Almost everyone who listens to the music of J’Demul knows that the kid is special. His knack for finding beats that seamlessly sync with his style seems predestined. And to quote a rap cliche, he treats every track like it’s his last. The power and conviction of his story is tragic, beautiful, harrowing, and a bunch of other lame-ass adjectives that cannot accurately describe the character of his music; I’m at a loss for words. In a rap world filled with nauseating regurgitation in sound and bad blogging from white writers that sit comfortably in their four-figure apartments who will never understand blackness, I find this post difficult to construct, so I’ll just be honest.
I first met J’Demul three years ago at the beginning of 2013. He was a 17 year old kid working with Julian from StereoAssault on a project, and Julian approached about me about a video after seeing my work with MME. Heaven Sent was born. A year later, J’Demul releases two singles on his SoundCloud called “Ride” and “1995 From Home”. I was instantly attracted to his skill in breezing through verses with such an infectious and confident demeanor while backing it up with awesome hooks. Sold. Two more videos.
2014 was a weird year. J’Demul left St. Louis for Nebraska, and I moved back with MME in helping Con and ciej push their music. We had decent buzz, and I thought bigger things were to come. Wrong. Back to the video grind. Another calendar year turns over, and J’Demul comes home to St. Louis in the Spring. He takes on two jobs to make some cash, and whispers to me that new music is on the way. Due to the hecticness of his work schedule, our communication is rough and infrequent, but I finally get him to send me a few tracks that’s he’s completed. Video plans are made, and we bang out “My Brothas” in September. The release schedule for his tape, penned #STLAVE, are completely bungled, with the date getting pushed from October to November and then further into 2016.
We now need to put out another single to build up to the release, and I fall in love with “University Street”, which J’Demul randomly put up on the Web without much promotion. Hitting the block, I shoot every angle of his childhood neighborhood and throw it up on YouTube. Mission accomplished, hang the banner, except the tape gets delayed again. I wait around working with other artists on music that I like, and then I read a Facebook status saying that #STLAVE is coming out on Friday. Uh-huh, I’ve seen this happen thrice before, but this time, J’Demul seems serious. I message him, “Is this really coming out on Friday?” “Yeah, bro.”
And now we’re here, April 8th, premiering the best local mixtape I’ve ever heard. No promotion, no build up, I don’t even have another video with him in the works. However, I’ve been doing this for awhile, and I’ve learned there is no formula. The Internet changed everything, and folks get famous from a SoundCloud algorithm, so I’m going to stop worrying about buzz and just focus on what I can control. I pray that you listen and share this because I honestly feel it’s something very special. St. Louis has been down for too long, give J’Demul a chance, and if you like his music, share it with your friends. I’ll be back in a month with a new video. #STLAVE
“If I don’t put the city on, what else am I supposed to do?” – J’Demul
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Follow him on twitter and Instagram @_jdemul