By Jack Barnes
A ferociously talented street rapper with an understated wisdom, skillful flows, and a knack for clearing the million view mark on his videos, RJ is a leader of Los Angeles’ rap renaissance. Following up his successful OMMIO series of mixtapes with a new full-length, RJ announces Mr. LA, a culmination of the rapper’s status as a go-to guy in the West Coast scene. Released by 400 Summers, a new joint venture between YG’s 4Hunnid Records and DJ Mustard’s 10 Summers, Mr. LA, coming May 26th, is a tribute to RJ’s home city and a celebration of the leading role that the city has assumed in hip-hop over the past half-decade.
A former high school basketball and baseball star, Rodney J. Brown Jr. has deep ties to the Compton community. Raised on the West Side, RJ’s father was a hustler and a businessman with ties to the Westside Pirus, while his grandfather was a bootlegger. After graduating high school and working several odd jobs, RJ moved to Atlanta and became deeply embedded with trap culture. He moved back to Los Angeles in 2013 and linked up with DJ Mustard, who liked RJ’s style and invited him to join his 10 Summers crew. RJ appeared on several tracks on DJ Mustard’s 10 Summers mixtape series and started his solo career with the OMMIO (On My Mama I’m On) series of mixtapes. A favorite of L.A.’s Power 106 hip-hop station, RJ heated up the airwaves with hits like “Get Rich,” his collaboration with fellow 10 Summers rapper Choice and HBK’s Iamsu!, last year’s “Flex,” which garnered over 4 million views on YouTube, and “Ride Wit Me,” featuring YG, which has over 4 million streams on Spotify. Most recently, RJ appeared on “Get Out Yo Feelins,” a highlight from YG’s Red Friday mixtape.
Flexing over an impossibly hard beat from DJ Mustard and Larry Jayy, RJ returns to the spotlight with “Brackin,” a vicious takedown of fake friends and wack rappers. Premiered by Complex, “Brackin” finds RJ showing off his elastic, sing-song flow and demonstrating his slick-talking wit: “I came a long way to ball in your section/I order bottles you order protection/I’m from the bottom it ain’t much expected/I bring the bottoms and you bring your bestie.” A club-ready rider’s anthem with hooks for days, “Brackin” is an ideal rap jam for the upcoming summer.
Pre-order Mr. LA: https://empire.lnk.to/MrLA
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