Mixtape Tuesdayz – Mixtape Artist Review – Jay Rock

Jay Rock

Background information

Birth name – Johnny Reed McKinzie, Jr.
Born March 31, 1986 (age 27)
Origin – Watts, Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres – Hip hop, gangsta rap
Occupations – Rapper
Years active – 2005–present [1]
Labels – Top Dawg Entertainment, Strange Music, Interscope
Associated acts – Black Hippy, Game, Glasses Malone, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, Tech N9ne

WebsiteOfficial website

Johnny Reed McKinzie, Jr.[2] (born March 31, 1986), better known by his stage name Jay Rock, is an American rapper from Watts, Los Angeles, California. Growing up in Watts, known for its low income, gang infested and drug infested streets, Rock ultimately chose to take rapping over street life after Anthony Tiffith, CEO of independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, found Rock in 2005 and signed him to his label after hearing a verse of his.[1] Rock, alongside Top Dawg, worked with Warner Bros. and later Asylum Records, but after both mergers fell through, the label linked up with Strange Music, after Tech N9ne, rapper and founder of the label met with them.[3]

Rock is a member of hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his label-mates and fellow West Coast rappers Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. In 2011, after signing his joint-venture deal with Strange Music, Rock released his often-delayed and long-awaited debut studio album Follow Me Home. The album was preceded by the singles “All My Life (In the Ghetto)” and “Hood Gone Love It”.


1986-2007: Early life and career beginnings

Jay Rock was born and raised in Watts, Los Angeles, California, in the Nickerson Gardens projects. In his neighborhood he is a known member of the Bounty Hunter Bloods gang.[4] Rock attended Locke High School. He released several mixtapes throughout his neighborhood and the internet, which led to his signing to Top Dawg Entertainment and later Warner Bros. Records.[5]

2008–2011: Follow Me Home and move to Strange Music

Rock released his commercial debut single, “All My Life (In the Ghetto)” in late 2008, featuring fellow American recording artists Lil Wayne and will.i.am. The single was promoted as one of “iTunes’s Free Downloads” in early 2009. In 2010, Rock was featured on the cover of XXL’s annual Top 10 Freshmen issue.[6] He was also named by MTV one of 2010’s breakthrough MCs.[7] Jay Rock was featured on Omarion’s song “Hoodie” and was supposed to be featured on Flo Rida’s third studio album Only One Flo but was left off the final tracklisting.[8]

Rock’s mixtape Tales From the Hood 2 went to iTunes on March 28, 2010 and his mixtape From the Hood to the Cover of XXL was released to iTunes on July 24, 2010.[9][10] He toured with 50 Cent, Game and other rappers on The Invitation Tour. Jay Rock signed with indie record label Strange Music in the Fall of 2010, on a multi-album deal after leaving from Warner Bros.[11] Jay Rock then went on tour with Tech N9ne, E-40, Glasses Malone, Kutt Calhoun and Kendrick Lamar on the “Independent Grind National Tour”.[12] His mixtape Black Friday, was released December 7, 2010 to iTunes.[13]

On June 21, 2011 Rock released his second single, “Hood Gone Love It”, featuring Kendrick Lamar.[14] His debut album Follow Me Home was released on July 26, 2011 under independent record labels Strange Music and Top Dawg.[11][15] The album debuted at #83 on the Billboard 200, selling 5,300 copies in it’s first week.[16]


In March 2012, MTV announced that Top Dawg Entertainment closed a joint venture deal with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment. Under the new deal, Rock’s Black Hippy cohort Kendrick Lamar, would release his debut studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city jointly though Top Dawg, Interscope and Aftermath while releases from the rest of Black Hippy would be distributed via Top Dawg and Interscope, respectively.[1] During 2012, Rock also toured with the rest of Black Hippy and Stalley, on BET’s Music Matters Tour.[17] Rock’s appearance on Good kid, m.A.A.d city, was highly significant as he was the only other rapper from Black Hippy to be featured on the standard edition of the album. He was featured on the song “Money Trees”, which his verse was highly acclaimed.[18]


Main articles: Jay Rock discography and Black Hippy discography

Black Friday (2010)
Follow Me Home (2011)

Red Everything Movement


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