It is one of the greatest pleasures, from an artistic viewpoint, to be a music critic, journalist and label executive in the Baltimore area. The city is currently experiencing the most glorious influence of talented artistry, unforgettable Rap/Hip Hop pieces, marvelous music production extraordinary brands, and more. Essentially, it’s great to be a Baltimorean right now.
One talented artist adding to this growing legacy of The New Baltimore is Cinematic Music Group’s newest shining star coming into the game with the kinetic fury of fire on the end of a rocket ship. Lyrical, realistic, genuine and powerful, Baltimore born and based artist Jayy Grams is without a doubt the next to hold the crown in representing for the city.
I was blessed to sit down with the West Baltimore native at an invite-only celebration for his 18th Birthday and newly released project, Good Times. On the way to the location, Justice Gray (EIC of The Demo Tape) and I were listening to the entire project and our car almost caught on fire from one full listen of that lyrical inferno Mr.Grams delivered. Even still, we replayed the project back to back at least two more times even though we did not care about the consequences. We was able to make it in one piece to the location as I touched down and got an exclusive with the rap artist everyone needs to know.
It was hilarious because on the way out to the interview spot from where the party was going on, Jayy Grams had to freestyle for the security guards because they could not believe that the young 18-year-old was the artist being advertised. He rapped so well that the guards said it was written.
The interview area was cold, but not as cold as the content and the organic answers from Jayy Grams. Born in Baltimore, MD, the young MC moved around a lot as a youth before returning back to Baltimore and beginning rapping seriously. Growing up around the sounds of Biggie Smalls and other classic rap music of the 90’s influenced him early on to pursue a career in music.
Grams’ signing with Cinematic Music Group is a story in itself. He said his photographer made a poll on Instagram asking if anyone thought Grams would make XXL’s Freshman Class in 2018. When people responded with “hell no’s” and “FOH’s,” that only fueled Grams to record a freestyle and then send it to Cinematic Radio. The freestyle started garnering much love once a representative of Cinematic Entertainment followed up with and contacted Grams, the hungry Baltimore artist traveled up by train to their headquarters and the rest was history.
When asked about what went into the creation of Good Times, Jayy said the longs are “based on life – nothing fabricated.” This holds true especially on songs like “Song Cry,” which he said he wrote to show the world who he is. Grams spoke about how he was just 5 years old when his father passed away, and how that has affected the emotion and realism in his music. Although the song did speak on the rollercoaster ride of life, the project is titled Good Times to show that amongst the bad times, the “Good Times” still stay the most paramount.
Grams spoke on his influences in regards to his music, he listed names like Redman, Big L, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, and Biggie. At just 18, Grams’ lyrical content sits jim in juxtaposition with fellow Baltimore natives like King Los, Lor Scoota, Tate Kobang, and more in the same class.
“I want to influenced people to do the right thing and think for themselves,” he said when asked about his purpose as an artist. Songs like “Hypebeast” are just an example of Grams’ desire for him, fans, and the people around him to remain true to themselves. “There are actually good ass rappers. You just have to look. Hip Hop is not dead.”
Finishing off a the interview on a philosophical and ethical note, I asked Jayy Grams what was a quote that he lives by and what advice would he give to any artist coming up in the game. Grams finished by saying “Judge by the company you keep,” meaning one should be cognizant of any toxicity in his circle. In regards to the last word to artists, Jayy Grams stated to artists to stay them and continue to do what they do. Everything takes patience so their time will come as it did to him.
The New Baltimore is an incredible place to live in, especially with artists like Jayy Grams. Check out Jayy Grams’ Good Times EP, available on all major streaming platforms now.