In The Spotlight: Hip Hop Artist J. Smith

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Our latest spotlight artist has been one of my favorite up and coming artists for a very long time! His name is J. Smith, hailing from the Euclid/Cleveland area in Ohio. Attending the same high school as Kid Cudi protégé King Chip, who was a few years ahead of him, J. Smith said he got his start from a "fluke situation" when he was asked to be in a rap group by a fellow rapper by the name of Pyro. Smith said he went home, found a microphone, downloaded the Adobe Audition program and hasn't looked back since!

When asked about some of his inspirations, Smith said,
"Everything inspires me. Before I use to not put my feelings, emotions on a record.  Even when I would try I wouldn't fully commit.  I'm very private honestly; I like being the lowkey guy.  I had a fear of opening myself up on a song and just being completely honest about life and the experiences I been through.  But listening to rappers like Drake, J.Cole, Future, Chance The Rapper, and so many more, I began to understand why I felt their music so much and it was because they were telling at least some of my story or something I could fully relate to in their records. "
Admitting that he has the most respect for Drake, Smith revealed that he was impressed by Drake's honesty on all his records. The artist also mentioned that 2 Chainz is one of his inspirations because he feels like over the last few years 2 Chainz's lyrical abilities have gone unnoticed. He also mentioned other artists such as Kanye West, Audio Push and Lil' Durk as artists that he looks up to.

Back in 2013, J. Smith moved from his home of Cleveland to Phoenix, Arizona to attend law school. When asked if this move has had any impact on his music, he said despite the lackluster amount of talent that he's noticed how different hip-hop culture overall is out West compared to the Midwest. He The move had an impact on his life in general because around 2013, 2014, he couldn't write a song to save his life. Smith was ready to stop making music and focus on his career as a lawyer, until one day something just clicked. Ever since he's been in a zone, and now he thinks every time he writes, it's something special.  Smith also admitted his new surroundings out West have allowed him to learn a lot about himself.

With J. Smith's new project, Flowers For My Pain (released on June 27), he hopes to really show other artists and listeners of his music how unique he really is. Throughout this time of developing the project, the artist admits that he was dealing with personal problems, such as his mother's drug issues and going to jail. He delves into this and more on "Mama's Drugs" on the EP.  As an only child, Smith admits "it's just a blessing I'm in this position," and that, overall, he is trying to be like Dale Earnhardt and "find his own lane" by just being himself on tracks. Check out the mixtape in full below!

So what's next for J. Smith? The artist plans to go back to studying to take the Arizona bar exam as well as focus on pushing his new mixtape. Besides that, he wants to take his Elevated Livin' collective (which includes hip hop artist Sav) to the next level and continuing to inspire and motivate others!

Follow J. Smith On Twitter: @PressRecord_ 
Follow Him On Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jsmithelevatedlivin/

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