Rockstar Jt Earns His Validation From God and the Streets
Let’s talk about being real for a second. In an industry filled with the facade of show business, lifestyle, holiness, and ministry, Rockstar Jt isn’t here for any of it. What you see is what you get, and he’ll tell you to your face.
That intro may have you feeling a certain way about Jt, but don’t get it twisted, he’s the guy you want in your corner.
Rockstar Jt is a 20-year-old guy from the hood who found Jesus when he was 15 at the Impact Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
“God saved my life,” he said.
“I grew up seeing my friends die. I’ve seen my uncle selling drugs. I was in the room one time with my uncle who had all these bags of weed,” he revealed. “I always had a heart for the urban community and people in clubs, people who smoke weed, people who the church is scared of, or a lot of people the church would condemn.”
For Jt, these are his people. It’s who he grew up with and around. It’s who he calls his family and best friends. In this world, the young emcee is an unashamed Christian and yet still has the respect of the streets. In fact, he’s more accepted with his faith outside the church than he is in it.
“Even in secular hip-hop, I appreciate those guys because I’m friends with a lot of them. One of my friends, his name is Rubberband OG, he’s signed to Think It’s a Game Records, is in the world, and the Lord is using me to bring those guys around. I want to bring hope to the block where hope isn’t,” he exclaimed. “I was at SXSW and I thought, ‘This is where I’m supposed to be at’. I’m going to go where God calls me.”
Jt is not blind to the fact that Christians make up his core fanbase but feels God is calling him to be a rapper in the world.
“I do a lot of secular shows. When I do these shows, I can relate to them,” he said. “If you come to my city, I’m the only Christian rapper they know. They never even heard of Lecrae, but they respect me. I’m not even around the hood dudes all the time like I used to be. They know they can smoke weed around me, they know they can act like themselves and I’m not going to condemn them, I’m just going to love them. People want to see that you love them first instead of just preaching at them.”
The Alabama born rapper knows the dangers of being with unequally-yoked people when it comes to faith. It’s a slippery slope that he carefully navigates daily with the Holy Spirit.
“It’s different at times. I believe it’s a rollercoaster ride in Christianity, and sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down,” Jt admitted. “I probably should discern the spirit more but I’m not going to lie and say, ‘Hey, we need to keep it holy at all-times’. Sometimes I mess up and I drop the ball. They’re smoking and stuff, and I’m not bold about it, and I’m just going around hanging with them, I won’t say anything, to be honest. I’m not saying God is pleased with that but I don’t believe God is going to condemn me for it. There’s grace. If I drop the ball one time, the Lord will give me another opportunity to apologize.”
He continued, “Everyone is struggling with something but I didn’t speak out against it because of fear. There’s a temptation sometimes, but most of the time I’m strong enough to be around them. I know if I’m around it 24/7 I feel I can fall back in. A lot of Christians want to feel like they are the answer.”
Rockstar Jt said that these guys teach him about himself. Through it, God is shaping him. They have the vice of smoking weed or lust, he’s impatient.
“…I’m impatient. One of the fruits of the spirit is patience. I’m not patient with them sometimes. Sometimes I don’t want to give people rides, and I’ll lie and say I’m busy. I’m being honest, the Lord is teaching me stuff too.”
Jt’s constant learning is why he lives his life with no limits. “That’s how Rockstars think.”
“When you see them on stage, they go crazy,” he explained. “Everyone knows when you see my show you’re going to have the best experience you ever had because I’m going to ball out.”
This “rock star” theme was inspired by a Lil Wayne performance of his track “How to Love” at the 2011 VMA’s. In the performance, Wayne came on stage and rapped while playing the guitar. Jt was so inspired that he knew he wanted to go and be a rock star.
“God gave me this. ‘I’m young wild and free from sin, stand upon the solid rock, shining for the glory of Jesus Christ. He’s the solid rock, so when I walk outside, I see stars’.”
And while most rock star’s ball out, Jt is living the indie life with no major cosigns.
“I don’t have none of that. I came from the streets,” said Jt. “Don’t even got a budget for mixing, videos – that comes from my pocket. I go out here and raise money. I don’t have a label to come and just hand me money. I’m from the streets, I’m signed to them. If I have to provide, I’ll do it myself.”
Rockstar Jt is always grinding because he says, he doesn’t get much help from the church. “They want me to be something I’m not.”
He continued, “That’s why I love Lecrae. A lot of the times he said he felt like a puppet. You do this or you do that. If you never put yourself in that situation, you don’t have to worry about that. Only the streets and God put their stamp of approval on me. I don’t go to sleep without hearing a gunshot. Your day ones will continue to support you no matter what. Even if I speak out about certain things, they aren’t going to turn their back. My boys slang dope, and I don’t agree with that and we can talk it out. But you do something the church doesn’t agree with, they just write you off.”
Despite the name, his goal isn’t to be famous. It’s to be “faithful.” He said despite people’s claims of not being a “competition,” everyone is still out there trying to win. “No one is trying to be mediocre.” Also, mediocre is not going to save souls.
“God has called us to be better than the world, but Christianity isn’t really famous in America,” Jt shared. “If you had Coachella or Winter Jam, which more is going to be more packed? The world is always going to show up.”
Lastly, Jt wishes people would stop chasing cosigns. He says a lot of people start “acting funny” when they get them anyway. He wants artists to find their own value and worth in the gifts God has given them.
“Don’t let them make you. Don’t try to sound like other artists. Be who God called you to be. Just make music, stop asking everybody for a feature,” he said. “At the end of the day, if people rock with you, they rock with you, if not, they don’t.”
Stay tuned for part two with Rockstar Jt as he dives into his project The Streets Signed Me, becoming a Rapzilla Freshmen, and what’s coming next.