There are a lot of different artists out that you may not be aware of. I have to admit that with how limited my taste in music is, I don’t often listen to a lot of them. Sometimes I just don’t feel a connection to the music that certain artists make. It doesn’t mean that the songs are bad. It’s just not the type of sound that I normally enjoy. With so many young artists releasing new music every single week, it’s so hard to keep up with all of them.
If comedian Pete Davidson is the king of Staten Island then J.I., or Justin Irvin Rivera, is the prince of New York. New York royalty aside, there isn’t really much to know about J.I. He’s a 20-year old rapper born and raised in Brooklyn. He is of Puerto Rican descent. There seems to be a lot of artists who got into music because of their childhood. His parents introduced to old-school hip-hop, usually featuring rappers who were from New York, and reggaeton, a genre that was popular in Puerto Rico. At an early age he was into writing and making his own beats. It wasn’t until he was 14 that he started putting music out there.
Since young people are born into an age where the internet exists, it’s really easy to put your music out there. There are platforms like YouTube, where you can upload videos of you performing a song, and SoundCloud, where you can upload just the actual audio of the song. Even though you can put your own music on Spotify, SoundCloud is still the place where budding artist choose to put their music.
It was through releasing his music online, including on Instagram, that got him the attention of Jermaine Dupri, a famous music producer and record executive. Jermaine invited him to join the Lifetime reality competition show The Rap Game. Somehow that lead him to being on the cover of Hip-Hop Weekly. Obviously, it lead to him getting a lot of followers on social media. He received more than 500,000 views on one of his videos on YouTube.
Since then, he released an EP called “Barely Famous.” Eventually, the fifteen minutes of fame he received from appearing on The Rap Game died down. He took a break from making music. There is always going to be a point where you don’t really want to do the thing that you’re passionate about. It happens to the rest of us. Especially at such a young age, it’s very hard to not find something fulfilling. Still, he slowly got back to making music.
In 2019, he released the mixtap “Hood Life Krisis, Vol. 1” And that’s when it took of for J.I. One of the songs from that mixtape, “Need Me,” propelled him to popularity, earning him 3 million streams on Spotify at the time. It was that track that lead him to get a record deal with Interscope Records. The music video for that song has reach more than a hundred million views on YouTube.
Since he’s still a relatively young artist, he doesn’t really have much in terms of net worth. It’s estimated that he has a net worth of at least $950,000. Until now he’s still writing new music and putting it out. He admits in an interview that he is very conscious of how people will react to the music that he makes. It’s definitely hard to have doubts about something you’re passionate about because you don’t know what your audience will say. They are the people who will support your music. But sometimes you have to believe in yourself.
There’s still a lot of success for him in the future. He’s still a young person. He has a lot more to experience in terms of his career. He was one of Spotify’s featured artist for its RADAR program, which highlights new and upcoming acts that are just on the verge of becoming popular. His song “Need Me” is certified gold. So there have been a lot of great things going for him. He seems to have a great support system too. There’s just boundless potential ahead of him, even though I’m not the audience for his music.