Oklahoma City Rapper and Producer J French Announces the Release of his Debut Full- Length Album Jaguar Jesus, a follow up to his 2016 Too A.M. EP
For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, OK – The son of Grammy-winning reggae percussionist and vocalist Brother Num (Burning Spear), Jamal French is an accomplished rapper, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Oklahoma City. J French began rapping when he was 12 years old, composing rhymes as a hobby and discovering his genuine talent. His first rhyme was written to Devin Tha Dude’s “Don’t Wait.” French, who also plays cornet, piano and drums, has worked with several rappers in the Oklahoma-Texas scene. His latest release, Too A.M. EP, was released in April 2016 ahead of his new debut album Jaguar Jesus.
J French has been working on this new album since the summer of 2015, immediately after he finished recording tracks for the Too A.M. EP. He sat down with multiple labels such as Motown Records to pursue signing a record deal, and after carefully reviewing his offers, he was inspired to chart his own path and put together an album completely independently. The result is the release of Jaguar Jesus on December 9th, 2016 through his own IV League Entertainment label. The album comes on the heels of the release of the first single Dallas, which has been getting a huge response and is charting on a variety of stations across the Midwest.
Throughout his childhood, French split his time between his Harlem-based father and his mother’s home in Edmond, OK., soaking up his musical education during summers on the East Coast and then deploying his freestyle prowess once he returned to the Midwest for school. An early sign of his audacious work ethic and independent mentality, French packed up his car with 200 CDs and all his worldly possessions shortly after graduating from Edmond Santa Fe High School, and moved to Austin, TX, which he chose because it’s a town where musicians hustle.
Jaguar Jesus is all J French’s production, with some of the tracks produced by J French and Mike Payton aka C.R.E.W., his longtime producer protégé. Six out of the 14 tracks were mastered by ex-Color Me Badd and Grammy nominated producer and engineer Hamza Lee, with five more tracks mastered by Kurt Dogg. J French says, “I wanted to produce this album from my hometown,” and produced the record and beats in Oklahoma City as well as Dallas, Texas, using his own studio and equipment, while using the legendary studio “Diamond Sound” for mastering.
J French is lead vocalist on all of the songs and he mixed the entire record. Notable guest features on this album are rappers Original Flow and Los the Great, and soul singers Ivy Whitten and Nicole Alyse. Of the album’s title Jaguar Jesus, J French says it is like a “new Marvel character, but the humblest and beautiful one.”
In a recent interview the Oklahoma Gazette said “Often what is perceived as nerdy at a young age becomes a strength later on. French uses his understanding of chords, keys and melodies as a built-in advantage over many of his peers. It sometimes frustrates him when these things are not as apparent to other artists… French composes his raps like he would any other instrument in the song. His goal is not to copy what a beat is doing, but to blend with the instrumentation.” Check out the interview in it’s entirety here.
With Jaguar Jesus, J French is making his bid for immortality. He has no interest in the standard quick-hit hip hop fame that elevates a rapper for a year or two before moving on to someone new. He aspires to the lasting artistic achievement of his second-cousin, Kanye West.
“You can be popular, but will people really love what you’re doing, and feel it deeply? Will they think of you as part of their lives, the soundtrack that plays as they move through time?” French said. “I don’t want to be one of those products that people only want to use once. I want to be a household name.”