Those Guys
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Those Guys

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Alternative




"Those Guys (HNHH Elite Heatseeker Winner 2012)"

The duo that call themselves Those Guys pride themselves on making "Good Hip-Hop." That basic description really does describe their sound-- it's fundamental hip-hop. It's not pop-infused or taking on other trends that are current in the game. These two dudes stick to classic flowing over hard beats. Yup, those guys are pretty solid. -

"Those Guys - You Aint Know (review)"

You Aint Know Ohio duo, Those Guys? Considering this is their first Booth feature, I guess it’s OK if you are unfamiliar with the stylings of J. Al and Jova, but after today, there are no excuses. Cool? You Aint Know plays host to a raw, grungy production by Jova, over which the duo brings an equally in-your-face set of bars. Backed by an army of loyal fans in the song’s official visuals, the twosome don “good hip-hop music” bandannas and proceed to destroy a perfectly good set of wheels with a baseball bat being their weapon of choice. Taking time out from wreaking havoc on your speakers, Those Guys associate Jarryd Lentz (the fellas next door neighbor) pulls out a golf club and practices his shot atop the battered vehicle. (Guys, where was my invite?) You Aint Know can be found on the mate’s free project Greater Than The Mixtape Vol.3, which is available now. -

"Watch: Those Guys' Explosive "You Ain't Know" Video"

Those Guys have emerged as one of the more impressive up-and-comers in Cincinnati Hip Hop, both via their digital/CD releases (a handful of singles and a trio of excellent mixtapes) and their live show, which incorporates a three-piece live band. Those Guys features MC's J.Al and Jova, who met as high school freshmen and started the group upon graduation in 2008. Citing influences like Kanye, The Clipse and Kid Cudi, the duo issued Greater Than the Mixtape Volume 1 in 2009.

The most recent in their Greater Than the Mixtape series (Volume 3) was released late last year, kicking off with the monster track "You Ain't Know," which showcases the duo's telepathic back-and-forth, superb lyricism and a fat and funky musical approach.

The duo has been garnering extra attention with their just-released video (Those Guys' first) for "You Ain't Know," which was filmed in Monroe just prior to Halloween and features some spectacular scenes of the crew blowing up a car. Who says you need a big budget for action-movie-like special effects? (The group thanks the City of Monroe's parks, fire and police department as well as the Butler County Bomb Squad in the video description on YouTube, so the fiery shoot was on the up-and-up.)

The video has been creating major buzz on social media, even drawing praise from Hip Hop legend Redman, who tweeted "Dope ass video … thats wut Im talkn bout … sumtn different … hard shit."

Check the clip below, then visit the duo's Bandcamp site to download the latest mixtape and other Those Guys material for free. You can find more about Those Guys at their official site, Facebook page and on Twitter here. - CityBeat Magazine

"Who Do Those Guys Think They Are?"

Two years ago, when I first heard whispers from my more in-tune friends in the Cincinnati music scene that there was a new Hip Hop group called Those Guys making noise in the area, the discussion wasn’t about a song they put out, a mixtape they were about to drop or their electrifying live performances.
It was about their tagline: “Good Hip Hop Music.”

The first thought that came to my 21-year-old musically pretentious mind was, “Who in the hell do these bold, asshole nobodies think they are making a statement like that?”

Then, a couple months later, I heard Those Guys’ Greater Than Vol. 2 mixtape and quickly realized two things — I was the asshole nobody for doubting the members’ abilities and the boldness and bravado that “Good Hip Hop Music” carries wasn’t coming from an egotistical standpoint, but a belief and self confidence that the music they were producing was, in fact, good.

What Those Guys’ tagline doesn’t tell you is that this “Good Hip Hop Music” mentality was established long before the group had any concrete footing.

When Joe “Jova” Milburn decided to drop out of nursing school after one quarter in 2010, he called his Monroe High School friend and eventual Those Guys partner Jordan “J. Al” Allen, who was homeless and living from couch to couch at the time, to tell him about their new career path.

“He called me and he was like, ‘Yo, we’re gonna make music, I just quit school,’ and I was like, ‘No, you didn’t,’ ” Allen says. “Then I went over to his house the next day and he was supposed to be at school and I was like, ‘You really did quit! Oh my God!

“He quit school before we were even good.”

This small fact, however, didn’t stop Milburn from pursuing his dreams of making music.

“I knew what we were. I knew what (Allen) was and what I was going to be … I had total faith,” Milburn says.

Allen, on the other hand, wasn’t on the same wavelength about this newly chosen profession.

“I was scared!” he says.

“You got to remember, at the time, I was homeless. He was talking about how we’re gonna be rappers and I was like, ‘Man, I don’t even know where I’m gonna live.’ ”
Even though his partner wasn’t totally on-board, Milburn’s determination and faith never wavered as he became a student of the Hip Hop game, looking up to artists ranging from Kid Cudi to The Clipse and trying to expand his knowledge of not only lyrical artistry, but beat-making as well.

“(Neptunes’ producer/artist) Pharrell was doing beats with Malice and Pusha T and I was like, ‘This is how this is supposed to be done,’ ” Milburn says. “I knew Jordan could rap and, at the time, we didn’t really have that Pharrell aspect. I wasn’t that great at beats — and I’m still not — and we had no idea how to do a hook, so I just started studying that.”

While Milburn was studying at the Pharrell school of Hip Hop and hit-making, he and Allen were thinking about methods to build an audience and develop their live performance.

“In our free time we would watch other local rappers. The common theme was ‘Why don’t people enjoy Rap shows?’ and it’s because they are just standing on stage, staring back at us, rapping about nonsense,” Allen says.

Then Milburn went to a festival in Memphis and found his answer to the general lull of Hip Hop shows run by backtracks and DJs.

“I saw Snoop and his band was off the chain. Not to take anything away from Snoop because it’s Snoop … but they had a band and I wanted a band,” he says.

From there, Milburn recruited lead guitarist Jake “Money” Morton and bassist Aaron Spears. As for drummers, Those Guys have gone through more than Spinal Tap.

But even without a steady percussionist, the addition of Rock players Morton and Spears gave Those Guys’ live performances an edge and intensity that most Hip Hop shows lack, setting them apart from the rest of the Cincinnati Rap scene and expanding their audience to also include more “alternative” crowds, outside of the genre.

After years of self-promotion and shows, Those Guys’ hard work finally began to pay off last year when they dropped their explosive (pun intended) video for their track “You Ain’t Know.”

“You Ain’t Know” follows the typical “Rap video” checklist by having two dudes spit in front of a car with their posse in full effect in the background. Except, you know, the aforementioned posse is dismantling the vehicle … and it ends in the car being blown to pieces. Think Nelly’s “Country Grammar” video, but with baseball bats, Molotov cocktails and better rhymes.

With the clip’s unique visual element and a growing internet presence, people really began to pay Those Guys the attention they deserved. The accolades began rolling in, including a 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nomination for best Hip Hop artist and scoring the No. 1 slot on’s HeatSeeker chart.

“Before (the video for) ‘You Ain’t Know,’ our only outlet was our Twitter and Facebook pages,” Milburn says. “Now i - CityBeat Magazine


Greater Than the Mixtape Vol. 1
Greater Than the Mixtape Vol. 2
Greater Than the Mixtape Vol. 3

"You Aint Know" music video >>>

Performance Videos:



Those Guys is J.Al and Jova; a hip hop duo from Cincinnati,OH. Friends since freshman year of high school, they began their career in Hip-Hop after graduating in 2008. Those Guys' approach to music is simply: “If it sounds good, it is good” which informs their brand “Good Hip Hop Music”.

With influences including The Clipse, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, it is obvious to see an effort towards song-crafting in their material. Poignant lyrics, a story-tellers approach is at the center of their creative process.

Those guys have performed alongside Talib Kweli, Chip Tha Ripper, The Ohio Players, Grand Funk Railroad, Dom Kennedy, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, and A$ap Rocky. Touring regionally as a five piece band, their do-it yourself approach, active social media fan base, and outstanding live performances have allowed them to continue fulfilling what they set out to do, which is to deliver “Good Hip Hop Music” to the masses.


Greater Than Mixtape Series – 10,000 Downloads

Nominated - “Best Hip-Hop” 2012 – Cincinnati Entertainment Awards –

“Elite Heatseeker” of 2012 –

Critical Acclaim for "You Aint Know" (Music Video)