Written by KayJay –
After traveling the world and working with artists all across the globe, I was honored to represent Fly Paper Magazine at the exclusive listening party of J. Rawls’ up-coming album, The Hip-Hop Affect. But once I learned that it was taking place at Used Kids, a record store on the OSU campus in Columbus, I couldn’t help but begin to wonder why someone with the caliber of J. Rawls would choose such a spot to allow press, media, and DJ’s to preview his album here. However, once I stepped foot in the building and listened to Rawls discussing his inspiration on the album, his processes in selecting certain sounds and more, it all became clear. J. Rawls is truly a one-of-a-kind artist. He chose the record store because that’s where hip-hop spawned from; it’s what inspires him, what makes him tick, and most importantly it helped showcase his true passion for the art form as well as his love for his city.
As I walked in, I first noticed the endless rows of crates of records: all vinyl. The walls of the stairway and the walls of the store were covered in different posters, bumper stickers, album covers, and anything else musically-related that you can think of. This gave the listening party an immediate intimate feel. Looking around the room, I noticed there was an all-star audience standing around, vibing to the music, and looking through the records that the store had on display. DJ O. Sharp of the Usual Suspects was setting the mood with soulful hip-hop, and then J. Rawls took over to start the night off with the introduction to his new album, The Hip-Hop Affect. He began the introduction of his album by discussing that longevity in the hip-hop game does not come from jewels and money, but rather “networking and how you hold yourself”. He demonstrated this by describing how this entire album was made “off of love” – people who added their talents to the album just because of who he is and how he holds himself in the industry.
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