ALL-STAR LINEUP, INCLUDING PLATINUM PRODUCERS TIM & BOB, HOUSE LEGEND ROY DAVIS, JR, TERRY DEXTER, AND MORE LEND THEIR TALENTS TO J. NOIZE’S PROJECT
J. Noize (www.myspace.com/jheatfam ) understands instinctively that his native Chicago’s musical reputation is the envy of the world, yet the 24-year-old hip-hop producer-turned-rapper is undaunted in his quest to add his unique flavor to the 2nd city’s glorious history. With the release of his debut project, Young, Gifted & Black (Y.B.G), on the Soul Electric, J. Noize pours his heart and soul into a series of tracks that weave together to tell a story of the city and its denizens, yet each cut stands on its own as a singular masterpiece. As a rapper, J. Noize brings a reporter’s keen eye for observation of the underbelly of street life, in the process, exposing necessary knowledge for uplifting those stuck in an environment where there is seemingly no way out.
J. Noize’s musical style, a gathering of hip-hop history from coast to coast and all points in between, suggests that he will indeed reach his lofty goal on Young, Gifted & Black (Y.B.G.). The collection, executive produced by John Hoerni and Roy Davis Jr., with production assistance from platinum producers Tim & Bob, Waajeed of the R&B group Platinum Pied Pipers, Doc Link, Joey Fernandez (who co-engineered the project with Kid Soul) and J. Noize’s own Heat Fam Productions, pulls the listener into his vision.
Along with Yung Nef, J. Noize is co-founder of Heat Fam Productions. Their love affair with music caused them to bond together and to dedicate themselves to raising the rap and hip-hop bar as high as possible. Despite his young age, J. Noize stands on solid ground, experience-wise: “I’ve been producing for 10 years and started emceeing in high school.” While in high school, friends and family encouraged J Noize to enter talent contests in order to further his career. One of the loudest voices of encouragement was his own brother, House music legend Roy Davis, Jr., whose remixes catapulted the careers of the likes of Eric Benet, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Seal, and Terry Dexter, who adds her voice to the driving single, “Bangin’ Beats and Dope Rhymes.”
After high school, J. Noize—a.k.a. Jason Davis—attended Chicago State University where none other than Kanye West’s late mother, Donda West, who was a teacher at the university, gave J. Noize her stamp of approval. “She said to me after I played her a four-song demo, ‘I’m gonna be honest with you, son, this is your calling in life.’” Armed with such a ringing endorsement, J. Noize threw all his efforts into improving his craft. “That was my motivation to continue as an MC and as a producer.” Friends later encouraged him to enter the “Dynamic Producers 2005” beat battle, where he ended up winning the city-wide competition in its only incarnation. By winning, J. Noize realized he truly had the goods to take his talents to a larger stage.
When J. Noize related Mrs. West’s glowing critique, Roy Davis flew J. Noize to Los Angeles, where he was producing tracks for Dexter. “Roy has been like a brother/father to me. I was the last of four children, and Roy pretty much guided me through everything I was going through while growing up; he was my rock and kept me focused in the right direction.” While in Los Angeles, J. Noize absorbed all the nuances of a state-of-the-art studio, and took the experience back to Chicago, where his reputation grew as one of the top underground producers in the city. Over the years, J. Noize worked with Chicago acts King David & Goliath, Brittany Jenean and, currently, Erin Martin. So, with his reputation assured, J. Noize calls in favors from the above-mentioned and more of the cream of the Second City hip-hop scene to flesh out his ideas and turn a dream into reality. Other featured artists on Y.G. B. include vocalists Kaye Fox, Andrew Bees of Black Uhuru, Manny and I.M.A.G.E., and rappers D-Illa ( J. Noize’s older brother), Kazi the Blak and Sunn.
J. Noize feels that Chicago’s musical reputation –from electric blues to House to R. Kelly to hip-hop/rap stars Twista, Common and, of course Kanye West, will continue to grow. Because of its central position, the Midwest draws influences from the East, West and the South. ““Chicago has a multitude of styles, depending on which area of the city you come from,” he notes. “It’s a melting pot. We draw off different things from each side. You’ve got the Lupe Fiascos, the Shawnnas, the Twistas, Do or Die, Crucial Conflict, the Kanyes. So it covers a large breadth of playaz that represent the city on a nation-wide level. I’m looking to add my flavor to that mix.”
J. Noize gathers his material from a wide range of influences, influences that cover the “Golden Age” of rap, hip-hop and R&B. “LL Cool J, Nas, Tupac Shakur, Scarface, Outkast, Organized Noize, the Dogg Pound and 8 Ball & MJG were some of the acts I looked up to. Producers that influenced my style were DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Kanye of course, No I.D. from here in Chicago, Just Blaze, Slice Tee and T-Mix and Jazze Pha. Oh, and DJ Quik; I can’t forget him; he’s one of my favorite producers. Favorite R&B atrist R. Kelly, Joe, Musiq Soulchild, Maxwel, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Bilal, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, D’Angelo—whom my brother Roy worked with—Mary J. Blige, Dwele, Faith Evans… The list goes on.”
The 1st single from Y.B.G is “Find Him,” a tale of finding one’s positive direction in life. R&B diva Terry Dexter joins J. Noize, and later adds her voice, along with Sunn on “Bangin’ Beats & Dope Rhymes,” a hypnotic track that amply supports J. Noize as he spits hot rhymes. “Warning Shots” is an ominous tale of the senseless and seeming endless gang violence that saturates everyday life in the inner city which features Andrew Bees of Black Uhuru. The message, over a ragamuffin reggae rhythm coupled with a crunching beat, paints a grim picture that warns of malfeasance from both those sworn to uphold the law and the street denizens looking to survive some way, somehow. Young, Gifted & Black also features an appearance by Kazi The Blak along with Virgil Strafford on Knocking on Heavens Door Pt.3.
J. Noize stresses that the positive slant of his music is no better or worse than that of rappers who, seemingly, glory in the rough and tumble gang life: “I don’t take away anything from any other artist and how they make their music. That’s just the way I was raised by my parents. I was always instilled with morals and values: Those are the same morals and values that I want to present to the world.” His mother, Patricia Davis, who passed away in 2002, was an in-demand background vocalist in the Chicago area, while his father, Roy Davis, Sr., is a drafting engineer. “There was always music in the house, and by the time I came along, she was the piano player for our church. We come from a family that has a long musical bloodline in the church.”
Once his project is on cruise, J. Noize will concentrate on partner Yung Nef’s solo project called PRODUCA MC. “He’s soon to be 20, but Yung Nef is already one of the best producers in Chicago,” J. Noize notes. Then, J. Noize plans to concentrate on D-Illa’s PRODUCTS & GOODS project, which is scheduled for release in 2010 next year. “We’re working very diligently on those two projects,” he emphasizes, “but we’re going to continue to solidify the Chicago area talent. I feel we always leave our city short-handed because the entertainment industry is pretty much based in New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta or Miami. I want to emphasize with my listeners three points on this project: First and foremost, God first. Second, it has to have a message. And third, the beat’s gotta be slammin’!”