BY DEV GILLESPIE
Sitting on more than 10 years in the game, J. Long is not a stranger to the music industry and how messy it can be, but that didn’t even put a dent in his drive to make his vision happen. Producer, singer, song writer, and actor since his teens, J. Long was been dragged through the sometimes muddy industry waters and has managed to come out clean! Not without struggle, J. Long exceeded expectations and was signed to NBA player Steve Francis ISOH Entertainment record label fresh out of high school. Steve Francis later traded to another NBA team and the big J. Long deal fell through. Jumping into an immediate ’survival of the fittest’ mode, J. Long decided to make it happen on his own. In 2004, JFam Music was born. With his dad’s help, J.Long put himself in the perfect position to make major moves. I can hear the hunger and drive in his voice six years later, with a taste of that cockiness you need to turn your biggest hater into a believer. Touring with Pretty Ricky in 2008, J. Long made his star presence known, was signed to Blue Star Entertainment and developed a strong fan base. The ladies are drawn to his sex appeal and the guys are taking notes.
Still marching to his own beat, J. Long hit the Billboard Charts at #4 with “Person Freak” off of his debut album Girl Listen. Numerous TV appearances, magazine features, and four independent CD’s later, J. Long is just getting started! With his second album on deck J. Long is keeping his fans satisfied and entertained while they listen to his new hits “Strip” and “I’m Fly” featuring Webbie. Through the disappointments and the haters J. Long made his own way is the game. He outshines the people throwing shade his way and there is no stopping him! J. Long gives some valuable incite to his fans, haters, and also anymore coming into this industry, but I’ll let him fill you in on all the details, with no sugar coating!
You’ve been in groups with other people and you’ve been signed to a few record labels. Why do you think it didn’t work out for you guys?
J. Long: I was in a group with a friend of mine. We’re still cool, but I think at the end of the day I was supposed to be a solo artist. I demand so much attention. I don’t like to share the spotlight.
Who all were you signed to before you started doing your own thing?
J. Long: I did some things with Mike Jones back in the day. Also I just got off of Blue Star Entertainment, Pretty Ricky’s label.
Do you ever see any of the people who down played your dreams?
J. Long: Oh yeah, I see them all the time. I mean, like I always say, I’m very proud of myself. I’m living my dream; I’m actually getting paid for what I love to do. Sometimes I like to go back and remember where I came from. I see them and they see me in my cars. Or I’m out and people are going crazy. They see me. That’s what we call haters.
Right! How do they respond to your success?
J. Long: Just normal hater stuff. Either they’re whispering on the low or saying “Oh forget him”. I actually need security to walk around now. Some people try to attack me, you know…just the normal hater stuff.
So how was the transition from having your own record label and then being signed to Blue Star Entertainment?
J. Long: I like to keep it real. I never should have signed with Blue Star in the first place. I was over there for about a year and I wasted my time and I wasted my money.
Did the breakup of Pretty Ricky effect you at all?
J. Long: I mean I didn’t cry. I didn’t care, as far as them breaking up. As far as me leaving them, I wish I could get my money back! (laughs) I invested a lot of money that I wish I could get back. I’m not crying about it you know, but you win some you lose some. I guess I lost that battle.
Not to be messy, but we read on some media sites that Pretty Ricky was hating on you. What’s up with that?
J. Long: Well, we can’t say Pretty Ricky because they’re a group of four people. It was a certain person. I guess I have to understand where he was coming from like, “Who is this new dude coming and taking all the shine?” My thing is why sign me in the first place? I already told you what I was gonna come over here and do. I told you I was gonna come over here and start shining. I guess they thought I was lying. I wasn’t trying to outshine them, but it’s a new day in age. Y’all came out in 2005. I’m part of the new school, you know. I’m like the new dude on campus. You know you got the old jocks that’s been in school, but when the new kid come around everybody is like “Who is the new kid?” That’s what I was. Don’t hate on me…we’re on the same team. Let’s get money together.
Okay, that makes sense. Now what TV shows have you appeared on?
J. Long: We just did FOX 26 again. We did a couple BET shows. We’re moving around a lot. I can’t remember all of them off the top of my head. We have a couple local shoes in Texas that we’re doing. I just found out I’m on ‘On Demand’ on Comcast.
Do you plan on doing any major acting roles in the future?
J. Long: I think I should! Everybody calls me a character. They say I’m very interesting and entertaining with just my daily activities. I don’t get what they’re talking about, but everybody calls me a character so…
Yeah, you sound like you have it in you!
J. Long: Hey if the silver screen pays me, I’m there!
You’re single “Personal Freak” has been doing numbers with your fans…
J. Long: Yeah! I have to note “Personal Freak” is out right now and it has Pretty Ricky on it. Now, when I say it peaked at #4, there is an original version that I did, that I produced, and that I wrote. I seen somewhere where a member of Pretty Ricky said he wrote that record and that is a total lie. If you look at it, the record first came out in 2006. It got big in Texas around 2008 I wanna say and it hit the Billboard Charts in 2009 for sales. I re-did the song because it was big in my region and I re-did it hoping that it would go nationwide and put Pretty Ricky on it to try to help their situation out too because we know they been reachin’. They ain’t what they just to be so…I said “Hey, let’s work together.” But my single done what it did before that so I’d like to clear that up. It was the original version that hit the charts.
Glad we cleared that up! We read that your favorite thing to do is writing. Are there any artists you’re looking to write or produce for?
J. Long: Anybody with a check. They can be big or they can be local.
In today’s industry would you say being independent is the best way to go?
J. Long: I absolutely do. I absolutely do. I’m my own boss and I love it that way. I love taking advice, but you know I’ve had bad advice and it’s my career. Some things I think are good for my career, somethings I think are not. You’re calling your own shots. Not saying you shouldn’t take advice, but put your money in your pocket at the end the day. Stay independent as long as you can.
Make sure you keep an ear and an eye out for J. Long’s 2nd album that he’s in the studio recording right now. For now check out his web site or hit him up directly on his Twitter. As you can see he is working regardless of any minor set backs and you heard it at FULL BLAST first!