J. Stalin, born Jovan Smith, is a rapper from the Cypress Village housing projects in West Oakland. In 2007, he signed to Zoo Entertainment Production Company run by artist Mekanix, who described his style as a variant of Hyphy known as “Go”. He is also the Owner of Livewire Records, President of Town Thizzness ENT, which is a sub-division of the late Mac Dre’s Thizz ENT.Read more
J. Stalin was born into poverty and earned money as a child by selling candy bars on the BART trains. As a youth he sold drugs in his local housing projects and spent eleven months on parole for drug dealing. Around age 16, he began recording and selling rap music.
Although young and boyish-looking, J-Stalin adopted a tough rapper persona. He references Joseph Stalin in his stage name because they shared the same initials, and “he was short like me, but he was always smashin’ on everybody.” In a recent interview he remarked about his home and lifestyle, “This is West Oakland, man. This is the bottoms right here.” He went on to say that the crime rate in his neighborhood was so high, the city had remodeled the housing units in his housing project to remove the back doors so that criminals could not escape from home raids by the police. His major influences Stalin claims came from a small town named Castroville. He claims he can relate to the poverty and hardships the town has to deal with and has major respect for the town. Stalin was also in the internet sensation video “Cupcakin” with J-Nash.
J. Stalin’s first widely released performances arose when a DJ Daryl, a local recording studio owner, placed him on a track he was recording. A colleague of Daryl’s, Richie Rich was impressed enough to put J. Stalin on three tracks in his 2002 album Nixon Pryor Roundtree and two more as a member of Rich’s group, the Replacement Killers. He later recorded and performed with artists such as G-Stack, Beeda Weeda, Keak Da Sneak and San Quinn, E-40, The Luniz, The Team, The Frontline, Mob Figaz, Yukmouth, Numskull, Shock G, and others. Mekanix and Zoo Entertainment released J.’s debut album On Behalf of the Streets in early May 2007. J. Stalin is also the front man in his group, Livewire Da Gang. The Livewire Gang consists of many artists from various neighborhoods in North, East, and West Oakland. Some of these artists include Shady Nate, Jay Jonah, Philthy Rich, Stevie Joe, Lil Blood, Ruben Stunner, R.O.B., Ronald Mack, Kiwi, and Mayback.
J. Stalin Releases Video for the Perfect Mob Music Anthem “It Ain’t No Thang”
West Oakland’s J. Stalin is No Prince Charming on “Cindafella”
West Oakland Slick Talker J. Stalin Releases On Behalf of the Streets 2, a Sequel to His 2006 Debut
J. Stalin and G-Eazy Make The Party Jump in this Sequel to a 2006 Stalin Track
J. Stalin Mobs in Muscle Cars with Nef The Pharaoh and Lil Blood in “Get Me Some,” Premiered by Passion of the Weiss
Ten Years After His Debut Record, J. Stalin Announces On Behalf of The Streets 2, Drops Single
Debuted by HotNewHipHop, Bay Area Rap Veteran J. Stalin Finds Love In New “Going Steady” Visual From His Tears of Joy Album
Bay Area Legend Releases His 14th Solo Album + Heartfelt Video on the Realities of His Former Hustling Days
Debuted by East Bay Express, Bay Area Legend J. Stalin Releases Hard-Hitting “Face Shots” Visual From Tears of Joy Project Set to Release on October 30th
J. Stalin Announces Tears of Joy Album, Shares Visual for “Bye Felicia” Single ft. L’Jay
Bay Area Legend J Stalin Releases Video From Recently Released Album SID – Shining in Darkness, Premiere via The FADER
HipHopDX Premieres Visual from SID (Shining In Darkness) Album, Now Available on iTunes
Bay Area Rapper J Stalin Releases His 14th Studio Album SID (Shining In Darkness) Album, Premieres via SPIN
iTunes Bonus Track from J. Stalin’s Upcoming SID Album, Featuring Problem Premieres on XXL
Third Single from J Stalin’s Forthcoming Album, SID, Premieres on Southern Hospitality
Second Single from J Stalin’s Forthcoming Album, SID, Premieres on VICE/Noisey
Complex Premieres J Stalin’s “Fuk That” from His Upcoming Album, SID, Due April 22nd