By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
When people think of Durham, they think more about the documentary and less about Moogfest and the other festivals. The city doesn’t have a clear representative like many other cities do. Overall, North Carolina has J. Cole, but North Carolina has many sounds.
Jus Lyon believes he can become the face and sound of Durham, or at least the first one with mainstream recognition. Thus far, Jus Lyon has made good strides for this goal. However, like all people aspiring for greatness, Jus Lyon knows “good” is the enemy of great.
Recently, Jus Lyon took time out for Hip Hop Vibe’s latest On The Rise interview. During the interview, Jus Lyon spoke on his ambitions to be remembered as an all-time great. He would also discuss his unique path he’s taking on this journey.
Read the entire interview below:
How do you feel about the rising North Carolina hip hop scene? I feel it’s going tremendously great. I see, on a daily basis, artists here from NC putting in that work, networking with other artist and djs. I think NC, itself, has been overlooked because there’s so many artist trying to get on at the same time. So, I feel its kinda hard for the majority of us to get noticed, but I feel some stick out more then others. Either way, I see North Carolina making big moves here, very soon, in the music industry
What are the biggest misconceptions about your hometown, Durham? The biggest misconceptions of Durham, I feel, are people always considering this being a ratchet and ghetto town when it isn’t. Yes, I agree there are some parts of Durham that have there flaws, but what town in what state doesn’t?
Also, I feel people always are saying ‘since everybody in Durham wants to rap or sing, that’s why we are never gonna make it in this industry.’ That right there is a false statement, because I know some artists, personally, who are making major moves and those are the ones representing North Carolina.
That’s how we are getting noticed for music, but Durham really isn’t a bad place, it’s actually a place I love and was born and raised in Durham. It is where I built my first personal fan base, so I consider Durham being the element of surprise in NC.
People talk bad about Durham, but once you have lived here for so long, you will see the good and bad it has to offer. I feel, until people actually have seen and know Durham, don’t assume something, because it ain’t always true.
Can you speak on the moments that shaped your pursuit of a career in music? Well, I started freestyling on a karaoke machine, back in the day, when I was like 12 or 13. That’s when I grew very fond of music, and I always used to listen to Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Jay Z, and others. But, when I actually took my music career seriously was when I moved to a new location in 2009 with my parents a small town called Creedmoor.
No, I don’t represent that town, because I’m not from there, but when I moved there, I met some people who actually did music and recorded on a regular with the school laptops they gave us. It was one guy who convinced me to be serious because I had a gift and his name is Dorian Newman aka King Fonzi. He pushed me and pushed me to record and, yeah, my first couple of mixtapes weren’t that good.
But, when I got to the third on, I caught a buzz around town and had people screaming my name and blasting my music, so right then and there is when I realized this is what I wanna do. I have a passion for this, so I wanna run with it, so ever since 2009.
I’ve been growing stronger and getting better and now look where I’m at, doing multiple shows a week being featured on blogs doing radio interviews, and more, so yeah, I can say doing it for eight years has officially started to pay off.
Recently, you put out the video for your single, “My Click,” can you tell us more about that? Well, that video is about my team, Smart Mouth Records and Black Star Bullies, these guys have been been nothing but great, amazing, and hard working people and I respect that, so I dedicated that song to them. They have been in my corner since day one and that’s my click. I wouldn’t exchange them for anyone else. They are my family, so that song is about me and them and how nothing will break our bond and when we are together nothing will stop us.
When can fans expect your next full release? My full release of my album will be some time this summer, no set date yet but the date will be released soon. Y’all be prepared for lyrical intentions to be straight fire,
What are some other things you have in the works? I have a show January 27th its my showcase with my own lineup. I have a lot coming up, so if you follow me, just know I’m cooking up something people can relate to and will love
Where can fans connect with you on social media? IG and Twitter @iamjuslyon; FB Fan Page, Jus Lyon; FB Personal, Justin Lyon DaDude; SoundCloud, Jus Lyon; YouTube channel, Jus’ Lyon.