Q&A With Taylor J by Evan B. Culture
EBC: So I see you’ve been in the game for over a decade. How did you get into making music following this career path?
I started out rapping over the phone for my big brother. He got locked up and he introduced me to writin’ and rappin’ back in ‘03. He was rapping and me just wantin’ to do everything he did I started rappin’ too. Had to have some new shit for him everyday when he called .
EBC: Your mentor is the legendary Shaheem Reid. How did you guys connect and how is it working with someone of his caliber?
TJ: We met in Atlanta. At the studio one day I mentioned I wanted to work with him to da president of the label I was signed to at the time. Couple days later he came to da studio, we chopped it up played some music and decided to have him host the tape I was workin’ on. The rest was history. Working with anybody who is successful is always a good thing for me. I like to study success and figure out ways to get it.
EBC: You recently released a video for the track, “’91 Family Forever” produced by the amazing producer Lex Luger. How did this track come about and what’s it been like having a producer on that level take an interest in your music?
TJ: “91 Family” Forever is the intro to the tape me and Lex just put out called, "The 91 Family". Me and Lex met a couple years ago in Minneapolis. Him and Kino had a show and he invited me to da show and told me he fuck wit’ my music on twitter. So we just been in contact since then. You know we both got a lot going on so when the time was right we decided to do a project and just put it out. It's a blessing though I used to listen to Lex shit everyday.
EBC: Now Lex has worked with some of the top rappers in the game. When working with him on a track is there any added pressure feeling like you have to measure up to some of his past collaborators?
TJ: Not at all. I know what I'm capable of and the fact that Lex is willing to work with me shows he knows what I'm capable of too so that's all that matters. I'm just happy to be a part of the shit.
EBC: Now you’re from St. Paul, Minnesota, a place not really known for its abundance of rap stars. Do you think St. Paul being under the radar is an advantage for an upcoming artist or is it more of an uphill battle because people aren’t necessarily checking for your city?
TJ: It's an advantage in my eyes. It's somethin’ new to people. It be a surprise like, “damn lemme see what’s goin’ on up there”.
EBC: Who are some other artists out of your area that you work with or that we should be looking out for?
TJ: There's a lot of St. Paul artists making noise right now. DB, Jay Bree, Lexii Alijai. That's just to name a few doe. St. Paul got some heat just watch.
EBC: Minnesota hip-hop is mostly known for its underground, backpack scene with artists such as Brother Ali, Atmosphere and Eyedea (R.I.P.) being some of the more notable names. Your style is totally different and has more of a mainstream feel than most of your peers. Does that help you stand out from the pack or is it harder to be accepted in the scene being that you’re music is so different?
TL: The way their music sounds doesn't affect me at all. Focused on my music 100%.
EBC: So what’s next from Taylor J and who can we expect you to be collaborating with in the future?
TJ: I'm droppin’ a tape very soon. I'm not sure who I’ma be working with in the future. Just letting that happen.
EBC: Anything else you want to tell the people checking out this interview?
TJ: Last words: Takeover.