This is more than a high point for Jovan Smith. While there’s no doubting the sense of achievement he’ll rightly feel for getting playlisted on MTV Jams as of this week and the impetus it will give people to outstretch their hands and pick Prenuptial Agreement up off the shelf, it’s actually the video itself, as ever slickly put together by Vinnie Hobbs and Niko P, that communicates the feeling that J. Stalin has finally arrived and people will actually properly pay attention.
Put on by Oakland vet Richie Rich, as he explains in our exclusive interview from last year, Stalin has always been his own biggest fan, promoting himself carpet-bomb style online and in the streets until people had no choice but to listen. And that’s what has always separated him from the pack and guided him into a leadership role for the best rap artists in West and East Oakland, who have coagulated under him, de facto Thizz boss Stretch and the Livewire Records/Town Thizzness banners.
Add in the fact that over the last few years he’s been housed on SMC Recordings and given room to develop and you have the inspiring story of someone who went from successfully selling candy to drugs to CDs to mp3s right before your eyes.
If we recommend anything this week, it’s that you get familiar with the back catalogue: the raw, cohesive all-Mekanix produced distorted trunk thumps of On Behalf Of The Streets, his first big moment on Gas Nation and the numerous mixtapes and street projects he’s put out in between.