J. Crum
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J. Crum

Omaha, Nebraska, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Omaha, Nebraska, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Hip Hop Rock




"Band of the week: J. Crum"

About J. Crum: You can’t deny J. Crum’s voice or passion. On his new EP, “Flawed,” Crum’s forceful voice rattles off raps as fast as you can consume them. He presents a vulnerable, honest and introspective look at his faith and family. The EP’s highlight is “Monster,” a fiery rap about the monster inside. On Sunday, catch Crum performing with other artists on his own Streetlight Sounds label. - Omaha World Herald

"J.Crum talks “Flawed” EP, Streetlight Sounds Collective & More"

Detroit emcee J.Crum had a different upbringing growing up but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have time to listen to some classic hip-hop. His upbringing experiences and more have brought him to release the “Flawed” EP via his collective Streetlight Sounds. I had a chance to sit down with him and talk about his collective, the new project and about opening for Lecrae & Talib Kweli later this fall.

Dead End Hip Hop: Tell me us a bit about J.Crum for those who aren’t in the know still?

J.Crum: I’m a man of God, I’m a husband to an amazing wife, I’m a leader in my community, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m an emcee. Detroit born – Omaha raised.

DEHH: How did you get into hip-hop growing up?

J.Crum: I grew up in a super religious household so hip-hop wasn’t around much unless it was Christian. So rappers like Cross Movement, Japhia Life, Da TRUTH were allowed. Now I snuck in rappers like Eminem, Outkast, Snoop Dog and Jay Z. Both groups had an impact on me growing up.

DEHH: Alright enough of the basics let’s jump in. You have a lot going on right now, you just dropped your “Flawed” EP, you’re part of a collective in Streetlight Sounds, tell me a bit about what’s been going on?

J.Crum: Yeah Flawed is my newest project, I started writing for it in January and it’s some of my best work imo. As I began to get things in motion and the platform began to grow I noticed the bond I was making with other artists around me. Dope artists with the same goal and character as mine. Seeing this, I felt called to create something that will help all of us push our platform further. That’s how Streetlight Sounds developed.

DEHH: Now the “Flawed” EP is fire, there’s aggressive tracks, there’s more than just bangers, what was the motivation behind the project?

J.Crum: Man I wanted to give people a peek inside my life. Show them my failures, my victories, my short-comings, and my growth. Show them my humanity and meet the listener right where they are at.

DEHH: When people are done listening to “Flawed” what do you want them to walk away with?

J.Crum: That although we slip and we fall over and over that it’s ok. I believe in Jesus and that he forgives those flaws, he forgives those failures. That’s the theme you will keep hearing in the project. Flawed but Forgiven.

DEHH: One of the things I like about the EP is your range, you’re a great emcee and a great singer, how are you able to balance the two?

J.Crum: I appreciate that! It’s something I’m still exploring. I’ve sang more on this project than my last one. I’m always trying to find ways to combine the two in creative ways.

DEHH: Talk to me a bit more about Streelight Sounds, what’s coming next from your camp?

J.Crum: Man we got so much coming coming for y’all. We have the streetlight cypher and video coming up very soon. After that we have my dude Walt Fortune dropping his first single at the end of August. Going into the new year expect consistent content from myself, Walt Fortune, T-Vision, Mola-B, Greco, and FVMELESS.

DEHH: Now I heard you’re opening for some big names coming up, what’s your show preparation look like? What’s going to a J.Crum show like?

J.Crum: Yeah bro Lecrae 8-25 and Talib Kweli &a Rakim 9-16. I put a lot into my live show. I perform with a live band. All of em are dope musicians and we practice regularly.

DEHH: What’s next for you? Will we be seeing you on tour? When can we expect a full-length release?

J.Crum: I’ve just release part 1 to my 6 part Short Film “Flawed” each film highlights a track on the EP. That will be dropping every two weeks. Working on a tour for spring 2018 with streetlight Sounds. And I will be releasing an LP hopefully in the Summer of 2018.

DEHH: I heard you brought the first part of a short film for us. Tell me a bit about it.

It’s six parts and it tells the narrative of of a crazy night where I am confronted by a physical manifestation of my own flaws.

You can check out J.Crum’s EP “Flawed HERE. - Dead End Hip-Hop

"Review | J. Crum, 'Villains'"

From the heartland to possibly one of the top projects of 2019, J. Crum has officially established himself with 'Villains'

You may not think of Omaha, NE as a hotbed of hip-hop, but once you hear Crum's newest release you will understand that good music is not restricted by geographical location.

I get that it has been close to two weeks since this released, but what can I say? Life has been hectic. Even so, I am happy to finally be able to sit down and take this one in. It better live up to the hype that Nate filled my DM with.

Here we go!


Villains ft. Big Wade - I am not normally one who roots for a villain. With this opening track, Crum has me roaming in that awkward space. Those who know me know that I love music that sounds different...and boom bap. While this is not boom bap, the synth hits at the beginning drew me in quickly and I wanted to see where the song would go. The flow is very catchy and matches up well with the production. "Boy I be that mad hatter, with them bad manners/ dagnabit/ causing bad panic/ would you save my soul" Okay...I may have slept longer than I should have here. If this project goes up from this initial offering, we have a problem on our hands.

What You Want ft. Eric Heron - Crum is joined on act two by Eric Heron who recently dropped his sophomore album. After "Villains", my expectations are high for this duo...especially when you add in what Heron brought on his lead single "Vegeta". So far I am very impressed with the production on this project. The verses here man, the verses. "Bro I'm way too dedicated/ high too elevated/ grind too decorated/ mind too educated/ can't be replicated/ never really hesitated/ my praise designated" If there is going to be one area for to be critical it would be this. The mix on the hook could be improved. It has a lo-fi quality to it that falls a bit flat.

Underdogs ft. Shiwan - The features keep coming on this one. Here we have another artist that is climbing the ranks in CHH in Shiwan. I love the choir sample in the production. It gives the track an anthemic feel. I can also say this, Omaha should hand Crum a key to the city with the bars he is bringing. Those who think the essence of hip-hop has escaped CHH need to be listening to this. For anthem tracks, this one is up there with "War Cry" from Social Club Misfits for me. I can picture a sea of fans going crazy to this one.

No Way ft. T-Vision - "My team don't know what defeat is, when you see me flexing with them dubs on swole/ now I see these rappers want to be friends, all up in my inbox steady blowing up my phone" We have another solid offering here. T-Vision's verse started off a little eh for me, but he found the groove about halfway through. Meanwhile, Crum has done one thing to this point and that is - make me a believer. His lyrical prowess is nasty.

Falling Skies - We get our first feature-less track here. I love the guitar sample that opens the song. I was not expecting the energy that came in with the vocals. There is an angry edge to the words Crum is spitting. The dropout into the melodic hook balances out the track well. "Nowhere to run under these falling skies/ still I rise, still I rise/ storms of life will make you slip and slide/ still I climb, still I climb/ there's nothing you can do to hold us down!"

Jive Turkeys - Crum's bars float on top of a piano-driven track while a record crackle brings a slight edge to the sound. When the beat drops in Crum cranks the energy up. Dude is straight flowing here and, as a lover of lyricism, it is right up my lane. The cadence, pattern, and melody all get taken on a ride showing off the versatility the emcee possesses. "I'm laying down the gauntlet/ I'm tired of watching culture vultures turn a profit while the real ones never charted/ little buddy run your pockets/ I want your platform and your wallet and your follows and your market I should stop it" Dang...

Placebos - Crum brings everything down here and, timing wise, it was a great call. Up to this point, the project has been all go so a small break is certainly deserved. We are also greeted with a worship element here which is fantastic! "I've found hope/ I've found love/ I've found joy/ I've found peace/ it was found in You Lord, it was found in You Lord" This declaration is repeated as sonically the track builds to a climax. I could see this being a song that gets slept on, but it may end up being one of the jewels of 'Villains'.

You Are - This song could almost be an extension of "Placebos". "Can't pretend I've been a menace so many a times/ been a minute since I depended on what my God designed/ been a witness to the benefits you get to live this life/ the hypocrite within was sent to rip it up and severe ties" While this has a similar approach as its predecessor, the overall execution is not pulled off at the same level. Perhaps because it feels so close to the same. Maybe if it had been placed in a different spot on the project it would have been beneficial. It actually seems like it might have been a good option as the final song.

Fly ft. Walt Fortune & Jessica Crum - Okay, so the energy is starting to creep back in now. You can feel it lurking just below the surface. It is that fact that lets me down some when the beat drops in. I was fully prepared to be hit hard and it just wasn't there. The hook has room for improvement, both is its delivery and mix. Crum's verse once again is on point and is without a doubt the highlight of the track.

Pitfalls - This is what's up. That sound that was close to breaking out on "Fly" gets loose on "Pitfalls". "And we all fall short of the glory of our God/ but it's not the end of my story oh no/ I'm holding on to you Lord please don't let me go/ Lord help me, Lord help me escape these pitfalls" What we are seeing with these worship segments is an artist who is opening up and letting his heart cry out. Amazing. The flow style of the verses is on point with the overall feel as they carry a melodic foundation throughout.

Keep Rising ft. Mola-B - "Started from the bottom I'm familiar with the modesty/ for a modest fee I'll wreck your track and give it back no apologies" As important as that first impression is, the same can be said of the final impression. "Keep Rising" is a good outro. Not over the top, but far from subtle either. It does what it should which is having me looking forward to what will come out of Omaha in the future.


Favorite tracks:
1. Villains
2. Pitfalls
3. Placebos
4. Jive Turkeys
5. Underdogs - Five-Twenty Collective

"'Flawed,' But Not Flawed - Omaha rapper/hip-hopper set to play the Slowdown"

OMAHA, Neb. -- One of Omaha’s rising stars in the rap/hip-hop world, J. Crum (pictured), will warm the stage for Kansas City hip-hop artist Mac Lethal when he plays the Slowdown on Friday (Sept. 8).

Crum, born in Detroit and now based in Omaha, recently released his second album “Flawed,” a seven-track EP that was
mixed and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Rick Carson (Terrace Martin’s Velvet Portraits) and produced by Tory Hooks.

Hear an impressive cut (with a smooth groove and fresh lyrics) from “Flawed” by watching the clip linked HERE. If that tickles your fancy, get down to the Slowdown on Friday. - WOWT

"Exclusive Interview with J. Crum"

What’s better than a talented artist who has a true passion for music? A talented artist with a true passion for music and for helping others. J. Crum is one of those artists, having released an incredible EP, Flawed while still actively assisting at-risk youth. He tells the stories of his highs and lows through his music, sharing them with the world.

J. Crum chatted with CelebMix about musical inspiration, faith, and giving back to communities!

What sounds or experiences inspire you as an artist?

My personal experiences inspire me as an artist. Situations with my wife, working with the youth in my city, personal internal struggles, my faith, etc.

How would you personally describe your musical sound?

I’d say hip-hop with influences of soul, rock, and indie styles.

What would you say is the most challenging part of writing stories or experiences into raps?

For me, it’d be getting over being vulnerable in front of people. At times, I have an unhealthy fear of what others might think of me.

Is there an artist who inspires your musical style?

A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Fall Out Boy, Stevie Wonder, early Kanye.

What made you first start rapping?

I got really sick my sophomore year in high school and missed the first semester. They sent a homeschool teacher to my house and I got really far ahead. When I started the second semester I had three study halls, so with all my extra time, I began writing music.

Who or what motivates you to succeed?

God, my wife, my future kids, my family.

Are there any artists you’d like to collaborate with?

That’s an extremely long list!

In addition to making music, you also give back to your community by helping at-risk youth. What kind of assistance do you offer?

My wife and I run a family-style group home together for teens 13 to 18. We live on campus and teach behavioral skills and create treatment plans for them to follow and once they complete them we get them back to their parents.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start giving back to their communities?

You don’t need an organization to give back to your community, take what you’re passionate about and use it to serve.

What impact do you hope your music has on your audience?

I hope they see the impact Jesus made on my life. Through my vulnerability, failures, and victories they can see that hope is alive.

Are there any future projects that we should stay tuned for?

I just dropped the first three parts of my short film series flawed which highlights each track for my EP. We have three more parts and they come out every two weeks on Wednesdays. Also, follow my artist collective Streetlight Sounds, we are dropping consistent content all the way to the end of 2017.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

I love y’all! The love and support has been amazing! - Celebmix


Black Sheep - 2016
Flawed EP - 2017
Til The End EP - 2018
Villains LP - 2019



Here stands a man openly flawed and encumbered with life’s immeasurable expectations, but he’s also a devoted man of God striving for grace.  Joshua Crum – just call him J. Crum – speed-raps his feverish words alongside echoing beats and riffs usually coupled with harder rock styles, and counters the intensity with smooth, lingering hooks. Detroit-born and Omaha-based Crum’s inspirational tracks reflect a man bound to his faith, family and fans but with a grittiness churning through time and measures.

Crum’s newest LP, Villains, is an Eleven-track narrative of his internal battles with his inner adversary. His versatility isn’t lacking in his latest showing showing glimpses of his various influences including, Kid CudiKanye WestKendrick Lamar and even Fall Out Boy. This project seamlessly transitions through different genres as well including hip-hop, rock, lo-fi, and neo-soul. Villains might be Crum’s most introspective release to date and gives something for every listener to connect with.

“I think we all wrestle with duplicity. I wanted to go deeper into this fight and put it words the best I could.” Crum said. “None of us are always the hero. We all are broken and hopefully are striving from greater. I wanted to highlight this journey.“

In the introspective “You Are” Crum’s point is driven home in the lyrics “ Been the villain with the hero mask, morals been desensitized.” And, just like that, Crum keeps us guessing in sound, styles and his very foundation.

Band Members