Artist Spotlight - J Culli


 Born in Lansing Michigan on April, 2, 1989 J-Culli (Real name: John Culliver) is a professional musician who raps, harmonizes, song writes & produces. J-Culli fell in with music in 1992 when he was old enough to memorize & mimic songs that his older brothers & sisters in their early & late teens used to play on cassettes & radio. Artist that they used to listen to consisted of Dr.Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kriss Kross, Tupac & who ever else was popular in the early 90's. As he grew he would occasionally listen to Hip Hop songs when his parents weren't around & in between his school studies.

As time passed, by the age off 11 J-Culli began watching rap videos on BET & MTV with the last of his older siblings that had yet to move out. His main inspirations around this time (1999-2001) consisted of artist like Cash Money Millionaires (Hot Boys, Big Tymers) Eminem, Dr.Dre, Snoop Dogg, T.I., Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Timbaland & Nelly just to name a few. J-Culli finally built up the courage to write his first rap at 12 years old by way of his older peers, setting himself apart from everyone & wanting to be the coolest kid in his middle school. By junior high he was freestyle battling other young rappers In the suburbs of Lansing & in the hoods of Lansing. In school & out of school no matter age, race or gender. He would battle who ever challenged him just for fun & to gain recognition, not caring if he won or lost unaware of all the enemies he was making.

By 14 writing raps & freestyle battling become one of his favorite pastimes & he decided he wanted to pursue a career in music instead of drawing. One of the artist who really had an impact on him & inspired him to take music seriously was 50Cent. In 2003 he borrowed a copy of Get Rich Or Die Trying from his oldest brother who was visiting from Atlanta Georgia. His oldest brother also put him up on alot of classic hip hop albums he had missed out on growing up.

Buy 15 J-Culli decided he didn't want to just pursue music as an artist, he also wanted to be a producer. J-Culli figured being a producer & making his own beats to rap over would be fun, engaging, save him money, make him money & leave him something to fall back on just incase being an actual artist doesn't work. In 2005 his parents purchased him his first Dell desktop, he installed a copy of Fruity Loops (FLStudio) that he accessed from a friend & made his first set of beats. Unsure of his beats he let a few of his older close peers listen. They soon became fans & supported him by spreading the word to other artist in the city.

During the MySpace era (2005-2008) in the early stages of his career J-Culli decided he would use MySpace to his benefit to get himself known more. J-Culli soon had thousands of friends on MySpace, mostly friends from school & some just from word of mouth of the beats he would post on his regular page & his myspace music page which he went under the alias "BlackHood". J-Culli gained many listeners on MySpace from his original beats alone. He eventually started posting freestyles he did on sound recorder from his desktop just to get feedback.

In 2005 J-Culli met an artist by the name of C-Mill$ in Hihschool. In 2006 after hearing C-Mill$ first CD "Mill$ Style" which he had contributed a beat to J-Culli was Anxious to get into the studio & start recording music. Knowing J-Culli was ready to start recording music C-Mill$ introduced him to Lansing artist/producer & engineer Cracka Lack. Lack happen to be working on a mixtape & decided to let J-Culli hop on a remix of Busta Rhymes hit song "Touch It". Soon after Culli & Lack became good friends & Culli started getting all his songs mixed & recorded at Cracka Lack's studio.

In 2006 threw 2007 J-Culli worked on his first project titled "Still Reserve EP". The project was executive produced by J-Culli & Cracka Lack but was never released. The concept & name originated from the beer 211 (Steel Reserve). The EP consisted of 8 songs, 3 produced by Culli the rest by Lack. The project focused mostly on the life of a then high school student showcasing his lyrical skill & having fun while still growing up going threw changes. Threw out that time period he leaked songs from the EP to his friends & they leaked it to their friends which gained gave J-Culli more exposure & popularity. J-Culli became Cracka Lacks protege for a short period of time to better his knowledge of producing & performing. Though everything seemed to be going great for his music career Culli was going threw alot at home & in school during these years. Under much stress & pressure to succeed J-Culli ended up taking a 3 & a half year break from music, nearly giving up.

In 2009 after sitting back & watching Hip Hop go threw drastic changes in the styles of music, fashion & artists that were getting popular J-Culli got re-inspired & started producing & occasionally writing again. A few artist that inspired him to give music another shot were Lil Wayne, Kanye West & Lupe Fiasco. J-Culli began sampling: a trend/style of beat making that was becoming really popular again at the time. In 12th grade him & a artist who went under the alias "Tha Wulf" (now known as Wulf Hogan) formed a Rap group under the name 20Twelve & production team under the name 2Knights entertainment . They did an EP titled Now Or Never that was never released. At the end of 2010 Wulf & Culli obtained & moved into there own studio where they created a gang of new beats, sold a few & started there own

By 2011, 20Twelve had produced over 200 or more beats that were all on Culli's same desktop he had since 2006. Right before his desktop finally crashed he saved all the best beats he had & was contemplating using to a hardrive & put them on his mothers new laptop. In the summer of 2011 Wulf moved from Lansing to another city to pursue a career as a security guard at a college & Culli moved back in with his parents. Threw out that summer he everyday writing songs to the best beats he had for a project he came up with titled "The Blackout Effect EP". In fall 2010 Culli had completed the writing process of T.B.O.E. & was ready to start recording again but the only problem was him & Lack hadn't talked for almost 4 yrs. Culli didn't like letting other people mix his vocals down because no one could mix them as well as Lack. Unsure how Lack would respond to him Culli decided to send him a message on FB telling him everything that he had been threw in the 3 & a half years & why he wasn't recording. Cracka Lack responded to the message "Hit me up when your ready." & the next week Culli was back in the booth.

On September 11th 2011 J-Culli finally released his first official independent album (Originally supposed to be an EP) "The Blackout Effect EP" which featured 17 songs. The album focused mainly on his lyrical skills, letting off steam, being flashy, story telling & the dark-side he was trying to over come threw out the 3 & a half year hiatus without going to much into detail about his personal life. J-Culli produced 90% of the album, the rest of the production was handled by 20Twelve, Wulf Hogan & Cracka Lack. It was Executive produced by J-Culli & Cracka Lack under J-Culli & Wulf Hogan's independent label/production team 2Knights Entertainment. He re-released the Album in Dec of that year because of cover & duplication issues with new cover art & one additional song. By the time he released the album J-Culli's popularity on social networks had grown more than any artist in his city.instead of selling the album on iTunes he decided to give It away for free to get his name out more & get recognition. J-Culli uploaded the free album to megaupload, band camp & media fire. As of today the album has over 25,000 downloads with all of the sharing site downloads combined with no videos, no radio airplay & no show promotion.

Today, J-Culli has a super group & a movement both under the name "UpSide", he's producing & song writing for other local up-incoming artists in Lansing & he's working on his 2nd free album "The BrightSide LP". Unlike previous efforts J-Culli plans on getting songs on radio stations, doing shows in numerous city's & releasing each single with cover art + A video. The project is due out in Fall 2013. J-Culli says "This project will give people more an idea of who i am & my dark & BrightSide. Like everyone has a dark & a brightside you know? But it wont go too deep into detail. I rather save the really deep/dope shit for when i get signed/famous. It's kind of like a prequel of my full story. This should be the one to get me threw the door though."

Links 

J-Culli - The Still Reserve EP (2007)
www.mediafire.com/download/37k71x8…ed%5D_(2007).rar *8 SONGS*
http://www.hulkshare.com/J-Culli
J-Culli - The Blackout Effect EP (2011)
www.mediafire.com/download/vc48w0e…ct_EP_(2011).rar
J-Culli - The Blackout Effect EP (2011) [Re-Release] *Alternate Cover Art + 1 additional song*
www.mediafire.com/download/8ma7g26…e-release%5D.rar
Follow J-Culli on Twitter: @JCULLI
Like his artist pg on FB: www.facebook.com/pages/J-CULLI/12…m&group_id=0
SoundCloud: @JCulli
ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/JCulli

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