in Pennsylvania playing basketball, and after a couple more videos, I ended up going to the dean at the school and I got the key to the studio which was huge because I wasn’t in the music department and that was something they only gave to people in the music department. So I got this key to the studio man and then literally within a week of getting the key I went to my coach and was like "Yo I don’t wanna play basketball anymore, like I just want to do this music full time. And I remember it’s funny cause he laughed and he was very like "You’re gonna give up on playing college basketball while you came here to pursue some music dream". And now it’s like damn man, I made it on 2k before anyone else you ever coached, so what’s the vibe. You know what I’m saying, its subtle subtle but yeah that’s basically the story man. It really just started with freestyling and that turned into a love for creating songs. And that’s where we're at. It’s always weird how things work out because I went in to college my freshman year thinking I was going to be a finance major and work on Wall Street, and now it’s like looking back it couldn’t be farther from that career choice.



Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process when your’e making music?


A: Yeah so it kinda goes back to that free styling element. So basically I get beats from whatever producer sends them in, and then honestly, its just I listen to the beat I freestyle and if I find a couple pockets I think are interesting, a couple cadences of flows I think are pretty interesting and could be something, then we transition into the recording where I get the BPM, pitch, all that stuff and then I sit down, got my studio in my room so it kinda expedites that process of not having to wait to go to a studio. If I get an idea I just go lay it down. But um, yeah man it’s basically just freestyling. I don’t really write lyrics per say, more so it's just on the fly kind of thing, listen back on a song, maybe record one bar, and then freestyle the next three. You know what I’m saying, there’s no strict process. I do write sometimes on the more lyrical miracle records that need a little bit more attention to detail and if the bars need to hit a little bit harder I’ll sit down and actually write to those. But for the most part like Wristwatch I didn’t write anything down for, New Pajamas I didn’t write anything down for. What You Need I did write though cause it’s more of just the rap record where you actually break it down you know what I mean. But yeah yeah that’s pretty much the process man, just a freestyle based process.


Q: Let’s dive into your last EP that you dropped, If You Didn’t Know. So jusLo, I noticed that in If You Didn’t Know, you say “Really what’s the price, we kill our own people to justify a better life, And what’s the cost of rice, I’m tryna wake up white, I’m tryna buy some privilege and just put that shit on ice.” I really like how your work comments on social issues, do you try to incorporate hidden messages in your lyrics and if so how do you do that?


A: Not necessarily, I don’t try to make them hidden. You know, it’s kinda one of those things when I was at Messiah, I was Vice President of the Black Student Union for a year, and African American rights in America is something that I’ve always had an interest in, just growing up listening to like my favorite rapper was J Cole. And J Cole is someone they classify as a conscious rapper, which is kind of a stupid term to say conscious just because he’s aware of his blackness in America, but thats besides the point. But yeah I don’t really try to make them hidden. Like with that song, I remember I heard the beat and I was in a space of, it was 2018 like right after I graduated from Messiah which was a predominantly white school. So if you listen to like the first verse I make a comment about how all the white girls at my school used to laugh at me and think I’m a clown, but I was getting medicated with the GPA to get into Brown. It was one of those songs where I kinda had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and then also I wanted to point out the fact that it’s like this is the struggle that we go through. Like the end of that verse I go in talking about somebody like Frank Lucas, who was a kingpin drug guy back in I think it was the 60’s in NYC, but it’s this idea that he was considered a hustler and somebody who made it but at what price, you know what I’m saying, like he was killing the community around him and that’s kinda just what I was trying to get at was just this idea of like at what price. What are you willing to give up, like who are you willing to hurt to get where you want to go and that’s just not the mindset I want to subscribe to you know what I’m saying. And if that’s hurting others around me that’s like not something I want to get into. And that’s the struggle of it, and it’s crazy that I wrote that song in 2018 and rest in peace to George Floyd and everything that’s going on right now.



Q: If you could work with anyone in the studio, dead or alive, who would it be?


A: Well I’m gonna go producer, just because I wouldn’t really want to work with a rapper per say. Like obviously make a song with some rappers like J Cole, would be fire to make a song with Jack Harlow, it would be fire to make a song with Travis [Scott]. But I’d probably say Quincy Jones, which is like the OG of Motown and all that way way back. He’s just one of those people that just hears music differently, and I feel it would be very interesting to be in the same room with that kind of person. He just has such a notorious track record of hearing what sounds good, you know what I mean. He did a lot of Michael Jackson’s stuff, and a lot of times, I forget the story but, in one of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs, there was "Ma ma se, ma ma sa, Ma ma coo sa". But I remember there’s a story that apparently Michael Jackson wanted Quincy Jones to take that out, he hated that part, and Quincy was like "No this is what’s gonna make it timeless". Like who knew "Ma ma se, ma ma sa, Ma ma coo sa" was gonna be a hit. But yeah, probably Quincy.


Q: And last but not least, what’s next for you man?


A: Well, I was supposed to drop a record like a week ago. But, we got a lot of behind the scenes things going on right now just in terms of different people that I’ve been in contact with ever since the 2K thing. So right now, all I’m focused on is just making music everyday. We're kinda, I don’t wanna say were in a business predicament just because we are independent so we can do whatever we want, but we are in a position where we're just kind of sitting back and listening to all opportunities that are coming in to find the best one to move forward with. So that’s kind of where we're at right now as a brand just trying to figure out who we want to move forward with and how we want to move forward. But right now you know just recording that’s it. We’re in control right now so I’m just recording, making new music, and then hopefully we can move forward pretty soon cause I’m itching to drop more music. But yeah I’ll probably drop a single within a month, I’m 80% sure of that.

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