J.Rocc Steps Out Front
It only took two decades, but J.Rocc is finally getting out front and center as an artist.
After forming the all-star DJ crew The World Famous Beat Junkies in 1992, the legendary turntablist has amassed plenty of work as a valuable collaborator. Early Junkies’ releases (The World Famous Beat Junkies Vol. 1, 2 & 3) were highly sought after by fans and deemed influential by DJs. Also, very notably to underground hip-hop fans, J.Rocc performed as the third member of Jaylib, along with Madlib and the late, great beatmaker J.Dilla.
And now J.Rocc’s official artist debut, Some Cold Rock Stuf (Stones Throw), is filled with hip-hop variants, but is stylistically wide-ranging. It reflects his huge music collection and technical know-how, both of which were realized in the early ’90s. Global tours and prestigious DJ titles aside, Some Cold Rock Stuf has been a long time in the making. “I left no stone unturned,” says J.Rocc.
So here, for old and new listeners alike, we talk with J.Rocc (aka LA’s Jason Jackson) about The World Famous Beat Junkies, his time with Jaylib, his equipment, and his approach to the debut album.
DJ Times: Tell me about forming the Beat Junkies.
J.Rocc: I used to DJ these clubs called “Junk,” and Rhettmatic, DJ What?! and DJ Curse were the resident DJs. I started to meet the rest of the guys, Melo-D, Icy Ice, Symphony and Havik. We were having so much fun DJing together and practicing that I decided we all needed to be in a crew together. It was all for fun!
DJ Times: And the story with those Green Lantern rings?
J.Rocc: Those days I worked at this comic book store and one of the promotions for DC Comics was a bag of Green Lantern rings. We decided that the Beat Junkies would all wear them and that would be our symbol for the crew. If you watch any of the old DMC [competitions] with Melo-D or Babu, they all have the ring on a chain around their neck [laughs].