Westside KJ is proving himself to be a young boss in the making. The son of Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua is taking on the rap game in full force with his debut mixtape Jefe Talk.
KJ really bossed up for this project. Hosted by rap pioneer Bigga Rankin, the nine track mixtape features ATL rapper AocObama as well as Rich Kidz members CosaNostra Kidd and Skooly.
Jefe Talk is definitely one hell of an introduction to Westside KJ. The boss talk and swag-filled lyrics definitely caught my ear.
To find out more we caught up with Westside KJ to discuss the tape and what it means to be a boss.
So, what are your thoughts on the project before we get into the more complicated questions?
Jefe Talk is somewhat of an introduction of me. I want the people to start understanding who Westside KJ is.
What do mean by “introduction,” like an introduction to your boss life?
Throughout the city, like Atlanta, a lot of people know me because of the events I’ve had, like my birthday parties and just like me just being me throughout the city or whatever.
I just started rapping in like January so people don’t really know me for rapping so it’s like an introduction to me rapping. For everybody to see me rapping.
You say just started rapping in January? That’s pretty epic dude, that you can drop a nine track tape in June after starting the process for the tape in January. But what did people previously know you for?
Since I got here, I’ve been having big ass parties. Every time my birthday comes around I throw a bigass party. I had one when I turned 16 and TMZ picked it up.
That’s the one I was talking about with the helicopter and shit.
Did you really pull up to a party in a helicopter? What was it like to pull up to your party in a chopper?
Yeah, I had a party in a jet hangar when I turned 16. It was like my parties have been so big before it was like, what I’m going to do next? So I guess that was next.
I ain’t gonna lie we were trying to get a jet, but there wasn’t any around that day to just take off and go around and land.
I’ll probably just have to fly somewhere sit around for an hour and fly back. So the helicopter just took me around for an hour before the party.
After the little hour or whatever I told them to open up the hangar so everyone could see me land. It’s on TMZ now.
That’s insane. Is that the first time TMZ ever picked up any of the parties you had?
Yeah, that was the first time. They reached out to us. In 2015, it was the tie for one of the biggest parties that year. Me and Snoop’s son. He had his 18th that year.
It was just crazy because you know when you have a whole bunch of followers on Instagram and you try to throw something together and normally a whole bunch of people wouldn’t come? It just like had the presence on social media and they showed up. It was a good turn out.
Most of my birthday parties are like that. I just packed out a club in Atlanta called Compound in March for my past birthday. I had a couple people that I’m cool with perform, I performed.
What song(s) did you perform?
When I had that party and I turned 18, I only had two songs so I only performed one, the intro “Jefe Talk.”
Was this before or after you got the Bigga Rankin co-sign? I mean that’s an OG in hip-hop.
Bigga Rankin! Since I’ve been living in Atlanta he’s been close to my family. Whenever I had little mixtapes, like for my birthday I would always put together mixtapes of songs I’m listening to at the moment and I would put in on a CD and give it out at the party.
This goes way back. I wasn’t thinking about rapping until January so it was like before that I used to just look at the A&R perspective of everything, that’s all I wanted to do was put together music.
Every time my birthday came around I would put together a little mixtape and Bigga Rankin would host it. So when I did my mixtape I was like who else is going to host other than him.
Were you excited to get the Bigga Rankin endorsement?
Yeah, I mean he’s family to me but to other people, his stamp of approval, people automatically click on it because they see Bigga Rankin approving this one.
There done been a lot of people in the game, like Lucci. That’s just one artist he done gave the go and everybody fucked with him after that. You never know what can happen after Bigga Rankin host your music.
After the endorsement what do you think is going to happen next knowing that Rankin has worked with Gucci, Rick Ross, and a bunch of other legendary rappers from a young stage in their careers?
I can only go up from here. I don’t see myself staying at the same level. There are rappers that stay at the same level forever.
Just on Spinrilla alone, Jefe Talk did way better than a lot of other people’s mixtapes that been rapping for a minute. I was just thinking if it keeps going up you don’t know where it can go. You just got to keep going and stay with it.
Obviously, you put your heart into this project, what was it like to see people’s reaction to your first tape?
It’s surprising. Like going from being known around the city for how you move, when you start making music now everybody has a reason like “I know KJ.”
You just see how people change and everybody treats you. Since the mixtape came out everyone calls me Jefe.
That’s fire! So everyone is calling you “boss” in Spanish? What does being a boss mean to you?
Yeah. For people that think being a boss is like “I’m the one who started this,” nah. When you are the boss you have to know how to put people in a position where they can lead.
You have to be a leader of self, because you can’t lead anyone unless you know how to lead yourself. Anybody who’s a boss ain’t going to put anyone in a position they can’t handle. They won’t mislead anybody.
I am not going to let anyone do anything I wouldn’t do. I’m not going to have a crash dummy.
You graduated high school this year. How’d you manage balancing school and dropping the fire mixtape?
It’s crazy cause like, before January none of the mixtape existed. It didn’t have a name until like March. In Atalanta school ends in May so from the 26th to about a month after I was recording.
Before May 26, I had “Get the Money” with AocObama, a piece of “Smoke,” and I did “Jefe Talk” in my first session ever. Pretty much after graduation, I did the other six songs on the tape and there were a couple of songs that didn’t make it but I felt like that was for Jefe Talk 2.
There’s going to be a Jefe Talk 2?
There’s definitely going to be a Jefe Talk 2.
I see you have a couple of features on Jefe Talk will there be any features on the sequel? Is there anyone you have in mind?
I know a lot of people but most of the rappers I know are personal relationships.
Most of the people I see myself working with are the same people on my tape and people I’m around on a regular basis, people I consider my brothers.
I don’t want to be on someone’s feature because they’re hot, I just like doing what makes me comfortable -rapping on the beats I like and the kind of people I like being around.
Do you want to do this on your own?
Yeah. I don’t want to be like no one helped me but I don’t want it to be like it was 100 percent given to me like all I did was ask someone to do this for me. I want to have to work for it, I want to grind for it.
You just graduated high school and dropped this mixtape so what’s next? Are you looking to go on tour? What about college?
I can’t lie, I’ve been taking it day by day, seeing what comes with it. Seeing what opportunities unfold and the people that reach out. A lot of people saw me release Jefe Talk and they were interested. I’m just going to give it some time and let it do what it do.
I don’t want anyone to just be like, “that’s KJ let’s just put him on our tour,” nah. I want people to find out about me and then want to bring me out with them. Not just squeezing me on their tour because they know me.
Big things are in store for Westside KJ. Check out his debut mixtape Jefe Talk below and keep your eyes peeled for Jefe Talk 2.