J. Kwest

J. Kwest

 Chicago, Illinois, USA
BandHip Hop

After a couple of minutes of good listening, you will understand that J. Kwest is a rare find. His charisma is amazing, his music makes you feel great, and what you'll love most is the message. This is music to LIVE and LOVE to...


Artist. Student. Minister. Brother. Son. Example.

Many selves become one in Christ. If this is true, J.Kwest has been all of the above and one very fine leader for many years now. Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Julian DeShazier always had a passion for music and developed an affinity for poetry while sitting in the pews at New Faith Baptist Church. What does he think about his early writing?

“I was terrible. Period.”

J was never discouraged however, and through practice and God’s grace his habit morphed into a gift. During high school he met BreevEazie, a gospel hip-hop artist who took him under his wings, giving J his first appearance on the critically acclaimed Baby Food (2001). At that moment J.KWEST was born.

J continued to hone the craft while at Morehouse College, where he graduated in 2005, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. In J’s words, “I became a man at Morehouse. Rap and preaching were cool, but the most important thing I developed was a LOVE for LIFE.” This love and a passion to serve God’s people led him to turn down Harvard after graduation to pursue music full-time. At the same time he released an EP entitled 20/20: The InVision (2005), and PureMusic was born.

The ministry of J.Kwest has been a blessing ever since. A 2007 Holy Hip Hop Award Winner; featured on allhiphop.com, Rolling Out and BlackGurl Magazine; featured on the Dr. Maya Angelou “Oprah & Friends” XM program and celebrated as “Living Black History” by Urban Ministries International; an Ambassador to the National Hip Hop Political Convention and the Children’s Defense Fund; and is receiving airplay all over the country and around the world. J.Kwest has also shared the stage at T.D Jakes' MegaFest, Fla.vor Fest, and the 2006 Taste of Chicago.

Currently a M.Div student at the University of Chicago Divinity School, J.Kwest is also a Fund for Theological Education Ministry Fellow and is working with youth at Covenant United Church of Christ and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

J.Kwest is the leader of the PureMusic Movement.


I Am (Obama)

Written By: J.DeShazier (Kwestworld/BMI)/Rob Gaines (RGP)

(Verse 1)
And people ask now “Who Am I?”
I am the American Dream personified
I am hope without color, love without borders
Joy without dollars, honor without orders
I don’t serve for war, yo, I stand for peace
I am the drug addict on the blood stained streets
I am the mother who mourns the son who passes
In the dawn, I am the dew, fresh on the grasses
That no American cuts, I’m the landscaper
That came from Mexico, to try to get paper
then feed a family of eight but
I will be a modern day slave for the American Dream
That they want to take away from
Everybody else
I ain’t just SOMEBODY, no
I am Everybody Else
I am without health care, the uninsured
Who die over greed, you pay or go uncured
I am under the floor, the child left behind
My back against the wall, I am the ghetto grind
The suburb meth addict, the white trash
The gay man, who lives fearing the wrath and fear of a straight man
The porn addict, the insecure sister with an eating disorder
Every woman in the force
Trying to make a dollar, out of 77 cents
But can’t pay the rent, wonder why I gotta strip
I wish it didn’t have to be like this
But this is my country, and everything it is
I Am as well, I didn’t dream this up
But I’m here, for all, try to clean this up

And I Am (Obama)
I Am (Obama)

(Verse 2)
And I Am
The Hope for a better future
I am Martin Luther, I am for the youth to
Dream higher, before somebody’s gang come recruit ya
Before somebody’s cult come and shoot ya
In the name of somebody’s god, on the rooftop
Screaming Jihad, death to them other groups of
Other little kids, speak another language that I don’t understand
So I hate then, instead of trying to learn how we all the same
I am EA, I am in the game
I am in the sun in the rain, still the same
I am change for the next boy or girl
I’m the next leader of the free world
I Am

(Verse 3)
And I Am
The same as you, I ain’t trying to be cocky
Somebody had to do it, why not me?
Sloppy politics got the capital looking like a clinic
So I got a bag of penicillin
For these politicians
I play the game as it is
But we need a better world for the kids
I tell it like it is
Other candidates will kill you with the rhetoric
They paying for a vote but we ain’t selling it
I keep on yelling til somebody see the house ain’t right
And even though the house is white, the house needs light
So I’m here to bring the fight to em
The Audacity of Hope, now I’m here to bring sight to em

So Blessed

Written By: J.DeShazier/A.Culver/C.Langley II

Today’s blessings stay fresh
Like morning breath right before the Crest like…Whoo
First steps hit the ground, Thank God, now it’s time to get fresh
Days like this make a brother two-step
Days like this have me cooking breakfast
It’s so amazing what could happen to your stress
When you step into a praise like this
A praise like this, yo a phrase like this
Be blessed and enjoy your day
Feel this sun and enjoy this air
If it’s too cold then enjoy your coat
As simple as that if you can’t dig that then
Enjoy your hat
Ride real low and enjoy this rap
Lay seats back, throw three daps
Everybody wants peace but you need to be that
We bring love, for real good days
And those more tough
Bills due, you late
But still get up
And tell God thanks
Cause your life ain’t perfect
But you still got up
So let’s make moves
Might as well pay respect we all pay dues
We all still blessed
Cause God don’t move
Even when we do
Let’s all stop stressing for a minute
Start counting these everyday blessings

WHOO, WHOO, So Blessed
Long as I got air in my chest
Long as I’m right here on this Earth
Then I’ma tell yall I’m Blessed…
WHOO, WHOO, Love life
Cause you only get one to love right
So as long as I breathe, you gon hear it from me
When I tell you that I’m Blessed (and we’re blessed)…

(Verse 2)
It’s just a simple request that I’m asking
Because I’m thinking that it’s only…RIGHT
For every day that I know I shouldn’t deserve
I just figure we should tell God…RIGHT
For every day of my, well, for every time
You came through to hold down my…LIFE
When it got so…TIGHT
If it is now, still gotta get it out
Still in the middle of, growing
But I’ve done enough, knowing
Now I know enough, at least enough
To know I got a long way to go, I stop
Long enough to give him praise
Do it when I’m feeling good
So I do it everyday
Everybody’s not as comfortable going to church
Put sermons in songs
Worship is heard when you swerve through the verse
To work through the curse
To still feel best when you’re going through your worst
To still feel blessed
To still spread love take hate from your chest
Throw that in the lake
To still throw a smile, that might change a whole life spent on stressing
Everyday blessings…

WHOO, WHOO, So Blessed
Long as I got air in my chest
Long as I’m right here on this Earth
Then I’ma tell yall I’m Blessed…
WHOO, WHOO, Love life
Cause you only get one to love right
So as long as I breathe, you gon hear it from me
When I tell you that I’m Blessed (and we’re blessed)…

(Verse 3)
It’s not too often that you get to play a song
About life, not the movie type
Most music sound like I’m on the Price is Right
Losing and listening to other cats do it
Today we make movements
Into some more smoothness
For yall who like good music
Let’s do this…song for the broke teenager
Sitting at home writing three papers
Cats who dropped out to those with three majors
Three jobs and babies
Sounds like three ways to give thanks
Today cause
Tomorrow ain’t promised
Today could be the very last day
Right now, the last pair of jeans you threw on
Them kicks, the last draws,
This here, the last song
That you ever loved to
Let me be the last one to say I love you
Hope you say that to somebody you love too
Some songs like to take life
But we give breath, feel it in your ribs
And enjoy what it is…
Yeah, just enjoy what it is
These everyday blessings

Thrill Is Gone

Written By: J.DeShazier/A.Culver

It’s gotta be another feeling
Than the one I keep feeling
Gotta be a way to get away I keep dealing
Gotta find a peace or a release to keep living
Gotta find a way to ease the pain
I hate living in myself now sober in my thoughts
But I wish that I was drunk now
Knowing that I’m lost
Getting kinda heavy over here and I wish
That I could run away so I take another hit
Then I feel good, exhale all my past hells
Even for a couple minutes I’m well
Into my spell, now I’m on a whole nother thang
Flying so high on a whole nother plane
Riding a whole nother train
Going so fast it’s a whole nother game
When I come back it’s a whole other pain
Waiting for me, make another hole in my vein

The drug, the rush, the high
It feels so good but what you gon do when the thrill is gone
When the high come down
And the pain comes back
Take another drug for the high
And it feels so good but what you gon do when the thrill is gone
When the high comes down
And the chills come back

Comes back to reality
Like Soul to Soul
Need another drug now to close the hole
That I made when I tried the one before
Guess I got played now I want some more
Dealer man told me that if I feel bad about myself
That I could get high putting down someone else
And if I couldn’t love me
Then I could make love every day of the week
Even if they didn’t love me
This would be the way I would patch it up see
Any pain I felt could just go away
I could still trust God I just wouldn’t have to wait
And I wouldn’t have to pray
I could handle this on my own
So insecurities I deal with still
I just left them alone
Let the dealer man live in my home
But it felt so…

The drug, the rush, the high
It feels so good but what you gon do when the thrill is gone
When the high come down
And the pain comes back
Take another drug for the high
And it feels so good but what you gon do when the thrill is gone
When the high comes down
And the chills come back

Getting harder to speak now
Ran away from home been here for weeks now
Spent all my money in vain
My veins weak now from the feeling of refilling
My spirit with that propane
Kryptonite, I be on it all day
I know it ain’t right but I just can’t stay, away
So you can find me in the A-ddiction
No prescription for the pain
And I should probably just pray
And if I don’t hear I should probably just wait
And when God speak I should probably just stay
Instead of going off on that easy
Route to getting pleased but I just keep having these bad days
I’m just trying to ease the tension homie
God please I know I need an intervention on me
And all my friends dealing with the same type sins from the drugs

(and I don’t wanna get high, please, I don’t wanna get high God
The thrill ain’t there no more, the thrill ain’t there no more)


2008: "I Am (Obama)" CDS (worldwide digital distribution on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc)

2006: Featured on "Holy Hip Hop Vol. 4: Taking the Gospel to the Streets" (worldwide release)

2006: Are & Be (Indie/Double Threat)

2005: 20/20: The InVision EP (Indie/Double Threat)

2004: Feed The Kids Mixtape (Indie/Double Threat)

2001: Breeveazie- Baby Food LP (EMI/Catalyst)

Set List

High Energy. Intense crowd participation. One of the best hip-hop experiences you will have, period. All Ages.

A typical J.Kwest set is 30-45 min and consists of 6-7 songs, including a professional mix by one of our in-house deejays. When in the midwest, or when travel expenses are covered by the gig sponsor, J.Kwest will perform with a dj.

Songs include (but never limited to):
So Blessed (and the Remix)
I Am (Obama)
Thrill is Gone
Let's Go (Cosby)
Human Nature
Starting Something

J.Kwest will also perform covers of certain hip-hop records that carry an inspirational message (i.e. "Keep Ya Head Up" by 2Pac)

Whatever else you need, J.Kwest can handle that as well.