Words by Preston Pennington
Images by Various Artists
Columbus, Ohio — for those of you who don’t know — is right in between Cincinnati and Cleveland. It’s an awesome city to go visit, and where Justin started molding his sound. The son of a pastor in a town unappreciative of his dream, and what he was passionate about only fueled the fire he needed to grow into the musician he is today.
Justin Stone Singles
Justin Stone released a handful of tracks prior to his first official project “Long Time Coming”, and collaborated with musicians like Chris Buxton (who recently signed to Penthouse Music Group).Like many rappers in his generation, he started posting his songs to YouTube being one of the only established platforms for free music. However, with the expansion of streaming services Justin has also expanded how he has been releasing music. SoundCloud has since been the primary source for plays with multiple tracks breaching 100 thousand plays. His reach expanded to a variety of streaming platforms, and a new, more refined era in his career began.
Justin’s album “Long Time Coming” gives an emotional insight into his personal life and thoughts about his environment. This is the first time you really get to hear a full collection from the young Ohio rapper, and you get a feel for how his upbringing and where he came from has influenced his music. You get a coherent sound from an artist who had rarely released 100% original material, and it gave his fanbase something tangible.
“I’ve got too much potential to be content on getting by”
- Justin Stone | Speechless (2016)
The album featured many talented artists and producers such as Chris Buxton on Look at me Now and Steezefield on both Say It and Brother. Through hard work and belief in himself Justin was able to create an album that soared to the top 25 on iTunes Hip-Hop/Rap Album Charts. Most people after such an accomplishment would most likely take a break and ride the wave. However, Justin got back to work writing, producing, and striving to have the next project be better than last.
Ohio had been a great place of inspiration for Justin so far, but it wasn’t going to provide the creative range and palette that he needed for his new project. While friends and family didn’t understand the choice or reasoning behind his decision to move to the city of dreams, Los Angeles welcomed him with open arms. He rented himself a place for a couple months, and he began working on an EP titled “Don’t Hassle me I’m Local”. During this time, UniversityHype happened to be having a show out in L.A., and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have Justin perform. He agreed to show out and make the crowd jump for us. After an amazing performance we hung out and got a feel for who this aspiring artist really is.
After a long trip we had an early flight back to Austin, TX. Luckily, just hours before we boarded, Justin decided to drop his EP. So we added the project to our in-flight playlist and proceeded to watch his play count soar. The people, scenery, and overall ambiance of LA seemed to seep into the production
and lyricism of the entire project. He created an entirely different sound from his previous works. After nothing but great reviews, the EP climbed to #35 on the iTunes Hip-Hop/Rap Album Charts, giving Stone another incredible accomplishment to add to his portfolio.
Despite the connotation that rappers have, Stone is actually 100% sober. He doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t do drugs. Many may know that he’s a pastor’s son, but even after having moved to Los Angeles where marijuana is legal, liquor can be bought in gas stations, and hookers are bountiful, he continued the sober lifestyle.
He talks about it on his song I’ll Be Good “They talk about drinking and weed like it’s all that they do. What’s getting drunk really doing for you. You get wasted forget what you did. If you ask me that life sounds dumb as sh*t.” For some it’s a creative outlet, but Stone doesn’t feel the need, and has clearly been doing well for himself without any sort of substance.
Justin Stone since the release of his latest EP has started a new flood release of unheard music. His plan is to continuously release music on a weekly basis every Wednesday, until all of his songs are earning over 100,000 plays every drop. Currently, “Waves,” “Saturday Nights,” and “Woke Up” are among his latest releases, and the quality hasn’t diminished one bit.