You don't hear about rappers coming out of Baltimore very often. In fact, it's hard to think of one. Okay, there's a dude called "Bossman" (thanks Wikipedia!) but rappers typically hail from elsewhere. Enter: J-Mill. Could he be the next big thing to hit the beleaguered hip hop community? He's certainly smart, quick with the answers and has enough patience to sit though our questions, so he's already ahead of the game.
What's one thing in life you can't do without? Family. My circle of family and friends are really important to me.
What has been your most frivolous purchase ever? My Career. I'm still investing in it. I'll let you know when it's all said and done.
When did you know that you were special? Not really sure the time exactly, but I remember doing shows in DC and Maryland and just always getting a lot of support after each show. But, the past 2 years support has been coming from all over the world. How do you answer the question: "So, what do you do?" I usually respond with "I'm A Rapper" and then it trickles down to "Author, Entrepreneur/CEO/Owner."
If you were interviewing you, what would you ask you and how would you answer it? That's a good one. I would ask, "Why are you the only artist who decided to do a book [The Official How To Rap Manual - How2rap.com] about how to rap? Answer: I've asked myself that question time and time again, you would think there would be tons of them. But I taught myself and the system that I came up with is similar to the measure of music but simply put into the measurement of words.
What are some of your pet peeves? Can't stand liars and bad businessmen. I pretty much can adjust to everything else.
How do you know when you've gone too far? When somebody gets hurt.
When do you find you do your best work? That is, what time of day? I think when I'm going through something in life, it makes my mind wander more and the beat seems to take me in the right direction. I like to record at night, but anytime is fine. Like I said I adjust pretty easily.
Do you have a ritual you do to get in the right frame of mind to make music? Not really. I like the music loud so I can get an idea of where the music will take me.
Do songs just pop into your head randomly and you pound it out? It's more of the beat in my case. I listen and then go. 15-20 mins I can have a song done. The engineer takes longer than me, John. [laughs] I'm serious though.
Have you ever been banned from a place (bar, venue, state, country)? No, never, I try not to burn bridges whenever I can.
Who's the most famous person you've met (famous in your opinion)? Sean Combs. We went to New York to try and give a CD to the labels and ended up running in to Diddy and Mase at Justins. We tried to sneak in the studio at Bad Boy and made it all the way up and Security stopped us. [laughs] We almost made it.
What do you collect? Books. What are the key components of a proper back stage party? Rosey, Nuvo and fine ladies.
What is mankind's greatest invention? The PC.
Who is your hero? My mother. She is the strongest woman I know. If I can't bring you home to mom then you ain't in. She only liked one of my girlfriends I ever had and they still talk on a regular basis today.
Do you have any regrets? A few, but you have to learn to live with regrets.
Do you have any recurring dreams? Yeah, I'm on a plane with Puffy and Biggie and then at a show with Biggie. [laughs] crazy I know. But I've had that dream on numerous occasions from, like, high school to college. Ain't had one in a while though.
For more on J-Mill, check out his MySpace page. Top Picture by Grahm (FNP)