J. Kwest
Gig Seeker Pro

J. Kwest

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Microphone Ministry"

It has been said that adversity comes with instructions in its hand. Julian DeShazier, a Morehouse College junior, has spent the greater part of his life attempting to master those teachings and has gained profound insight into the ongoing struggle for enlightenment. However, he’ll be the first to admit that he’s had some help along the way from a very compelling role model.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the game in his mid-twenties which told me I could begin ushering in social awareness right now,” recalls the sociology major. DeShazier has been preaching to the masses since the age of 15, but not in the typical way. Having grown up in church on the Southside of Chicago, DeShazier retained many of the biblical principles he heard while ensconced in a pew on Sunday mornings. However, once service concluded, the block would beckon him with beats that were much more enticing than a Pastor’s rhetoric. DeShazier chuckled, “I was raised on both Common and King, respectively.”
Seeking to meld homilies with hip hop, DeShazier, under the moniker J.Kwest, and friends formed Double Threat, a gospel hip hop consortium looking to promote “everyday music for your soul.” In their relatively short history, they’ve released an album to great underground acclaim and have maintained a buzz through unofficial mixtapes circulated throughout college campuses.
“Dr. King understood the vision of his people and spoke an inclusive message that benefited humanity. Hip hop now has such a global appeal that I feel the time is right to inject a world perspective of love in the music,” offers DeShazier.
DeShazier considers himself an intellectual as well as an MC. He was recently bestowed the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholar” award by the dean of Morehouse College’s MLK, Jr. International Chapel. According to DeShazier, this gives him access to otherwise restricted collegiate materials detailing King’s life and nonviolent methodology.
Yet, it has not always been an easy road for DeShazier, he battled an undiagnosed heart condition until March 2002 call Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP). The doctors have him under strict orders barring “stress, caffeine, and fatigue”- the three things that naturally accompany any normal college student’s lifestyle.
Despite physical ailments, DeShazier continues to press on towards a degree and a wider fan base for his music. When questioned about his work ethic, DeShazier draws on yet another lesson: “Dr. King was assassinated when he was young. I might not have that much time.” –adam beane (Rolling Out Magazine)
- Rolling Out Magazine

"J.Kwest blends raw skill with raw message"

“Secular mindset with a spiritual vision”- an accurate self-proclamation by gospel hip-hop artist J.Kwest. J.Kwest, aka King-Scholar Julian DeShazier, has completed his album entitled Feed the Kids Mixtape 2004, which is overall an impressive debut.
He delivers a 17-track album packed with alluring beats, thought-provoking and passionate lyrics, and a tight flow.
The album opens up with “Come With Me,” Catchy introduction/invitation to the Feed the Kids journey in which J.Kwest rhymes about his calling to do gospel rap and gives a few important shout outs.
The greatest aspect of the album is its ability to achieve high levels of diversity in subject matter while still retaining its religious perspective. “All In Time,” “Organic Innasense,” and “Spread Love” are the smooth, mellow tracks, reminiscent of neo-soul rhythms. “Kwestions” and “Fallen Angels” are just two of the mentally and spiritually stimulating tunes that cover topics ranging from the September 11th attacks and reparations to pre-marital sex and AIDS. Fellow gospel rap artist Breeveazie makes the album all the more enjoyable with his intense energy and super-fast lyrics. “Verbal Kwest” and “Something to Prove” (my personal favorite) especially exhibit both J.Kwest’s and Breeveazie’s best floetic talents.
Guaranteed repeat-worthy tracks on Feed the Kids include “Is You Ready,” a vigorous freestyle to the Youngbloodz “Damn” beat, and “Beef,” a no frills, no hook, unadultered, a-cappella rhyme which is sure to raise the consciousness of young people, especially within the AUC: “beef is putting more black men behind bars/build a new prison every week, do the math/and then hire the company to cook food in the caf.”
Feed the Kids is truly entertaining from start to finish, especially for those who are looking for more substance, and skill, in their choice of hip hop music. And if you’re a fan of Feed the Kids, be sure to look out for Breeveazie’s upcoming 2nd release Solid Food.
- Barry Debrow - The Maroon Tiger


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)



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.