HipHopLead- We noticed you decided to use your actual name as your stage name. What made you want to keep it?
J. Halstead- I’m not really into the whole persona thing. I’ve seen a lot of method acting going on in the rap game lately and I want to let it be known that I’m not aligned with that type of shit in any shape, form, or fashion. So this is who I am, hate it or love it.
HipHopLead- How old are you exactly?
J. Halstead- 28
HipHopLead- We know you have a story to tell .. so lets take it piece by piece. We heard your up bringing was pretty bad, how would you explain your youth and family situation?
J. Halstead- My biological left me, my brother, and my mom when I was 3. Next couple years of my life we bounced from motels, rooming houses, and sleeping in cars till I was 5. My mom got with my step dad and everything was cool for a little while until he lost his job. Then he got all depressed started drinking heavy and fucking with me and my older brother all the time.
We moved around a lot of times and I was always the little poor kid in one of these middle class towns. So I got picked on and bullied until I got fed up and made it my M.O. to smash kids in the head with rocks and shit as soon as they started with the bullshit. Needless to say I got in a lot of trouble at school, but kids learned not to fuck with me real quick. Basically thats how my life was when I was a kid. Go to school, fight to protect myself, get suspended, and then get beat up at home for fucking up in school. The whole scenario turned me off to the entire system at a young age.
HipHopLead- Is it true you started selling drugs at the ripe young age of 13?
J. Halstead- Nickle and dime type shit. You know the whole “crawl before you walk” deal. Thats when I started to crawl.
HipHopLead- What made you get into that so young?
J. Halstead- Basically because I was a have not. I always thought that having the same material shit as the kids around me that my life would be “happy” like theirs was. One day my brother came home wit a fresh pair of Nike’s and I had some dirty ass Spaldings on and right there I was like “that’s what I need to get into”.
HipHopLead- How many years of your life would you say you spent locked up?
J. Halstead- Between 6 and 7. I did two state sentences and I had a some petty shit in between I did time for.
HipHopLead- Are you proud of your past like some many of these rappers glamorize? Or are you changing for the better?
J. Halstead- I’m definatly proud of the way I handled myself when I was down there. I was in some rough spots and even rougher little situations, but I never strayed from who I was or felt the need to align myself with a certain gang or religion. It’s kind of sad that I can’t say the same for alot of people but in the end not everybody is built the same. As for a lot of “these rappers” they blatently false claim gangs, be in P.C., get a year and a day bid for 600 assault rifles, work as C.O.’s, etc. But some how they still get alot of love from the street. If you ask me it brings into question what the mentality is of the “streets” nowerdays.
HipHopLead- You have been no stranger to being vocal about Rick Ross posing as a gangster rapper with a Correctional Officer past. As a person who was a incarcerated so much, how does that make you feel when you hear him rapping about a lifestyle he most likely was never a custom to?
J. Halstead- On my max out date in 2007, I was jumped by 3 corrections officers. I call em cock watchers, because they knowingly pursue a job where they stair at dudes dicks and assholes multiple times a day, so there all living out some homo erotic fantasy if you ask me. Anyways though dude can rap, I respect his grind, but he is part of the criminal justice system, he signed up to cock watch, and he is in the process of commiting 20 other some faggot ass moves right now as we speak (watch the news), so fuck him, hope he has to own up to all the bullshit he misrepresented so we dont have to deal with C.O.’s and cops trying to do the same shit in the future.
HipHopLead- You make it pretty evident you say what you want in your raps. Without a doubt you are honest with your verses. No one has really made a huge buzz lately while being a true artist. Do you think being “true emcee” makes it harder for you to get your shine on?
J. Halstead- I mean, I really dont give a fuck about what anybody does. I pretty much got my own view of what I’m trying to do. I dont give a fuck about getting my “shine” on. I really just want to represent a demographic that I dont really see being represented.
HipHopLead- The first time we actually heard your music was on “Digital Dynasty 23 (Hosted by Vinnie Paz). In the song “Alexis Texas” it seemed you poked fun at black rappers not being able to bag up the porn star because of her preference. Do you think a song like that can cause you racial back lash?
J. Halstead- A lot of people dont understand the metaphor. It goes in line wit the whole Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, “white girl” metaphor. What I’m saying is that the “white girl” in my car is so raw, none of these other rappers got product that can match it. But on some real shit I dont give a fuck about racial backlash. I used to drive right into the the heart of all kinds of ghettos and snatch hella bricks of smack from whoever the fuck I wanted. I used to be in a dorm full of brothas tellin em how Michael Jackson was a Child Molestor. So now aint the time to worry bout that shit. I don’t got a racist bone in my body, I’m just proud of who I am and dont ever dick ride for nobody.
HipHopLead- You also dissed President Obama hard. A lot of people and even some rappers have vocalized their dislike for the President and his administration. What exactly is it about Obama that rubs you the wrong way?
J. Halstead- I hate anyone who is affiliated or supports any form of Government, from The President all the way down to a crossing guard. Fuck every last one of y’all.
HipHopLead- Did you like George Bush better?
J. Halstead- Fuck Obama, Fuck George Bush, Fuck George Washington, and Fuck Abraham Lincoln. Does that pretty much sum it up for you?
HipHopLead- (Laughs) .. I guess so. Moving on….You made it clear that you don’t like these “white college boy, born with a silver spoon in there mouth” rappers. Who exactly comes to mind that really annoys you?
J. Halstead- I mean they just remind me of little faggoty kids I grew up with and I never supported any of them and their gay movements, so why would I do it now? They should just stay as far the fuck away from me as possible.
HipHopLead- Are you a fan of Eminem.
J. Halstead- Absolutely, but I am not a fan of the 18 zillion little white kids who he “inspired” to start rapping. GET OFF THE MANS DICK Y’ALL!!!!!
HipHopLead- You are from Newton, NJ right?
J. Halstead- Thats where I am at now, but I’m actually from a lot of places. Country Club till I die though. Montague NJ, Port Jervis NY, a little Paterson NJ, Sussex NJ, like i said, I bounced around alot.
HipHopLead- Newton, NJ isn’t exactly the murder capital of the world (laughs). Is it fair to say a lot of college boys with silver spoons might come from your home town?
J. Halstead- There’s been a lot of people over the years that had that same mind frame. Whoever’s interested in that question though should really look into news articles on why I was incarcerated from 2008-2011 and you’ll get a better picture of what I do, and what goes on in the “not exactly murder capitol”. But yeah, a lot of these silver spoon kids be listenin to the college dudes who are from “the hood” and start acting ghetto as fuck or what they think its supposed to look like. Its fucking ridiculous.
HipHopLead- Why is it you think the south continues to make a heavy noise, and a lot of New Jersey artists don’t go on a mainstream level any more?
J. Halstead- Thats what the main stream likes right now, South shit. NJ as a scene is lacking though because you got a bunch of small cities where everyone talks and acts different, its hard to gain Statewide acceptance. People need to collab more and communicate or its not gonna change.
HipHopLead- What obstacles and real life experiences made you come up with “Criminal Mentality”?
J. Halstead- Legal troubles, baby momma drama, substance abuse, stress, depression, pain pills, and all kinds of negative shit I was goin through.
HipHopLead- On “Criminal Mentality” you spit, “In my mind all I do is get high/ and I’m sick of doing time and I don’t want to die.” With vulnerable lines like that does it bother when you see a rapper on the tv with a major deal who couldn’t formulate a rhyme scheme like that to save there lives?
J. Halstead- I mean alot of people could formulate a rhyme skeem similar, but they probably wouldnt say shit like that because it doesn’t go along with their image.
HipHopLead- How does it make you feel that songs with substance hardly exist any more?
J. Halstead- Songs with substance exist, it’s just that they seem to immediatley get painted with the “underground” brush. I don’t think the media really wants to push that shit mainstream because with the state that the nation is in, they dont want to promote a soundtrack to an uprising.
HipHopLead- Let dig a little bit deeper about that record .. it was an open book to your life. A very deep track. Suicide among other things were mentioned. Have you ever come close to wanting to end it all? If so, can you specify?
J. Halstead- Back in the day I used to let alot of shit get to me. I was on so many different substances, doing all kinds of reckless retarded ass gangsta shit, that all kinds of thoughts crossed my mind. Murder, suicide, suicide bombings, all types of crazy shit.
HipHopLead- Lets talk about your catalog. What mixtapes or albums have you released to date?
J. Halstead- I got the “Alexis Texas” track on Digital Dynasty: 23 9Hosted by Vinnie Paz), I got a track called “Shovel Snow” on Digital Dynasty: 24 (Hosted by Killah Priest), coming out soon, I got a couple tracks coming out on Rekomstop Radio Pt. 5 coming out soon. I just wrapped the ‘Holy Water Remix” with my man NJ Skillz last night, I got a mixtape series bout to drop called “Bukkake Barmitzvah”, basically this interview is proceeding everything that is on the way. I just wanted people to get a better understanding as to what me and my team at Kount Ka$h Rekords was all about.
HipHopLead- What is your next planned release gonna be?
J. Halstead- Besides all I just mentioned, my next track “GSP” is getting recorded tonight, havent decided what tape I’ma put it on.
HipHopLead- What is your favorite record you have ever recorded to date?
J. Halstead- With every song I record I get better at it, so my favorite right now is my collab wit NJ Skillz, but tomorrow it’ll probably be “GSP”.
HipHopLead- Any features worth mentioning on the upcoming projects?
J. Halstead- Like I said I got the track wit NJ Skillz. I definitely got some shit coming out with my man Davey Crack, other than that I got a lot off collab offers but I gotta do a little further investigating before I just hop on a track. I’m also workin on material for collabs wit Block McCloud and Ransom, that’ll be coming out soon as I got everything perfect.
HipHopLead- Who are J. Halstead’s favorite artists of all time?
J. Halstead- Old Dirty, Gza, GhostFace, Nas, Em, JadaKiss, Jeezy and thats just rap. I also fuck with alot of Rock music as well.
HipHopLead- If by some chance music doesn’t pan out for you what will you be doing 5 years from now?
J. Halstead- Combing through the rubble that was “America” with an AK-47 and a drug sniffing German Shepard.
Here at HipHopLead.com we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm. We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you.So lets get it cracking ….
HipHopLead- We noticed you rap on a lot of South beats. Do you think Dirty South production is better then East Coast?
J. Halstead- I fuck wit all kinds of beats, I’ve just been on some heavy synth and trap shit lately.
HipHopLead- Being a dope East Coast lyricist how do you feel about Wacka Flocka and Future as hiphop artists?
J. Halstead- Waka Flocka and Future have a place as artists the same way clever lyricists do. They just need to stay in their lane and not get the game fucked up. Wocka got that throw bows in the club shake your dreads around shit, and future got that auto tuned Fat Albert club shit.
HipHopLead- Who are your favorite Jersey artists of all time?
J. Halstead- Me and Eddie Money (The Real Boss).. fuck Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. My favorite rappers though? Albee Al and Ransom.
HipHopLead- Lets play word association. I give you a name and you tell me what word pops in your head to associate with them..
Governer Chris Christie: Peter Griffin
J. Halstead: Sasquatch/ Bald Eagle Murderer
Kim Kardashian: Dumb Bitch
Alexis Texas: Fat Butt
French Montana: Sounds Like a Name a Homo would have..
Back To The Norm…….
HipHopLead- Before we get out of here lets touch a bit more on your life experiences. How would you describe your experiences in Prison?
J. Halstead- First off fuck the whole Parole Department. They are a bunch of fucking haters. Secondly BIG Shout Out to courtline para-legals, Thanks to yall I got to keep my comp time. I basically did my own thing, stayed away from that gang shit, held it down, and beat alot of institutional charges.
HipHopLead- Saigon spent almost half his life in prison and hardly ever glamorizes jail like some other rappers do. Do you think its lame when an artist brags about jail time like a badge of honor?
J. Halstead- It really depends how you handled that shit. I was down Bordentown. Everybody know what that shits about. If you a criminal, prisons part of the game. If you frontin then you cry when you get sentenced to 60 days in Juve like Chief Keef sensitive lil homo ass. These little dumb fucks need to realize that there aint no guns in prison to hide behind. So with that being said it adds to your criminal resume.
HipHopLead- I mean isn’t it better to not get caught in the grand scheme of things?
J. Halstead- Tell many how many “really” do their thing and never get caught? That shit is part of it. Thats why if you never experienced going through it I will never do any type of criminal shit with you. If you’ve done too much time, you might not have another one in you, so I probably wont fuck with you either.
HipHopLead- How have you evolved as a person since your teenage years to now?
J. Halstead- I dont let shit bother me any more. I dont feel the need to impress everybody. I dont ride off emotions. I left all that juvenile shit behind me. Now everything is calculated and business.
HipHopLead- We know you noted coming from a broken home. How is your relationship with your parents presently?
J. Halstead- My Mom and Step Dad have a restraining order against me and my real father is dead.
HipHopLead- Damn sorry to hear. On a lighter note ..name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHopLead.com viewers
J. Halstead- My peoples fuck wit “Goin In”
HipHopLead- Without a doubt you seem like a genuine dude with a real story to tell. We appreciate you kicking it with us. Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts….links to
your sites….F.U.’S or whatevers clever..
J. Halstead- Shout Out my man Davey Crack! Kount Ka$h Rekords, We in here! Tha Advocate for pluggin me in with this shit, everybody go D/L Digital Dynasty 24 as soon as it comes out! S/O Robert Wade, Jr. Clark, Ashley Starr Graphics, Balducci Designs, JL Designs, My Brother Keith, Kanyon Crow, and everybody else who is helping me get my vision out there, All the artists I Fuck wit; NJ Skillz, Rekomstop Skeemz, AC da Rican, Zection 8, DWP (Da Wolf Pack), Mike Kush, Philly Blount SC Group, Profit I$M, and whoever else I forgot.
Fuck all the fake ass rappers! I’m coming for y’all heads! To the U.S. Government: FREE ALL MY PEOPLES; EDWARD J. NASH JR., Mike Ku$h, Shantz, Buff, and everybody else I fuck with! Fuck all the haters! All my peoples strap the fuck up, we about to goon the fuck up and handle our bizz! Check my shit on soundcloud at the links above, Follow me on Twitter @JHalstead1, and look out for my new exclusives coming out on the upcoming Rekomstop Radio & Digital Dynasty Installments.