With his father being South African and his mother South Korean. Being born into a multi-racial family, not only labeled him in society, but also caused him unwanted attention. It also opened his eyes to racial diversity. Despite his parent differential backgrounds, he loves them dearly, and remembers all the sacrifices they made to maintain a good lifestyle for him and his siblings. That gave him the drive to exceed his potentials.
Growing up as J-LIE was certainly no walk in the park. He was born in New York, and only lived there for only 5 years of his life. His family moved to California in hopes of having a better life. During the school year everything was fine, but as summer approached J-LIE and his sibling had to get prepared to go back to New York. He would make this transition because his parents had to go to work and didn’t want to have their kids neglected during the day due to their jobs. They would stay at their aunt house in Brooklyn, Queens, & Long Island.
With there being 8 kids in the house, 4 being the aunts children and the other 4 being J-LIE and his 3 siblings. There were times where there was an insufficient amount of food in the house for all of them to eat but once a day, and days when he couldn’t wash everyday. But despite the tribulations there were also good days. He would hang out with his older cousins, who he credits for giving him his developing sense of style. He would go back and forth from California up until the age of 12. Living in both these dissimilar states, he was exposed to more than what a child his age should have been. That made him street smart and also broadened his perspective on the world.
Not only does J-LIE love making music but, from a young age J-LIE enjoyed playing soccer, and wanted to be a pro soccer player. He was an all star athlete and MVP in high school. He broke school records as well. And due to his athletic and academic achievements he was awarded a full scholarship to play soccer at Georgia Southern University.
At the age of 17 J-LIE and his family relocates once again to Atlanta, another hot spot. At one point, he came in 14th in the nation in division 1 soccer. But sadly J-LIE only attended Georgia Southern for two years due to a life changing experience that occurred. From there on out J-LIE poured his heart into making music..
J-LIE could remember hearing his older sister playing music around the house. The sounds of R.Kelly, SWV, Boys ll Men, and Tupac Shakur, would circulate throughout the house. But it would only be Tupac Shakur’s
“Keep Ya Head Up” that would stick out in his head, which sparked his interest in making his own music. He wrote his first rhyme at the age of 14, but didn’t take rapping seriously until the age of 17. Hoping to take his career to another level, J-LIE was a part of a group called the Empire, they recorded several mixtapes. They separated because members of the group had different views of where they wanted their futures to be. He didn’t let that stop him. J-LIE continued to do his music on his own.
Through his demanding and challenging life, he’s developed a survival skill called his music. Throughout the hardship he’s endured in his adolescent years, it has shaped and molded him into the determined 22 year old man you see before you right now. “I am music. I love music. It’s my air. There’s nothing else. I can’t even explain it.” Quoted from, the talented young artist J-LIE.
J-LIE’s music is different on many levels. His music is universal. He’s not your average mc. And his EP “Rewind Forward” is a true example. From his hit “In the Club” to his ballad “As I am”, he’s speaks his definition of truth, which a lot others could relate to. His music is what you call “real” hip hop.
It’s no surprise that he is musically talented in all areas, such as being an amazing performer, creative lyricist, and innovating songwriter. While he’s trying to become an established figure in the industry today, he also has a passion for fashion.
The drive he set for himself is incredible, causing whispers and attention all around. Bringing the old along with the new, bridging the gap, and changing the decades of hip hop forever is J-LIE. Giving you much more that others haven’t invented yet.
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