WordPlay T.JAY
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WordPlay T.JAY

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Hip Hop Hip Hop

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Music

Press


"T.JAY's Breakfast & Biggie is catchy"

Rapper Ja Rule gives T. Jay some advice in "Get in the Game." - MTV News/MTV Rap Fix Live


"Duke of Gloucester Street rap: Williamsburg concert will feature up-and-coming hip-hop voices"

Hip-hop music and Colonial Williamsburg would seem to be unlikely bedfellows.

Sometimes, though, opposites attract.

The town that time forgot is about to host a concert featuring up-and-coming rappers both home grown and imported.

Rhyme slingers T. Jay, who hails from Little Rock, Ark.; Josh Everhart, from Williamsburg; and Norfolk's BEEWest are scheduled to perform 8 p.m. Friday, July 13, at the Kimball Theatre on Duke of Gloucester Street in Virginia's colonial capital.

Everhart, 20, is the driving force behind the event. The Warhill High graduate said he's eager to get his music career humming and wanted his hometown to be part of the ignition.

"I'm getting ready to head out to Austin, Texas, to broaden my horizons," Everhart said. "I wanted to do one more show in the town I grew up in, to show people what I'm doing and where I'm trying to go.

"It's very exciting," he said. "It's a great feeling that we're re-inventing the Kimball for the evening. We want to show that you can bring it wherever you're at, you don't have to travel all the way to Virginia Beach to see a show."

Everhart has been writing rhymes for years, but his hobby became more serious in October when he decided to share his song "I Was Dreaming" on the Soundcloud music service.

Rapper and music entrepreneur T. Jay Johnson happened upon the track. "I was just wandering on Soundcloud, found him, liked his song and just decided I should get in contact with him. I asked if he wanted to be part of my music group." Johnson runs the indie record label On The Map Music Group.

At age 24, Johnson has already scored some success in the rap field. MTV'sSway Calloway and recording artist Ja Rule spoke highly of his single "Breakfast & Biggie" in an episode of MTV's web series "Rap Fix Live," presented in spring 2011.

Everhart traveled to Arkansas to meet Johnson. There, Everhart recorded a part of his debut release, "The Pre-Game EP." Today, he considers Johnson his mentor.

Johnson said he and Everhart share a love of classic hip-hop.

"We're not gangsta rap or anything like that," Johnson said. "Me and Josh Everhart make hip-hop that's closer to the traditional. It's all fun, it's storytelling. We tell our stories to the audience ... I look up to people like Kanye West, L.L. Cool J all the way down to the Beastie Boys."

Everhart said his lyrical content will be rated PG. "Hip-hop kind of has a bad name," he said. "I'm trying to come out of Williamsburg and prove to the world you don't have to be a super hard thug to do hip-hop. I'm a white guy, I played soccer all my life. I grew up in the Chickahominy Haven. This is just what I'm good at."

Clay Riley, program manager at the Kimball, said the show will be the theater's first hip-hop concert — at least the first in the 10 years he's worked there. "We try to do different things at the Kimball," he said, noting that the theater's movies and performances aim for the eclectic. "This is something a little different." - The Daily Press


"UA Rapper T.Jay Hits National Hip Hop Scene"

By Zeek Martin

Within moments of jumping onstage, one of the University of Arkansas’ most successful hip-hop artists, T.Jay, has the crowd jumping and waving their hands to his flow. Last week he was in Brooklyn, N.Y. — fresh from a show in Boston, promoting his new album Nothing Less.

As with most success stories, T.Jay did not find himself where he is overnight.

“In 2005, I had my first single on the radio down in Little Rock. The track was titled ‘The South’ and it debuted on a segment called ‘Hottest in the Rock’. It won Hottest in the Rock that night, and a lot of people heard the song, a lot of people voted for it that night,” explained Terry Johnson – as T.Jay’s professors and fellow students know him.

A few short weeks after that, he found himself face to face with Def Jam Recordings’ co-founder, Russell Simmons, at a club in Little Rock.

“I waited in line for hours and finally got up to Russell, and I’m getting ready to hand him my demo, and he asked ‘Son, do you have a copyright?’” Not wanting to lie, Johnson admitted that he did not. “Keep that, and keep doing what you’re doing and you’re gonna be on your way,” Simmons told him.

Encouraged, he left the club. “As soon as I got out of there I started On the Map Music Group [record label] the next month, and it’s been rolling ever since.”

He was 17 at the time.

More recently Johnson released the single “Breakfast and Biggie,” which was featured on MTV’s Rap Fix Live.

“MTV’s Sway and Ja Rule talked about Breakfast and Biggie quite a bit on Rap Fix Live,” T.Jay said, smiling. “What Ja Rule was getting across was saying I guy was really representing my state, my home state of Arkansas, and to him Arkansas is an untapped market.”

His lyrics draw from his experiences in Arkansas to set the scene. “In a nutshell, my whole scheme is story telling.”

“Up here in Fayetteville, we have a lot of people who pay attention to the lyrics, versus paying attention to the beat or the style of the song,” T.Jay said. “Down in Little Rock it’s more Southern driven for sure, while up here it’s a little more eclectic.”

That eclecticism has been a boon for one of Johnson’s side projects, a hip-hop show on the university’s radio station, KXUA.

“Concrete Schoolyard is all underground hip hop, basically we go by our motto ‘hip hop that you haven’t heard.’ I host the show along with DJ E-O [Eric Olson],” T.Jay said proudly. “We get on there and we bring to you hip hop that isn’t Top 40, isn’t exposed very often.”

The show has proven to be one of the station’s most popular shows – and is even featured some Thursday nights at the Smoke & Barrel tavern.

“Smoke & Barrel is where I shot Breakfast and Biggie. Smoke & Barrel is where I attend a lot of events, like Doubletough with Shortfuze,” T.Jay said. “When I got here, the first place to really show me love was the Smoke and Barrel.”

Now he is showing love to the fanbase he has built up over the years by offering his new album online.

“I felt like I should release all my music for free. I want my fanbase to keep growing. So I give them free music, and then they can pay for the shows,” T.J. said, grinning. “Instead of spending $15 on a CD, you can spend $15 and come to a concert and see me live, and you can actually grab at me.”

Laughing, he quickly added, “I don’t want you touching me, but you can attempt to grab at me. That connection with the fans is really important to me, that’s why I give away free music.”

You can find T.Jay’s latest album and tour dates on his production company’s website, www.tjay501.com.
- The Arkansas Traveler


"T.JAY in XXL's 1st Annual Hip Hop Style"

The New Year is promising for T.Jay. He recently began working as a DJ for the college radio station in Fayetteville. In addition to working with other artists, he has set up an audiovisual segment of On The Map for such vehicles as YouTube and internet media. 2010 also fosters the creation of his first mix tape, “I Will Not Lose”. He intends to further the scope of his corporation while doing what he best–perform for his fans. “ - XXL Magazine


"Too Witty: T.JAY"

What’s the first thing you would say to someone when they ask you to describe yourself as an artist
I most often say I’m a wordsmith. I like to twist and bend the English language. I began as a creative writer writing poetry and short stories. - Alwayz Therro Magazine


Discography

2010 - BREAKFAST & BIGGIE (SINGLE)
2011 - NOTHIN' LESS (MIXTAPE)
2012 - SO MUCH MORE (ALBUM)
2013 - 72701 STORIES: COLLEGE AMBITIONS (ALBUM)
2014 - THE CYCLE (SINGLE)
2014 - THE CYCLE (ALBUM)

Photos

Bio

His first retail release was called It Was Written in 2009.  A year later things began to change. He formed On The Map Music Group and created his single "Breakfast & Biggie"  The single was soon picked up by XXL's 1st Hip Hop Style contest. WordPlay T.JAY became a finalist.  Still his luck wasn't over. Six months later the music video for "Breakfast and Biggie" was picked to be released on MTV's Rap Fix Live. There rapper Ja Rule and host Sway Calloway inducted WordPlay T.JAY into the hip hop game.  A few months later WordPlay T.JAY released his 2nd album Nothin' Less.

He went on to release a 3rd album So Much More in 2012 after living on the move from town to town in 2012. The rapper settled back in his home town and created his 4th album 72701 Stories: College Ambition. The project highlighted his time in college and his journey to dropping out.  He also underwent a transformation from T.JAY to WordPlay T.JAY.  The name is an extension of his witty and catchy lyricism. This transformation led way to a change in style.  He captures this new style in his 2013 EP Lost in the Water. The work is a prelude to his album The Cycle. WordPlay T.JAY digs deep to find the important things in life. While on that journey he releases a new song every month ending in a full album at the end of 2014.

Contact: Bookings/Press at BookWordplayTJay@gmail.com or call 225-335-5652

Awards & Accomplishments:
• 2013 Opened for MGK (Bad Boy Records)
• 2012 1st Hip Hop act to headline Kimball Theater in Williamsburg, VA
• 2012 opened up for Pep Love of the Hieroglyphics
•• 2011 Seen on MTV’s Rap Fix Live (Ja Rule Episode)
• 2010 XXL’s 1st Annual Hip Hop Style – Finalist