This is the spot where you’ll see upcoming producers and Industry veterans in the game. A lot of people don’t know what goes into production. This will be the section where we feature the hottest producers in hip hop. Each month we’ll bring to you a new producer along with their background.
THIS MONTH’S FEATURE IS: J PRAIZE
How many people can say that they helped to launch an artist’s debut album to diamond ( over 10 million records sold) status..?? And a sound track to 5 million (multi-platinum) records sold..?? Well, J-Praize can because he did just that when he produced the classic track for 50 Cent’s 1st single “Wanksta.” The track solidified 50 in NY and around the country and eventually the world. It went on the “8 Mile soundtrack” and “get Rich Or Die Tryin’.” “The ground swell was amazing for the record” said J. “It’s very rare that a record goes from the streets (mix tape) to a multi-platinum selling soundtrack album, and then to go onto a debut alubum that sells diamond-that just doesn’t happen in reality man.” Well, I guess sometimes reality is better than T.V. And as they say the rest is history..
With 20 Million albums worldwide already on his plate by contributing to 50 Cent’s rap career with the mega hit “Wanksta,” Multi-Platinum and ASCAP (Rhythm & Soul) Award winning producer J-Praize is definitely enjoying the good life and making major moves within the music industry.
Born and breed in Queens, NY, the twin from an impoverished family of fifteen is not your typical rags to riches story. From an early age, J-Praize knew that making music was his purpose in life and still remembers the exact moment when this epiphany was initiated which goes way back to elementary school when he was sitting in the auditorium one day listening to the school band. J-Praize recalls “As soon as I heard that trumpet blow, man, I knew what I wanted to do,” but his dreams of becoming a major music hit-maker would almost not come true as he faced the daily challenges of surviving in one of New York’s most ruthless and toughest neighborhoods where dreams are usually crushed by the reality of life in the ghetto. After a few run-ins with trouble at school, J-Praize realized he would never accomplish his dreams if he continued to go this route, so instead of opting to sell drugs and becoming just another life lost in-the-ghetto statistic, J-Praize looked to performing with a local neighborhood teen group as a way of escape from the everyday negativity and peer pressure. As he became immersed into the music scene, the group took a unexpected departure and J-Praize immediately enrolled himself into college where he would major in Criminal Justice and soon join the US Air Force as a Certified EMT, however; his passion for music never left his spirit as he began producing beats out of his bedroom with one keyboard and a drum machine, where a piece of music history would soon be made. But before that history would come to pass, J-Praize found himself in debt and nearly homeless. It was by the Grace of God that J’s brother would come to his financial rescue where J would land a job as a Supervisor for the New York Post Office and as work became J’s reality and music just a dream in his mind, he was unaware that just on the other side of town, unsigned rapper 50 cent was recording over one of J-Praize’s track that would soon be released to several mixtapes. J-Praize recalls the moment he surprisingly heard of these news. “While working one day at the post office, I received a phone call my friend SK-1 who said 50 was rapping over one of my beats and called the track “Wanksta.” Naturally, I didn’t believe it because this is how we joke around, but then Sk-1 put the phone to the CD player to let me hear it for myself.”
Wanksta became an instant hit in New York as it was released on numerous mixtapes, J-Praize recalls, “I was in a club once and Wanksta came on and the entire club lost its damn mind, man it was like somebody said, everybody won a brand new car or something, it was beautiful.” Although, J-Praize’s track was a success on mixtapes, he knew that is how far it would go since that was the usual norm for songs on mixtapes, however; “Wanksta” would not only solidify 50 Cent’s gangsta’s reputation but would eventually lend a hand in a scoring a major record deal as well as help launch the success of 50 Cent’s debut album “Get Rich or Die Tryin and also go on to become a hit single on Eminmen’s 8-mile soundtrack.
From the streets to school to military to employee, J-Praize is definitely not your average producer from the East Coast, he is now the CEO of his own record label “Tha Cross Entertainment” with roster of dynamic and emerging artists from rappers, singers, producers and songwriters.
One of The Cross’s artists is a veteran to the music scene. Former Yung Joc group member, “Real McCoy”, was specially hand-picked by J-Praize and has been strategically developed by “Tha Cross Entertainment” team and is now actively ready and prepared to take the hip-hop industry by storm with his first single “Porn Star.” The upbeat track is already a hit in the Clubs and also receiving major radio requests in many markets. But it doesn’t stop there; J-Praize has also composed an exclusive production team which includes several powerful producers and songwriters that are already producing smash hits for the label’s artists. Tha Cross’s songwriting team “Tha Collective” are also writing songs and tracks for different artists outside his label.
J-Praize definitely has learned to never let go of your dreams no matter what challenges life brings you because he expects nothing less than what he has already sacrificed for and MUSIC is just one of them.