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Artist Spotlight Week: Tough Junkie

by Travis on February 17, 2010

WYDU SPOTLIGHT: S.C. Producer extraordinaire, MIDIMarc

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s half way through the week. Hump day. Wednesday’s are always those breath of fresh air into the week, letting us know that there is hope. That’s kinda of what Tough Junkie is about. A breath of fresh air and hope. A breath of fresh air, because the dude is super creative and one of the more original cats doing it. For those of you new to the legend of the Tough Junkie, the Junkie is from that creative little place in Northern Florida called Jacksonville, or known by the hip hop heads in the know, Duvall. It’s home to The AB’s (aka Asamov), Paten Locke, Bat Sauce, Daisey, and his partner in the group Flat Foot & Jesus Brown, Willie Evans Jr. The duo just release the free album (donations appreciated), Damage Control. Tough Junkie has been around for a while, trolling around the J-Ville scene. However, things are starting to pick up for the Junkie. Last year he dropped Grab What You Can. A refreshing album that takes multiple listens to appreciate, but once you do, you can recognize the creativeness found in it. Tough Junkie was also on Dres The Black Sheep’s EP, on the track “Gimme 5″, which Eric had in his Top 100 tracks of the year. Duval keeps doing it. Oh, and why Tough Junkie bring hope like a Wednesday? Because it’s the Junkie, you gotta ask him, and that’s what we did….

FFJB Team Free Album

FFJB – Damage Control (Download)


Bloggerhouse: How the heck are you?

Tough Junkie: I am good, Working living and staying out of trouble.

B: How about a little introduction for the fans out there unfortunate enough to not know about you?

TJ: I am Tough Junkie. Hopefully we can be in a fan-to-fan relationship for as long as I breathe. Only because you are that dope…

B: Let’s talk about the Tough Junkie background and history, first off, what is a Tough Junkie? How did the name come about?

TJ: If you check the bio that I have floating around, it will tell you the story of me loosing my original name, and the multiple reasons for why Junkie was/is the choice that was destine. As far as history goes, I have been making beats for about 15 years. I started with pause breaks(razor blades and nail polish -OG Style). I have been writing for about 20 years. Combined, I have completed about 45 albums to date and trying to release another 5 this years. I landed on the Boondocks Soundtracks(DUB FLOYD), did 2 Adult Swim bumps, 2 songs for local schools, and atmosphere music for a salon and a art gallery. Working.

B: Hailing out of Jacksonville aka Duval, it’s a place that you wouldn’t think you’d find the more “traditional” sounds of hip hop, but there seems to be a lot of good music coming out of the area. Talk about J-Ville, the scene, and the other artists you associate with.

TJ: Mostly, the people that I work with are brilliant people. I would not be working if it wasn’t for some of these guys pushing me to go more into a direction of seriously making a career out of this. RawfromnoLuv, Dxtro, P Locke, Willie Ev, Mas, Spankton, T-Minus, Nurse Beth and a few others (that I am straight slippin on rite now) kept me from being THAT dude….But Honestly, I believe that I know the dopest people in the world. Anyone and everyone that I know is an amazing person. Including my man, TRAV. WHAT UP!

B: Let’s talk about FFJB, Flat Foot & Jesus Brown. That is a duo with you and Jesus Brown, correct?

TJ: No sir, I am Jesus Brown. Willie Ev (Willie Evans Jr) is FlatFoot. And the FFJBmusic Team is not the both of us as a group. It is more of an umbella for the world of sidekicks(Just Joking). It is a team of people who shoot for the common goal of living the life that we want to live. We also support the ideas of each team member to push for whatever they want to own or create. With a team it is easier to attain. Why not join forces?

B: How long have you two been working together?

TJ: Almost a year after we met in 2001.

B: What projects have the two of you have released as FFJB?

TJ: “Fresh Produce”- Flat Foot meets Jesus Brown and “Absolutely Wrong Sometimes”- FlatFoot JesusBrown

B: The two of you just dropped the free (donations appreciated) project, Damage Control. What can we look forward to on that album?

TJ: No sir, The Team just dropped it. And yes it is a free album. For me, it is a project made to represent Jacksonville as a unit. We actually have a few heads out there repping hard. This project stands for the idea of we are with the folks that is out there working and their efforts were not in vain.

B: You also have the FFJB website and radio mixes, how has the internet changed the playing field for artists such as yourself, Flat Foot, and the team?

TJ: It is so vast. The net was definitely abused by clowns before the dope people could learn how to use the resources. But it is a very useful tool if you just take a moment and be creative with the options that it possesses.

B: You are both a producer AND an MC, a dual threat. Do you prefer one over the other?

TJ: I like to call myself a music director now-a-days.(With pinky finger in the air) With that, I love them both equally.

B: What kind of equipment do you use to create your masterpieces?

TJ: A dr-202, sp-202, MPC-2000, 2 scale midi controller, mid-sze cowbell, pill bottle with pennies, staff paper, dictionary, a circle of great humans, a woman that loves me, a bloodline that blacksheeped me, and a suffering “street art” scene that needs a foundation

B: The album “Grab What You Can” came out last year and it’s got an unique sound/feel to it. Can you kind of talk about it’s creation and what it’s all about?

TJ: Terry Cole and I created an album that could be a blue print of how to help rebuild some of the flaws in the music would. Terry gave me the task of not using samples. So I rounded up the local bands I knew (Blues, punk, metal, soul, and funk bands -also including the house band of the label “The Jive Turkeys”) and used their music to create what would seems to be the average sample-filled hip hop album.

B: You were featured on the Dres/Black Sheep EP last year, on what is arguably the best song on it. How did that collaboration come about?

TJ: Peaces to Big Brother Dres and the Native. Dres came down to Florida for a show. Willie Evans Jr and I opened for him. He was amazed that was impressed at all that we made this music. He called me to the side like “where are you REALLY from?” …and he has been fam every since.

B: What is in the near future for Tough Junkie, Jesus Brown, Flat Foot and anything else you might have your hands into?

TJ: Well, the team will be releasing about 5 more records this year. We are looking to doing events that are centered around street art but in a wide range of shows and such. We also want to provide some history resources for the next group of cats behind us. We have to make sure that the torch is passed this time.(BANG!)

B: Any last words for the future Tough Junkie-maniacs out there?

TJ: 2 ears, 2 eyes. Look and listen twice before you speak once. And keep them babies out the street.

B: Thanks!

TJ: No thang, homie. -bwrong

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