Born and raised in Compton, Hitta J3 bleeds for his city. From his experiences growing up in the streets to being locked up in jail, the West Coast rapper uses music as an outlet in all aspects of his life. Read more…
Just last month, Hitta unleashed a banger titled “Buss Down,” which paved the way for his Case Closed project to follow. The project hails guest appearances including O.T. Genesis, Snap Dogg, Sada Baby, Mozzy, Eastside Peezy, RJ, Boogie, and 03 Greedo. One listen of his music and listeners are welcomed with nothing but raw lyricism over hard-hitting production.
For those who don’t know who is Hitta J3?
I’m an artist from Compton, working on getting his music out there and developing. Shining light on those who are less fortunate and people who don’t got it like that. Showing them it’s possible to believe in something and chase your dreams. Stay occupied with what keeps you happy more than what keeps others happy.
How would you describe your sound?
Comparison-wise, I don’t think I’m like nobody. Inspiration-wise, Tupac. I like Ice Cube. I just don’t want to say that I’m like somebody that I’m not. As far as the younger artists: YG, Jay Rock, Nipsey Hussle — coming in the game like that.
Being from Compton, how does that play into your life and career?
Being from Compton, it ain’t easy. Growing up in Compton, definitely not. Because everybody expects you to be into trouble or make bad decisions other than trying to correct them. I want to lead the way, other than being a follower like everyone else. I just want to be the opposite of what everybody is so used to.
How important do you feel it is to come to LA as an up-and-coming artist?
I don’t know because I don’t consider LA and Compton the same thing. It’s different. Are you talking about for me or others?
That’s interesting. Why do you say that?
It’s just I gotta go out here and push up on people. See what they about. See if they what they say they is, if they are what they’re rapping about. That’d be the main thing, I push up on them — other artists in LA because I know that they’re in LA. Everyone wants to come to LA. I know that by me being from LA, it’s a good thing because regardless, I’m going to grind and I’m known in my city. But I’m trying to get out of my city. I have to take it further than just my city. But all the artists do come to our city so it’s easy to network here, but I want to get my fan base all across the world.
How did you get your name?
I was J3 for a long time. I had a few different names, but J3 was the main one I was pushing for my rap name. But that was my street name, so I had to go more corporate and come up with Hitta. People were always telling me I had to choose who I am — I had to be this or had to be that. Then I was like, “I’m just going to be both.” And I pushed Hitta J3.
At what point did you realize that rap was for real?
I was probably like 16. I was 16, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do because I was still caught up in the street life for the most part. It wasn’t easy to break away from this because I was still in the streets. No matter how much I wanted to do music, I was still in the streets. It’s not many people that’s going to see and be like, “Oh, he does music. It don’t matter, he’s just like us.” That’s just how people look at it. He bleed like we bleed, he think like we think. Everybody do the same, so he’s no different than me. That’s like with the Tupac I feel like.
“Buss Down” is a slap. What is it that you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to gravitate towards wanting it more than just having it. You have to want more than what you actually have.
You just released your project Case Closed. Talk about the creative process and how long it took you.
It didn’t actually take me long. I probably finished it in like six months. Because I work pretty fast, I adapt to it fast. If I’m feeling it, I’m going to do it pretty fast. The hard part was trying to connect with all these producers knowing that it’s more business now. It’s not just relationships, we had to have the business side set. That was the main thing with the project that was the most difficult part, was connecting with all these producers and getting all their understandings and rates and different prices. There were people that I thought I was close with, and now they’re trying to throw big prices at me. We were all working together in the process of me grinding, but now they see I’m going somewhere and they want what they can get.
Damn, people change up?
Yeah, people do change up.
You got features from Mozzy to O.T. Genasis. How important is a cosign in the game?
I don’t think the cosign really matters, because I didn’t get too many cosigns. Just because I got the feature, doesn’t make it a cosign. I look at it like it’s just them saluting my craft and what I work so hard for.
What’s your and goal what do you want your legacy to be?
I just want to create a better place for kids, even though I know it won’t ever change where I come from. I can’t change that, but I can change the youth. The next generation. Just make them believe that it’s possible to pursue.
What did you do with your first check?
I cashed it. [laughs]
I just reinvested it into my music. It was something light, not too much. Just something to help me believe that, “okay, I can do this.” It ain’t about the money. I do it because it just makes me happy. It’s priceless to me. There are some things you can’t fix with money, so it don’t make me a difference. Money don’t make me a difference. I could do this without making money, and I’d still be happy.
What’s the normal day in the life?
Wake up, prepare for my normal daily routine. Get a nice breakfast like a fruit bowl. Figure out something fly to throw on. Relax before I actually jump into the world. Turn on the AC in the car. I ride with the AC on until night time, even at night time.
What about in the winter?
In the winter, I ride with the heater on. It be too cold and rainy. Other than that, we’ll go hit the studio probably around 8 o’clock, and we’ll be in there until about 7 o’clock. Because I believe that if I feel this is something that’s going to take me somewhere, I have to be dedicated to it and consistent. I take that more serious than anything. It’s just working, working, working. It’s never enough working.
Would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I don’t know. I can’t say because where I come from, tomorrow ain’t promised. Music really like saved me and my family.
Three things you need in the studio?
A hard beat, for sure. Somebody like a second person who can voice their opinion. Not somebody who’s around just to be around. Just being around and ain’t got nothing to say, just in the studio drinking and all that — nah. If you going to be here, you have to be useful for something. Not no deadweight in the studio, somebody who’s uplifting. And I like vibes. Good vibes.
Favorite song to perform in a set?
What’s the best encounter that you had with fan?
Just being there when they need somebody to talk to. Or when they reach out to me, I’m not too good to reach out back. I respond to all of them.
Who’s the most played artist in your phone?
Right now, I ain’t really listening to nobody. I promise you. You heard the new guy Yungeen Ace? He’s an upcoming artist from Louisiana, I’ve been listening to him. Other than him, that’s really all I been listening to. I’ma give Jay Rock some props on his album.
What’s your favorite song on Redemption?
I’d say Eazy-E.
What about somebody alive, so we can make it happen?
[long pause] ‘Cause I feel like I’m already tied in with so many people. A feature didn’t make me. I got known off making music by myself before I actually starting doing the feature thing. That’s a hard pick, but I’ll say Drake.