Jus is the newest artist to come out of San Diego, California. Getting his start as a singer, Jus has been performing since the young age of 5. But after he heard the music of the late great Tupac Shakur, he discovered his newfound love for hip hop. With the ability to rap in all different styles — fast, slow and steady, choppy, trap — Jus prides himself in his rhymes, spitting over any beat that he comes across. His skillsets even landed him at the BET Hot 16 content, handpicked by DJ Khaled. He went on to rap in the BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher under the name “Jaybird The Purdy Boi,” alongside Hopsin, Schoolboy Q, Mac Miller (RIP), Mystikal, and the legendary DJ Premier.
His mantra is “J-u-s, nothing less,” meaning his name is synonymous with “THE BEST” and he will dish out nothing less!
Read our exclusive interview below!
For those who don’t know, who is Jus?
Jus is a rapper from San Diego who loves to workout, educate himself, chase down his goals, spend the majority of his time with his best friend (his wife), all while staying fresh, and maintaining his integrity.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is the soundtrack of the heart of a successful fun loving person. Most of the time, I rap about what I’m doing in life. I’m very big on progress and having fun. REALLY living. My music is an extension of myself, so I guess you can describe it as lifestyle music.
You’re from San Diego, how does that play into your life and career?
San Diego is a beautiful place. I grew up in Vista, CA which is in North County. I’m one of those San Diegans that’s lived all over San Diego County. Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, Spring Valley, and Rancho San Diego. We got the beaches, the ladies, the best mall (Fashion Valley Mall), our club scene is a lot of fun, and most people who live here are not from here. Although, even with all of that, the music scene is not very strong here because it’s pretty small. The city doesn’t even support it’s own artists. I hope that changes one day. Not too many have made it out of San Diego as far as hip-hop is concerned. When even saying you’re an artist in this city, it’s not even taken serious by other people with a sense of pride. Music just isn’t respected as much in this city. I know that will change as more make it out, representing the 619/858/760 the right way, because there are tons of talented artists and musicians here.
As far as artists that have influenced my style, which changes up quite a bit, I’d have to mention punchline goat rappers like Cassidy, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z. Currently, I’d say Joyner Lucas, Drake, Russ, pretty much anybody spitting that punchline flow and making melodic hit records. As far as my heroes, Diddy is my all-time hero. I love the way Diddy thinks, carries himself, and hustles. I hope to meet Diddy one day. He’s dope to me. Nipsey Hussle is my favorite artist of all time, over EVERYONE. Everything he did in such a short amount of time, that did it for me. Often times I approach situations thinking ‘What would Diddy do?’ or ‘What’s Nipsey philosophy?’
I cried tears when Nipsey passed. I put him above every artist. That was my guy. My other heroes are Kevin Hart, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, and Will Smith. I have their books, I watch the moves they make, and get inspired from their interviews. I know I have greatness in me. God is showing me every day.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
I’ve been doing music since I was a little kid. I was raised in a musical family. I always new it was serious. I have an autographed photo with a note addressed to me and my older brother from Little Richard, given to me by my dad. It had ALWAYS been real. My dad is a singer/preacher, my big brother is a singer/Producer/choreographer/
What was the inspiration behind your name?
I used to go by the name Jaybird, which is a family nickname given to me by my mother. Matter of fact, when watching the BET Cypher, you’ll notice I was introduced as Jaybird. I didn’t change my name to Jus until I met my wife Lakiesha. Just the way she said my name, Justin, made me take pride in it. As we spent more time together, she started calling me Jus. I loved the way that sounded. It was short and simple with swag, so I decided to start going by Jus. My mantra is “J-u-s Nothing Less”, making my name synonymous with “the best.” Just a way of me committing to be my best self at all times.
You just released “I’m An Addict,” who or what inspired this record?
The hustle inspired this record. Me wanting to be great in a time where mediocrity is praised inspired this record. I don’t settle. I’m all about growth. God showed me that if I work for something, I can achieve it. I just have to believe and go for it. Right now, it’s the “cool thing” to smoke a blunt, drink like crazy until you pass out, snort cocaine, drink lean. That ain’t fresh. People wanna look rich instead of BE RICH. That ain’t fresh. You can’t be swag. So I wanted to make a song about my addiction to success, growth, progress in hopes that it will fuel others to be a “fresh addict” and attack their goals.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to get that I’m a regular person just like them, with dreams. I want them to see that they can have whatever they want if they work for it. I also want them to see that one must be at there best at ALL times because if you fail at something and you weren’t giving it your all, in that moment, you dropped the ball. I’m a person that lived homeless in the streets of Los Angeles for my dreams. Even then, I was proud of myself.
3 things you need in the studio?
Good tea, dope instrumentals, and a fun spirited engineer with talent. LET’S GO!
How was it doing the BET cypher?
- OOOOOOHHHH MMMMAAAANNNNN, that was the dopest moment in my career this far. To even perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher, I had to win the BET Hot 16 contest hosted and judged by DJ Khaled. I took 1st place out of hundreds of thousands. GOD IS GOOD! My cypher was with Hopsin, Schoolboy Q, Mac Miller(rest in peace ), Mystikal, and DJ Premier. I met everybody from the TDE camp, my favorite person in the camp is Jay Rock. Meeting him started off rocky though. SUPER funny story. I’ll save that for our next interview. Maybe on camera. I think the best moment out of that WHOLE thing was Chris “Play” Martin from Kid N Play, walking up to me to tell me my verse was his FAVORITE. I even got a nod from the LEGEND DOUGIE FRESH! He said he was excited to meet ME! I was starstruck of course. It doesn’t get better than that.
Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
- At this point, I want to sign with a major label to have that support behind me. I WANT the Grammys, AMAs, BMAs, BET Awards, MTV Awards, iHearts, all of that. I’ve been doing music by myself for so long. Being independent is cool, but I want EVERYTHING this game has to offer me. I want to play for real. Plus, I’m a family guy and I want to apart of a musical family.