They say you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.
In J.K The Reaper’s case, heroes are a mere figment of the dark world that J.K finds most refuge in being immersed in.
“I’m a dog, but I’m not a good pet if that makes sense.” – J.K The Reaper
The Gate City Hellhound has positioned himself at the forefront of an underground digital sound that has influenced the new wave of emo-rap. However, this menacing mindset is quite suggestive in expressing the sentiments revered of a dexterity that many people don’t possess, originality.
J.K’s unapologetic middle-finger to society has enabled the artist to accrue well over 1M streams via Spotify, while simultaneously fostering an international buzz that continues to grow.
In premiering the official music video for “Body Bag” today, co-directed by J.K himself, curious minds couldn’t help but become intrigued by the backstory behind the self-proclaimed “Gatekeeper”.
Q: What inspired the name?
A:I’m just a dark human being man. Down to my sense of humor, everything about me. It’s just an inspiration from all of my favorite super heroes, they were all villains. Spawn, Venom, etc. I wanted to be the reaper, the person that decides if you go to Heaven or Hell when you die, the gatekeeper.
Q: How did you get started with music?
A:My dad is a DJ, so he got me into music really early. My lifestyle got me even deeper into it. I never did it to be a rapper, I just like making music.
Q: What inspires your creativity as an artist?
A: Me being a complete weirdo, I want to express that, but in a fire way. There’re things that I care about that I know a lot of people don’t know about, so I try to slide it in my songs. A lot of my songs are about rare video games and places that a lot of people are not aware of. Pusha-T and Curren$y are both a big influence, like you would have to Google their lyrics type shit.
Q: Talk to me about your relationship with Denzel Curry
A:It all stemmed from Raider Klan man. I use to be a big fan of Spaceghost Purp and he put me on the tape or whatever. I use to make 3-6 Mafia influenced music and he was into that. I came to LA, did a show and met everybody. Me and Denzel just clicked, then C9 happened and I met Twelvelen. Twelvelen, that’s my fucking brother. Really, we’re the root of the Miami scene flourishing. Our crib was like niggas could come through and really mob. Like, C9 was an era that nobody can forget.
Q: Outside of music, where do your interest lie?
A:My main thing is to never rap again. My creativity is beyond rap. I want to sell a book, I’ve already started writing. The beautiful thing about music is that if you can make it in rap, you can sell anything. I’m just trying to get into things that I like. I want to start a car club, I honestly want to leave the country. Travel the world and learn different languages.
Q: How did you get involved in directing?
A:My dad got me into music from the beginning, so I always had a DIY mindset. I used to reach out to videographers, like I reached out to Colin Tilley one time when I was 14, before he shot that Chris Brown song with Tyga. He used to shoot Lil B videos and he was like my favorite director at the time. I reached out to him when I was like 14, like “shoot my video” and he was like “It’s $2,000 dollars”. So, that just put me in the mindset to get things done myself. I learned how to make $10 dollars’ worth of production look like $100 if that makes sense. Ain’t nobody going to do it the way I want to be done.
Q: What inspired the cover art for “Surrounded by Idiots” ?
A: I’m a hellhound. I referenced it a lot on the album. Like in Holding Me Back I’m talking about a girl I was in a relationship with at the time or whatever. Just like, being the type of man that I am. I’m a dog, but I’m not a good pet if that makes sense. I tried to do that with the cover. I wanted people to talk and be like “what the fuck is this”. I try to be very provocative in what I do. The same with the Body Bag video, it’s so obscure and I like that.
Q: Talk to me about the “Body Bag” video
A: Me and my videographer Joshua have been working since my Exodia video, we’ve been working together for a minute now. We just hella comfortable working together. He has such a dark vision with everything, and it just clicks so perfectly. Body Bag is a culmination of that. He doesn’t even shoot videos, he’s a film guy. His VHS-style and my dark imagery just works perfectly. We’re just going to keep working and pushing the boundaries. Like, literally I’m a dead body in the video.
Q: Can we expect to see you at SXSW this year?
A: Definitely. Yo, I love SXSW, I love Texas period. I’m just about to run it up. Every experience is crazy. Last year I ran into Nardwuar. I’m there for the positive vibes, not even on no rapper shit.
Q: Closing remarks
A: Be on the lookout for “The Villain Never Dies”. I’m not even going to elaborate on that.
Check out the video below