Influenced by the sounds and infectious energy of DMX, Busta Rhymes and Onyx, Durham, NC rapper JooseLord (Raheem Williams) brings a refreshing hip-hop punk hybrid sound to the culture. For the past five years he has built a solid fan base, won multiple local awards, and performed all throughout the state of North Carolina and beyond, making him one of the most talked about artists in the Triangle area. Known for his rowdy, head banging shows, a year and a half of not being able to perform because of America’s stay-at-home orders inspired JooseLord’s newest single “Quarantine”. “Being together with my fans at my shows is one of my favorite things about being an artist. And one day I was just sitting thinking, ‘you gotta let me out of here. I gotta get back to it’. The concept is really simple and relatable,” shared JooseLord. Audio/Visual spoke with the mosh pit inducing political rapper about the success of his first ever music video for his most recent single, “Quarantine”, his upcoming tour, and the importance of rejecting censorship in his music.
Audio/Visual: What does it mean to you to be a punk rap artist?
JooseLord: I represent a demographic of Black people who don’t get represented or get enough shine on the mainstream. I also feel like Black people created punk music, so why would it not be a part of rap.
Audio/Visual: What can people expect when they hear your music?
JooseLord: They can expect a lot of energy, a lot of conviction, a lot of honesty, and a lot of feelings. I believe that music is supposed to be pure feelings. Like people are supposed to hear it and feel what you feel, even if they don't feel it at that moment.
Audio/Visual: Your music is raw and honest. It fits neatly into the hardcore hip hop category. As a result, people have tried to censor you. Why is it important to you to continue to reject the censorship of your music?
JooseLord: Music is therapeutic. And there's a certain aspect of therapy called primal therapy where an individual is able to scream and express their rage. That's the part of therapy that my music represents. It represents screaming at the top of your lungs and venting off all of your problems. I can't tell somebody to vent and unleash fully and then also say ‘oh, say shoot, not shit’. You can’t sensor somebody but tell them, ‘Oh, feel how you need to feel. Get it all out, but watch your mouth’. That doesn't work.
Audio/Visual: How does it feel to have your first ever professionally shot music video reach 60,000 views on YouTube?
JooseLord: Man, with the success and people liking the single “Quarantine”...everybody screaming the lyrics and whatnot, I really enjoy that. I'm happy that people connect with it the way they do because I feel like people need it. It’s been really amazing. You know, I walk into Walmart and people I don't know, screaming my lyrics, ‘Let me out this bitch, let me out’. I have even gotten noticed while out at the museum. It all makes me feel locally famous and whatnot.
Audio/Visual: What is next for JooseLord? What can people expect in the next coming months?
JooseLord: I'm doing a lot of traveling, performing in new cities. The goal is to expand my name and brand. I'll be dropping a lot more music videos and content. You know, right now, I just want the world to know who I am and that I'm here for them.
Photographer is Dalvin Nichols | @8bit.photog
Author: Kyesha Jennings