Hailing from Motown, J. Ghost The Conscious Hippy is following in the footsteps of the Motor City’s famous wordsmiths. With a do it yourself approach, he is diligently working to provide a new perspective and deliver a dose of consciousness that is often overlooked in this current atmosphere of designer clothes, fast cars and faster women. With the recent release of his latest album, The Hidden Agenda, J. Ghost The Conscious Hippy takes a break from his busy schedule to sit down with Ablackweb.com and briefly discuss his upbringing, goals and recent release.
Thank you for sitting down with us today, it is really a pleasure. Give me a little background on yourself?
I am J. Ghost The Conscious Hippy, an independent artist from Detroit Michigan, currently residing in Los Angeles. I have lived in Los Angeles for about 5 years, I am a man of God, and music is spiritual to me. I write, produce, and engineer. I have 4 albums currently streaming on all platforms.
How was your upbringing in Detroit?
I am the youngest of 5 children. I have 3 sisters and a brother. I grew up in a single parent household. My mother worked as a nurse, we grew up on the west side of Detroit, 7 mile. The housing market was declining, and the drugs and gun violence took over the neighborhoods. I lost my cousin to a triple homicide in 2008, and I ended up knowing the guys who murdered him, we stayed in the same neighborhood. I saw a lot of hustlers, drug dealers. But my mother was always spiritual, I mean she named me Jonathon Isaac Paul, I was ordained to do this, I had a Godfather that kept me connected to God, and taught me how to be a man, structure, and faith. I carry a lot of my pain, experiences and faith and I use it in my art.
Who are some of your musical inspirations and how they have affected your music?
Jay-Z and Nas are masters at Rap, the conscious rap from Nas is inspirational and the word play that Jay-Z does is unmatched. When I write a song, I say to myself “how can I spit this conscious shit in a way that the people receive the message but still enjoy the essence of hip hop, which is head banging beats, and lyrics that make your face cringe up when you hear it. I am a producer and engineer as well, J Dilla who is also from Detroit is the GOAT in my eyes, and Kanye West I think is one of the greatest to ever do it as both a producer and an artist. He’s a creative genius, out the box, unapologetic, and inspires my alter ego that I have in production which is called “scatter brain”. “Scatter brain” is self-explanatory, to understand it you would have to be with me in the studio.
You relocated from Detroit, a blue collar city to LA, a city that is all about image, how did that affect your music?
Detroit is the same way but on a smaller scale. Detroit is flashy and money driven. The city is known for bust down Rollies, Cartier Frames, the champagne D Boy lifestyle, and about the image so it was not a hard transition. Los Angeles is on a larger scale and plus all of the opportunities and celebrities are out here, so if music is something you want to do, you might as well go for it. Additionally, the type of music I make is not the mainstream artist from Detroit’s style of music. My music is for an audience of all different cultures, so Los Angeles is the perfect place to brand myself, perfect my craft, and be around new energy.
Tell us about your previous albums and what we can expect from the Hidden Agenda?
My Projects that are out are Blackkk America, Conscious Hippy and Diamond in the Rough. Each album has a different style in the production and cadence, but they all share the same purpose, spreading truth and talking about real life issues and social injustice. The Hidden Agenda is most definitely a progression from the other projects, especially with what we are dealing with in the world right now. I let my soul speak through the music, and worked on the album for a long time, because I wanted to find the perfect paring of beats and spreading my message, without it seeming like I’m trying to preach. I’m not a preacher but I am spreading this ghetto gospel all throughout my songs, I want to spread my message to all ethnicities and all ages. Everyone can learn.
Tell us about some of the collaborations on the project.
I have Skrillaphornia on the song “Do not Pass Go” which is the last song on the album, he’s a local Compton artist, it was dope collab because he talks about real life issues, his word play is crazy, very deep brother, he killed the third verse, he inspired me.
Kristen Hamilton who is the singer, in “Generational Curses” which ironically I met in Top Shop in Beverly Hills, which is a clothing store, and he was singing in the dressing room, I told him he was dope and about this open mic, we reconnected on Instagram a year later, I had him come up to the studio, when I heard his voice it gave me the chills, I knew it was perfect for that song. That song seems to be a fan favorite.
What are your short term and long term goals?
My short term goal is to keep growing my fan base, growing my production company, spread my music to the masses and tour. Long Term goal would be to become a master myself and work with the greats in the industry as a producer, song writer, or engineer. I want to push my creativity to the next level, and be an artist that people remember.
Last question, how do we find you on social media and where can we find your music?
@conscioushippy on all streaming platforms, and social media
I have my single “Police on the Corner” form Hidden agenda streaming everywhere.
Interview Done By: Elzo