In 1994 Nas drop an album called "Illmatic" that would go on to be credited as one of the best albums in hip hop history. And on that album there was only one featured artist, way different from the albums we hear today with saturated guest features, but that's on another note. That featured artist was an emcee by the name of AZ on the track "Life's A B...." Heads already new Nas could rip it but after hearing the first verse from this unknown emcee, even label heads had to comb through the streets of NY to find out who this AZ dude was and the rest, as we say, is hip hop history.
Back in 2005 I had a similar experience after coppin' this hot album called "Sound Proof" by J. Johnson (formely J-Silas). On this album there was a cut called "Waas Good Philly" featuring Japhia Life. When I heard Japhia's verse I was like this dude is dope. Homeboy said,
"Concrete jungle shake hands with the Apes/No fear sword tucked yep hand on my waist/Used to hand 'em dub sacks now I'm handing 'em faith. Philly Philly man, ain't no love here/City of brotherly hate nothin' but slugs here..."
After hearing Japhia's verse I had to initiate a search and find out more about this dude from Philly. I started hearing Japhia more and more then he eventually came out with a series of mixtapes. On one specific mixtape called "The Prelude To Armageddon" he has a song called "Precious Memories" where he was straight flowin'. Dude said,
"Listening to R. Kelly, broke cellys, packed in the deli plottin' on cats for Pelles/At times best friends seem jelly/Saw myself when I seen "Belly"/Saw prophecy fulfilled daily/You know the routine, white lines and blue streams close your eyes when you dream, catchin' ill visions/Loved ones in still prison be livin' dead stroll the ave muslems become Christians/I seen it from the old to the young/I used to roll in the slums what you behold you become. Weapons and ill sessions used to bust shells fell towards hell aiming fire at heaven/I'm redeemed now no more stressin'/Even got love for my enemies/It's all precious memories."
How can you not be a fan of dope lyricism like that? Japhia may be overlooked a little too much in my opinion but as long as he's making hot music he'll always have a fan in Florida bumpin' his joints.
Bringing Something Fresh To The Game
Not many artists can say that they may become responsible for sparking the next phase in the evolution of an entire genre. According to the hip hop community Japhia Life may be that very artist. Born and raised in the city of Philadelphia by his father a bible teacher, and his mother a gospel singer and pianist. By age fifteen Japhia found himself headed down the wrong path, and eventually sitting in a trap house focused on living out his street dreams. "I saw myself headed down the same path that a lot of my peers went down that didn't have the God given ability to make songs like I did. I decided to take advantage of opportunity before it was to late." Even though it became rough at times growing up, Japhia seemed to always find his escape in music, and eventually found out that it would provide the escape from the trappings of the neighborhood that he so desperately needed. Weaving creativity with heartfelt lyricism has proven to become an explosive combination in terms of his fan base. He was recently featured in an article in (URB Magazine) which starts off by mentioning him as being (the next big thing in Hip Hop since Nas and kanye West). "It's humbling and it's cool to be named among the next generation in hip hop. But I'm really just trying to bring something fresh to this game and make powerful music." Not waiting for the co-sign of a major label, he has been generating a firestorm of interest, making his own lane and using the Internet to brand himself as an indie hip hop artist by releasing mixtapes which contain all original material, and production from hip hop notables. As well as launching his blog "Everyday Dropoff", (everydaydropoff.blogspot.com
). He is currently in the proces of working on his highly anticipated mixtape entiled "The Heartsville Mixtape", his album "Westside Pharmacy", launching his website, writing a novel, and setting up his own tours in the states, and over seas. "I remember a time in my life when I thought I wouldn't make it to see 18, so for me to leave my crib and go to another city, or (over seas) and see the response is mind blowing. I know I'm in Hip Hop for a reason!!!"