Check out the new song from J.O. Crook – It’s Gonna Be OK
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
Well I was born in Foley, AL. It’s a little town in the south, right down by the beach. Taking a cruise down to the waves to ease my mind seemed to become somewhat of a ritual. Throughout my 19 years of living I’ve seen a lot and I’ve been through it too. Music has been apart of my life since I was a child. I grew up in the church, I had no other option but to love music.
As I got older, I became more curious about life and the things that were out there. That’s when I found the hip-hop industry (haha). My mother wasn’t so happy at first about my choice of genre, she was very reluctant I guess you can say. My pops on the other hand was all for it. By Age 15 I was on my road to success in the rap game. I started out in this group called 4-Townz Legend with 2 of my cousins (Dennis “Dennis Lee” Walton and Carlton “Skip” Lamar).
Within the little time that we had this group established, I met these people in my city that had been doing the rap thing for sometime now, they had a group that went by the name,Ala-Tex Connection/Storm Hazard Ent. (Benjamin -Lucky- Jones, Alex -Profeta- Mendez, Leon -U.T.- Shoots). They grew to become my mentors over the years.. Profeta just recently passed last year in a tragic car accident, God how I miss that man.
Anyways, in 2008 Ala-Tex was having an artist showcase at The Civic Center in Foley, AL where Profeta introduced me to this woman who was searching for talented young recording artists to sign onto her up-and-coming record label. Of course I took the offer in March of 2008 I became a solo artist to the label B.O.T.P Records out of Mobile, AL – C.E.O. JoEllen “Queen JoJo” Porter. I stayed with the label for about a year and a half until it came into some financial problems and I was back at square one.
I had lost all confidence in my music. Then I met Ricky “Fontaine” Posey and my whole life changed. He taught me that music is in your heart and to never give up! I was back at it and wasn’t going to stop for anything or anybody. Over the years I’ve gained tight music and personal friendships with artists such Willie “Boonie Baby” Holmes and Glenn Terrel “Shank” Ford, Jr. who have also helped influence me to take my music to the next level.
In the summer of 2010 I established my record label Laeno Entertainment. I’ve had some pretty good success thus far including over 1,000,000 plays online and 100s of thousands of music downloads and meeting a select few of this generation’s successful hip-hop artists such as Yo Gotti, Wiz Khalifa, Rich Boy, Trey Songz, Snoop Dogg, and Kirko Bangz.
These past 2 years I have been focused on reaching the top and when I get there I don’t plan to stop there. When I leave this world I want everyone to know that I’ve done my best that I could do in my capabilities.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
I’m currently promoting this internet single of mine called It’s Gonna Be OK. This song basically describes how I feel about my life and the music industry. Although sometimes I do “hard” hip-hop music, sometimes I feel as if the artist is trapped by not being able to do the music they necessarily want to do but be justified by what the people want. I’m not complaining by a long shot because I love what I do. I was just expressing my thoughts that I was having at this point in my life.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
Honestly. When I was in high school some of my fellow classmates used to joke around and make fun of the fact that growing up I was what they called a “church boy” and now I’m “trying” to be a rapper. I still didn’t give up. It just made me go back in the studio and go 10 times harder than I did before.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
My biggest set back was when I got dropped from B.O.T.P. Records. I didn’t know what I was going to do next. So I took some time off for a while until I found myself again and well, I just killed the game.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Be careful of the haters & people offering false hope. Don’t get me wrong, take constructive criticism wisely. Also when it comes to these snakes in the industry trying to take your money, watch out. There are plenty of them in the industry. Just double check your findings and never make hasty decisions. Pray about it.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Never give up. Point blank, period. I’m really one to say this often, but Drake said it best, “You only love once.” No matter how much people may ridicule you, just look at their face and smile. You have to just over look some things and go for your dream! That’s the only way you’re going to make in this industry.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
The streets and social networks. The people in the streets are the ones who determines ”who’s hot & who’s not. Give em’ the best you got and grind, morning, noon and night!
Where can people visit you?
You can visit my Reverbnation page where I have quite a few of my songs up for exclusive downloads: www.reverbnation.com/
You can also like my page on Facebook J.O. Crook: www.facebook.com/
Let’s not forget the glorious Twitter world, you can follow me @iSpeak_DaTruth_
Without God and my supporters I would be nothing. Thank you all!