J. Lamar can not only be defined as a Hip-hop artist; he has his entrepreneurial cap on and is only progressing in his journey. Hailing from West Englewood on the South Side of Chicago, he was introduced to the music scene at a mere six years old.
Now at 23, this emcee is nowhere near a rookie to the ever-growing industry. Remaining a powerful force in the Chicago rap scene since 2015, he also dominates as the president of the Chicago based brand, “Living Above Normal Everyday Standards (LANES).”
Taking full advantage of what the year 2020 has offered him, J. Lamar has used this year to build a solid foundation to continue emerging upon. Gaining radio play on Chicago’s very own Power 92.3FM, having his music played by DJs at Complexcon, performing at Hip-hop in Chinatown, and working closely with AT&T and Showtime, J. Lamar has had his foot on the gas with no signs of letting up.
Back with his latest meaningful single and music video, “Wise Words,” J. Lamar pays tribute to his late grandmother, Ruth Bobo as he allows us to tap into the vulnerability he exudes within his expressions.
“Wise Words,” acts as a sonic capsule containing words of wisdom that have been passed onto J. Lamar as a child and a young man establishing his place in the world. The nostalgic and smooth quintessence of this record has us allocating heartfelt emotions as we delve deep into the exposure that J. Lamar offers up as he swindles us with a wistful ambiance. You’re encouraged to fall into each word J. Lamar performs as he serves up lyricism on a silver platter. As you try to fathom the exact moments that these wise words were gifted to him, you can’t help but notice that some of these phrases have been said to you at some point or another in various contexts.
This remarkable delivery from J. Lamar holds heavy old school Hip-hop elements as he tackles the new era of the genre by taking these components into the content he provides. With eye-catching visuals released, J. Lamar teamed up with Chris Vergara to truly capture the direction this song effortlessly takes you.
With scenes that shift between a church and the cemetery where Ruth Bobo is laid to rest, your heartstrings are tugged and you are overcome with emotion. We love the hunger that is exuded as he delivers power, insight, and perspective, showcasing the very talents that have gotten him to this point in his career. J. Lamar is quickly making his way up the ladder and remaining humble through it all. Using life’s lessons as his awards and successes, he continues to pull us into his creations.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, J. Lamar, and congratulations on the release of your latest single, “Wise Words.” We know that your late grandmother inspired the creation of this record. With inspiration like that, how was the creative process different for this single versus other tracks you have released?
The process was different mainly because of the level of emotion that came from writing the song & the time I was writing it. I wrote the song 2 weeks after she passed & I have just started classes at EIU (Eastern Illinois University). So my mental state wasn’t where it should’ve been for me to be a freshman in college. All things from getting my football scholarships taken away to go to school broke played a role in that. But the one thing that got me thru all of that was remembering my grams talk about perseverance. So I took everything I was feeling at the time & mixed it in with her “Wise Words” & left it all on paper.
What “Wise Words,” mentioned in this song would you like your listeners to resonate with the most?
“Really the believe that you gotta reason to preserve & keep fighting them demons/Stick to the scheming this is the season for you to come off the bench Willie Beamon”
What have you found to be the most challenging thing to overcome in 2020?
Finding new creative ways to elevate without being able to do shows.
Could you please tell us more about your collaborations with AT&T and Showtime? What have you taken away from the experiences this far?
That all came from my brother/mentor “Add-2”. He started a studio/program called “Haven Studios”. He gives up & coming artists & producers in the city a safe to record music & puts a lot of us in a position to showcase what we do. Because of him, I’ve been apart of AT&T’s “Believe” Campaign, Showtime x THE CHI Performance. Which unlocked a lot of relationships & opportunities for not only myself but for a lot of other elite artists in the city
Could you please tell us about your experience when creating the visuals for "Wise Words?"
No lie, I knew it was gone be an emotional ass experience. I knew I wanted to capture that church feel because my grams was a churchwoman & I knew she’ll love it if she was still here. I reach out to Chris Vergara & Zach Roy. They loved the song & knew exactly how they wanted to bring my vision to life. With the help of my brother C.A.M. & sister Dai, The video was complete. My best video up to date.
What non-musical inspirations do you allow to speak into the music you create?
Sports fasho. But I get inspiration from EVERYWHERE possible. I’ll never forget I wrote a full 16 about the planet Mars in 3rd grade because I was bored doing a science project about the solar system.
What inspiring words would you offer to an artist looking for the courage to start-up in the music industry?
Stay true to yourself even if it’s not the “wave” at the moment.