Joey Juvenile’s music reawakens the possibilites of hip-hop. Born in Minneapolis and bred in a household filled with African Hi-Life and Reggae, Juvenile honed his ear to develop his own distinct identity. We caught up with him after our bi monthly event Music Revolution at Stoke Newington’s Stereo92 and found out what got him into hip hop and what his favourite lyrics are.
Tell us a little about yourselves ?
I was born and raised in Minnesota. I was in school for a while before I started learning how to make music and trying to find my way through life.
What got you into hip hop ?
I wasn’t allowed to listen to it growing up so it was kind of like a forbidden fruit. I had just been listening to Reggae and Gospel and stuff. I took one of my brother’s CDs out of his car one day and just starting freestyling over these old Jay-Z beats. I was around like 13.
Who influences you musically ?
Film directors. I watch movies a lot when I make music cause it puts me in the right creative mindset. A lot of Tarantino movies. But the main musicians inspiring me right now are Pharrell and Kanye. They just always have a fresh sound.
When was your first ever recording and is it something that you would ever share with us ?
I was 18 and I recorded over a Ghostface beat with one of my homies. I’m keeping it in the vault though. He had a way better verse than me.
What project are you working on at the moment ?
I just finished up an EP recently but I’m working on something a little more experimental right now. Something to stretch people’s minds.
What is it like working with Ether L 9 ?
It’s a blessing. I get a lot of advice from Ether whenever we connect and it’s always valuable. It’s rare to find somebody as dedicated to music as she is. It keeps me always trying to elevate my game.
Do you believe boom bap is dead ?
I don’t think boom bap is ever gonna die, but there’s a lot more styles of rapping nowadays. That boom bap sound is essential to hip hop in my mind so I don’t think it’s going anywhere.
What are you listening to at the moment ?
Prince just passed away out here and a local radio station has been playing all of his stuff so I’ve been listening to as much of it as I can. Prince is the greatest thing to come out of this place so I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can from what I heard. Rest up Prince.
What would be your choice of clothing to perform in ?
Anything fresh and comfortable
Lupe Fiasco Vs Nas ? Which one and why ?
Nas is a legend no doubt, but I got love for Lupe. Kick, Push was the anthem . I remember he had me wanting to be a skateboarder so badly.
What is your favourite lyric ?
“Nothin was fuckin awesome tryna make it from the bottom of Syd’s, feelin harder than Vince Carter’s knee cartilage is.” Earl Sweatshirt is just super cold to me.
Do you have any future gigs lined up ?
None in the near future. Just trying to focus my energy on this project.