J.R. Writer: Writer’s Digest

There are a lot of things that can be said about growing up in Harlem, NYC. But none truer than the phrase, “Harlem makes hustlers.” If you don’t believe that, just ask J.R. Writer. This cocky MC came up in the streets of Uptown and made it to international notoriety before his 25th birthday through […]

There are a lot of things that can be said about growing up in Harlem, NYC. But none truer than the phrase, “Harlem makes hustlers.” If you don’t believe that, just ask J.R. Writer. This cocky MC came up in the streets of Uptown and made it to international notoriety before his 25th birthday through note worthy mixtape verses and his affiliation with Harlem’s Diplomats. It wasn’t A&R’s or nepotistic relationships that got him noticed, it was his hunger. That same appetite for rhyme that had him in the streets battling MCs from all over, sometimes two at a time and that makeshift training drew the attention of fellow Harlemite and Dipset leader, Cam’Ron. Since joining with the Dips, Writer’s natural facility for creative wordplay has been featured on numerous Diplomat projects and become the subject of his own Writer’s Block mixtape series. Now with the fifth installment to the Writer’s Block series dropping November 20th on Babygrande Records, J.R. Writer is looking to take his career to the next level. Just call it a hustler’s ambition.   AllHipHop.com: You came in the game as Cam’Ron’s protégé. With all the rumors circling your crew people want to know, how’s that relationship now?J.R. Writer: Same way as it was last year and the year before. We’re still family. It’s all loveAllHipHop.com: So there were no harsh words or hurt feelings when you branched outside the Dips to do the deal for Writer’s Block 5?J.R. Writer: It’s not really outside or apart from the Dips because I’m still Dipset. It’s Diplomats until I die. It’s just that we’re all hustlers. We make moves. We don’t just sit back and wait for sh*t to fall in our laps. We make moves. We don’t need anyone to hold our hands and make deals for us. We’re all businessmen. We do for ourselves. We all grown men over here.AllHipHop.com: How did that deal come about?J.R. Writer: I got a call from one of my dudes who put me on with Chuck [Wilson] over at Babygrande. He said he liked what I was doing and wanted to invest in my future. You know, help me build my career. He was really digging what I was doing and really wanted to help get this mixtape out, you know, push this Writer’s Block 5. So we spoke and I liked the numbers he was throwing out there so I was like, Let’s do it.AllHipHop.com: How does Writer’s Block 5 differ from any of the previous installments to the series?J.R. Writer: I feel like with every project I turn it up. Every project takes it up a couple notches, takes it to that next level. Writer’s Block 5 is like part four to the 10th power. And I just want to say I appreciate each and every one of you that copped part four. It sold like 50,000 units on some straight independent s### and I appreciate that. But, with part five I went crazy. I built a studio in my crib just so I could focus on nothing but that. Every track I’m going in. It’s all me showing the people my lyrical ability and giving the people what they want, this good music. AllHipHop.com: Will you continue to do the mixtape thing or can fans expect an album?J.R. Writer: We’re still working on it. With the album I’m looking to let people get to know me better. I want people to know where I’m coming from and the trials and tribulations I’ve been through and all the people around me have been through. But the mixtape is preparing you for the album. The mixtape is me going in, showing everybody I still got it and still will air it out. AllHipHop.com: There were some rumors back when Jim Jones got his deal with Sony that he was going to be taking you with him. Is there any truth to that? J.R. Writer: Jim getting his deal was just another business deal. Just like me having this third project on Babygrande. It’s all love. The same way we all been working with each other we’re going to keep doing that. All the rumors and gossip be confusing the people man. We’re the Dips. We’re family. Nothing can stop this movement. AllHipHop.com: So are you looking to follow in those footsteps one day?J.R. Writer: I’m trying to make my own lane. I got my own company, I’m definitely trying to get into other business ventures and make the name bigger. AllHipHop.com: So will there ever be a time that you step away from the mic to pursue these other ventures?J.R. Writer: There’s never going to be a time when I will not be putting out material. I got a booth in my living room. I’m in there everyday. I wake up in the morning and go in the booth before I eat breakfast. I can’t sit back and get comfortable. If one deal is up I got to go get another one. I got to come up. I think the people want that. They want artists to stay hungry and keep giving their all. AllHipHop.com: With the industry being what it is right now, and every label is concerned with commercial success, do you feel pressured to make that kind of music, or will you still focus on what made you popular, the streets?J.R. Writer: I’m definitely for the streets. The streets show me love so I got nothing but love for them. But at the same time, I’m an artist so it’s only right that I look to take it to that next level. All the features and projects I’ve been putting out have been building me a buzz. Everything I do gives me more experience so when I do that major deal, it’s going to be big. I can do my crossover thing with that big push behind my sh*t. When I get that big budget I’m going to do it big. But right now I’m still grinding it out getting this independent moolah. AllHipHop.com: With respect to T.I.’s situation, and taking into account your roots in the streets, do you feel artists should still be around certain people and situations after reaching a certain point?J.R. Writer: It’s f*cked up. I mean the Hip-Hop police is out there…it’s just f*cked up out there in general. You have to really be smart about what you do. I’m different. I got to move smart. I got to be in the right space. Like, I’m in the studio right now. When this interview is over I’m going to work. I don’t feel the need to be out there like that. If I don’t have a reason for being somewhere, I’m not there. You have to be smart and move smart, if you’re an artist or not. AllHipHop.com:  So what can fans expect from Writer’s Block 5?J.R. Writer: As far as Writer’s Block 5, I gave the people me. I didn’t do a lot of features. There really wasn’t any room for features because I went all the way in. I got Slim from 112, that’s going to be a crazy joint for the ladies, and two features from my brother. The rest of the way it’s all me going in, giving the people what they want. AllHipHop.com: What are some standout tracks for you?J.R. Writer: Every track is crazy. Even the intro is crazy. I want to shoot a video just for the intro. The single is retarded. It’s called “We Getting it Baby” and it’s retarded. The joint with me and Slim from 112 called “Make a Move” is crazy. This is a complete, classic mixtape. The people are going to love it. It’s nothing but crack. AllHipHop.com: With independents, the promotion is mostly in the artist’s hands. What are you doing to get the word out on Writer’s Block 5?J.R. Writer: I’m going to be out there. The visual is going to be there. The single video, the YouTube videos, doing these free promo shows at schools and all that. I know what it takes. I been doing this with Cam for like six years. I was with him and Jim and Juelz doing those concerts in these big arenas. On all the Diplomatic Immunity tours and Summer Jam, all that sh*t. Those were some of the biggest moments for me. Before my sh*t was popping off, I was with him learning this whole business. And to be real, it’s fun. Even though it’s work, it’s still fun. I love it. I’ve wanted to rap since I was like 15 so I love doing the interviews, and the shows and all that. This is my dream.