Q: When and how did you get into the music industry?
A: Lonjevity aka J.E.V.I Pe$ci for short Jevi, an acronym for Juggernaut of Every Vermin Insight as well as Judgement Environment Violence & Instinct, which is the subject of most topics I rap about. I was born in Wilmington Delaware, South Philadelphia. I was inspired by hip-hop culture at an early age by artists such as Kool G Rap, 2pac, Notorious BiG Nas, to name a few. I began writing poetry early on to express emotions as a therapeutic outlet from growing up in a drug & alcoholic household. I started rapping in 1998 with a group of emcees called “Shiest Villainz” throughout the early 2000’s featured on local tristate mixtapes & performing live showcases with local talent producers “Burb City” before social media by selling our CDs on street corners, events, parties & a few local stores. Eventually, I was forced to stop pursuing my talent for a period after being expelled from 3 high schools. I dropped out, got into 2 bad relationships, living homeless selling drugs from Maryland to Philadelphia after multiple charges & jail time, I gave up on my talents to focus on daily survival. When I got out, I had no residence to call home, I begged the judge to let me stay with my mom but my mom was still on drugs & drinking. She had sold all my car, jewelry, studio equipment & valuables I had left while I was in jail for drugs & alcohol, it was toxic for me but I had nowhere else to go. I had to sleep on the floor of a 1 bedroom apartment with court-ordered curfew probation. After some incidents there, I knew I was headed back to jail until I reconnected with my father who gave me the opportunity to live with him until I could get on my feet. I decided to leave everything behind with nothing but a few trash bags of clothes, to live in Indiana, complete my probation & start over with his help, I did just that. I got clean, got a full-time job, an apartment & completed my probation for the first time as required, but soon after diagnosed with severe depression & anxiety. I saved up enough money working minimum wage to buy basic studio equipment & began writing & recording new songs every chance I got. It was 2012, upcoming social media sites were the new wave of artist promotion no more traveling to sell CDs on the street so I had to adapt to the new environment. I self-taught myself to mix master produce my own songs & began posting to SoundCloud, YouTube & other social media outlets.
Q: It’s challenging being in the creative industry. What are some of the challenges you had in your career?
A: I can say the most challenging aspect faced was coming from doing Hip Hop in a non-technology generation and having to adapt everything I learned to the rise of social media. Like I said, I used to have to travel and manually communicate with stores & business owners to allow me to sell products and do showcases whereas now everything is done from home through technology. It seems like it would make it easier, in some aspects it did but also took away from the authenticity of the culture and relating to fans on a more personal basis. Hip-hop originally was an outlet for a less fortunate culture. We had to be more creative in finding ways to escape an oppressive environment. It was harder for independent artists to get recognition with no financial means. Now with technology, it’s easier for independent artists “IF” you have money, it’s all about money. But pioneer friends would agree that the best music comes from strong emotion or pain. Hip Hop is a therapy for those truly struggling with afflictions, not for those that have money but for those that don’t. That’s why it was so amazingly influential. Its the exact opposite of what the industry has made it today. Everyone & their mom with money is doing hip-hop today. Getting a hit song is like finding a needle in a haystack, but worse! It’s absolutely ridiculous to see a beautiful culture dying because of money exploitation & corporate corruption, we actually had to commit & dedicate the time to study, learn & teach ourselves every element of the culture to Be expressively accepted in hip-hop! Understanding Djing, breakdancing, graffiti & last emceeing, especially for a white kid, was a lot harder, but it wasn’t about money. Just a lot of practice, time, & effort in acquiring certain skillsets and maintaining reputation. These kids today don’t value the culture, hell, they don’t even know or appreciate the origins of Hip Hop. Some of the legends names are becoming extinct from generations to come, there’s no more loyalty or respect, those days are gone, now we just have to accept it’s presence, improvise adapt and accommodate to the needs of what the culture has become in order to keep it alive.
Q: Any advice for other artists that are just starting out?
A: My only advice to other artists is to never give up, even when life wants you to, always keep your dreams alive by continuing to work hard towards your passion every day that you are living, to express yourselves creatively instead of negatively, just do not stop. That’s the only thing that has ever worked for me.
Q: Can you walk us through your creative process?
A: My particular process requires mainly releasing emotions, like anger, sadness, pain, and stress from daily struggles overcoming life obstacles. Without feeling emotional about a subject, it’s impossible to create anything relatable. I used to just fill notebooks with poetry as therapy but after learning the composition of a song, I organized my writing into a more consolidated structure. I will find a beat or sound that catches my ear that influences emotion within myself, and depending on how I’m feeling or what I want people to feel, I will start to write a compilation of rhyming words that stick out to me about the subject & put them together like puzzle pieces creating meaningful sentences which become the verses, then I will take certain words or sentences from the verses to create the hook or chorus until complete, unless the beat calls for otherwise, that’s usually how I strategize my creative process.
Q: Are you working on any project right now? Anything in store for 2018?
A: We just released our first official 20 track self-titled debut album “LvstOvDaVillainz” in March 2018 — available now on all digital platforms, which we are currently promoting this year. Also, my self-titled solo debut album J.E.V.I Pe$ci – Juggernaut of Every Vermin Insight is set to release this month. We are currently finishing up LvstOvDaVillainz 2nd album/mixtape called “DvyB4Yztrdvy” set to release 2019 & a J.E.V.I Pe$ci 2nd solo project entitled Judgement Environment Violence Instinct set to release the following year, so yes I am very busy with everything from independently shooting music videos, mixing, mastering, promoting projects, networking, etc.
Q: Any shout-outs? Anything you’d like to share with the audience?
A: Shout out to the pioneers of hip-hop culture who saved me by creating this outlet for me to express myself to all my family & friends that have passed away but are still with me, to all my fans, anyone who’s ever supported my talents or given me a chance & to all the people that said I would never make it, thank you for pushing me when I was down, it made me who I am today. Anyone who appreciates hip-hop culture, real lyricism, authentic subject matter, hot beats, & pure talent, will love Lonjevity J.E.V.I PE$CI, stay tuned for all upcoming projects link up!