Chicago Rapper Hotblock Jmoe Reveals His Friend’s Death Pushed Him To Rap

June 7, 2024

Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!

HotBlock Jmoe wants to be one of the greats. Hailing from the South side of Chicago, home to some of the biggest names in rap, he carries his own unique sound and story, overcoming trials and tribulations before finding music to be his saving grace. With his standout melodies and smooth lyricism, Hotblock Jmoe wears his heart on his sleeve with each release.




Now, Hotblock Jmoe keeps the momentum going by collaborating once again with fellow Chicago rapper G Herbo, this time on a record called “Fasho.” In fact, G Herbo spearheaded the creative direction for the video shoot which took place in Los Angeles, California. It was a Chicago link up, with Polo G even pulling up to support.

“Fasho” is just the beginning for Hotblock Jmoe, with a forthcoming single titled “To The Grave” featuring G Herbo and Polo G following suit in the summer.

AllHipHop spoke with Hotblock Jmoe in Los Angeles at his video shoot for “Fasho.”

AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?

Hotblock Jmoe: It’s where I’m from. I wouldn’t say we’re a gang, it’s more like a family ’cause everybody who I hang with, we’re literally related. It’s funny. It makes up three families: my family, my cousin’s best friend, and… how can I describe bronem? They just always grew up with us, another family that grew up with us. It’s funny how we got the name. So our area was hot, like a red zone. It was just bad over there. The police stay coming over there.

The police had pulled up one day and one of my friends was outside, he’s tweaking. They pulled us all over for no reason. He’s like “Man, why y’all messing with us?” He’s like “Because it’s a hot block!” And we ran with it ever since.

AllHipHop: Favorite artists that made you want to do music? 

Hotblock Jmoe: It’s a few people. One of them, it’s funny because I’m doing a feature with him right now: G Herbo.

AllHipHop: How did you and G Herbo tap in? 

Hotblock Jmoe: Through mutuals, just knowing mutual people. One of my close friend’s big brothers grew up with his big cousin. Then when I started rapping, we were playing. I met Herb through his cousin, A1. Shouts out to big bro fasho. I’ve been knowing bro for six months years now. Genuine, real genuine. Love everything man, he’s a star for sure.

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AllHipHop: I know y’all have collaborated before… 

Hotblock Jmoe: Yeah, we got probably five, six songs now. This the second one we finna drop, “Fasho.” Then I got something else coming with him featuring Polo.

AllHipHop: I saw that too. Did someone leak that song?

Hotblock Jmoe: I think they tried to. I don’t know if it was the whole version, people be crazy. It ain’t out for sure though, but we got that coming too.

AllHipHop: Talk about shooting the video for “Fasho,” G Herbo just pulled up!

Hotblock Jmoe: This s### crazy. I’m in the process of doing “Fasho.” I ain’t gon’ lie, I love shooting songs with my brothers. I can honestly say bro one of my brothers too, because he’s a genuine guy. It don’t feel forced or nothing. You just have a good time, tweaking in front of the camera.

AllHipHop: What do you like about G Herbo?

Hotblock Jmoe: I’ve been a fan of bro since — I can say fan because n*ggas know I ain’t no dickriding. I’ve been listening to bro since he came out. I watched all his whole transformation and all the steps he took, so it’s crazy to be in this position and seeing it this up close.

AllHipHop: How was “Fasho” made?

Hotblock Jmoe: It’s funny, we were in Chicago for a show. I had a show with my brother Teeski. I just got to the studio. Usually before, I always do that just to pregame before. I didn’t even know the bro’s in Chicago, he had pulled up. He called me like “I’m finna pull up to the studio, you in there?” As he was coming in, I was already in the process of doing the song. The beat was so crazy. It reminded me of — anything under that category gon’ fall under his flow. He be walking in and down.

He came in, he heard how crazy I was going. My CEO said “I ain’t gon’ lie, you gotta hop on this.” He already said, “I was already 10 steps ahead of you.” He went in there, walked it down! Crazy. I just kept playing it. Everybody’s listening to it, and he’s listening to it. Ain’t gon’ lie, we gotta shoot it. Actually, he came up with the treatments.

AllHipHop: What’s the treatment? 

Hotblock Jmoe: You gon’ see.

AllHipHop: Do you do the melodies while he’s rapping?

Hotblock Jmoe: Both. I’ve been doing a little bit of both, definitely heavy now. Especially because of the season. It’s kind of a turnt season. I try to go off the vibe of the world, all from here to the end of the summer. But I love doing the melodic s###, so I always try to mix that in too. I don’t steer away from that, because that’s me. But I just so happen to be versatile, thank God. So I can do both.

AllHipHop: What can we expect from “To The Grave” with Polo G and G Herbo? Were y’all in the studio?

Hotblock Jmoe: I made that, I was with a close friend. One of Herb’s close producers/engineers, OzOnTheTrack.

He’s from Chicago, we’ve been locked in for a minute now. He had came to L.A., he was working on something. I pulled up in the studio. We started on a few songs and he played that beat for me. I just knew, it gave me a New York drill type vibe, mixed with Chicago. I knew it was going to be a hit, so I had to do it right. I ain’t gon’ lie, I recorded that song twice.

But I kept it all the same, it was the energy. I wanted to make sure the energy was right. I sent a lot of stuff to bro, s### I think he’d f### with it or s### I want his opinion on. But I was playing that one, he’s like “that s### hard. I’ma hop on that one.” I’ve been trying to get Polo on the record for a while. It ain’t that I reached out to him, it’s just something I always wanted.

S### f### it, see if you can get bro on it. Bro reached out and he made it happen. I pulled up on them both at the studio one night in Burbank. Herb did his verse, then Polo did his verseThat s### was crazy, The energy was crazy. It was phenomenal, the energy. They both did it right there in front of me, and they walked it down.

AllHipHop: Off the dome?

Hotblock Jmoe: Man. Punch in, crazy. N##### different for sure. I’m real grateful for that though, because we both from the same city.

AllHipHop: What does that mean to be Chicago through and though?

Hotblock Jmoe: That’s everything, especially coming from Chicago? Usually people don’t… yeah, I could say that. Usually, we really not big on collaborating with other artists in the city, because there be so much going on in the streets. But now, I can honestly say: the artists that’s coming up — even with Durk, Herb, Polo too — they ain’t really been giving a f### about that. They’ve been sending the ladder back down for us. That’s real n#### s###, I appreciate that. Especially in my position coming up.

AllHipHop: Tes [manager] said you dropped out of high school, and you took music serious after your friend died. How long ago did that happen?

Hotblock Jmoe: I dropped out, damn when was that? 2015. I’m kinda old, I’m 26. [smiles] I started rapping a year or two after that. I’m finna break it all down to you. When I say started rapping, I realized: I think I want to rap. I was telling one of my close homies. He’s like, “S###, try it.” So I used to always write s###, spit it to him back and forth. He’s like “I ain’t gon’ lie, that s### hard. You should let bronem hear it.”

I even went and made a song, record it and everything. Never let nobody hear it but the guys though. Everybody, they all f###### with it. “You going crazy!” Bro always pushed me, my man.

He’s like “You need to take that s### serious. Just drop something, get that reaction.” When he passed away, that’s all I can hear him saying in my head. “Man, you need to take that s### serious bro. It’s that time for you to really take it there. You got it.” Ever since then, I’ve just been locked in.

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