The Bay is home to a wide array of talent, from all genres across the board… and Rayven Justice is one of them. Born and raised in Oakland, California, the singer, songwriter, and rapper has been putting the work in independently for over two decades, first exploding onto the scene as a member of Justice Brothers alongside his brother Raymen.
In 2010, Rayven’s brother was unfortunately shot and killed, resulting in Rayven pursuing music full-time as a solo artist. To date, he’s collaborated with everyone from Mozzy and Keyshia Cole to French Montana and the Migos.
Now on the heels of his previous collaborative EP, “Once in a Lifetime,” alongside rapper Yhung T.O, Rayven Justice unveils his highly-anticipated new album titled Ray.
Speaking on the title, Rayven states, “It’s one of the names that when you get a chance to know me, you’ll grow to call me that. Anybody around me, that’s a thing. It’s been like that since I’ve been a kid. All my friends, you start off as ‘my name Rayven.’ After time, they start calling me Ray. I was thinking in my head one day, I need to do a tape named that. It’s self-explanatory, definitely a personal side of myself.”
AllHipHop spoke with Rayven Justice in downtown Los Angeles to discuss how he’s grown over Covid, working with Krayzie Bone, Sada Baby, Yungeen Ace, and Mozzy, new project Ray, an epic studio session with the Migos, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: How you been since the last time we chatted?
Rayven Justice: I just been working. I dropped my new album called Ray, then another album sometime after that. I don’t have a date for it yet. I’ve been working on that. Outside of music, I got my own trucking company started up. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff, getting my hands in stuff. Got my own clothing line, merch stuff. That’s one of the hats he got on right there. [points to friend]
AllHipHop: You holding it down in the Bay still?
Rayven Justice: Oh yeah, most definitely. I’m everywhere though. I’m in Vegas, I be out here. Oakland is home. I literally got back from Oakland, thanksgiving stuff. Both of my parents had surgery. Other than that, they’re good. I’d rather them go through that little bit of pain so they can live longer.
AllHipHop: How was it doing “Reach” with Krayzie Bone? Legendary.
Rayven Justice: I did the record with my boy Cypher, he’s Pacman da Gunman’s manager. I was over at their lab, we were working on a bunch of records. Did that one, then I asked him, who do you hear on it? He was thinking in his mind, he said “s###, Krayzie bone would work.” I said if you could set it up, let’s do it. He got to work on his phone immediately. He hit up whoever is connected to Krayzie Bone, asked them to come to the lab wherever Krayzie Bone was working at that day.
Went over there, chopped it up. He’s kinda quiet, but after a while he opened up. He allowed me to play the song. Played it and he loved it. He was grooving and moving, I knew he f##### with it as soon as he start dancing to it. He wrote about it on the spot, went to the booth, knocked it out. It was a gem right after that.
AllHipHop: Just like that?
Rayven Justice: Just like that. I was just talking to him when we released it, he hit me up like “man, this s### slap.” I said I appreciate you for jumping on it again, he said “it’s all good.” I said I still need you in the video though. [laughs] He said “I’m with it. Let’s do it.” Alright bet. We’re working it out right now. Shout out to Cypher, salute. He put this whole play together. He said “I’m working on the video for y’all right now,” so it’s definitely in the loop. I’m excited, can’t wait to do a movie with the OG.
AllHipHop: You just dropped the visual to “Cheated.” Is this inspired by a real story?
Rayven Justice: It could have been. I’ve been cheated on before. It wasn’t related to this song, I just know the feeling of cheating feels like. Really, it got inspired because of Keyshia Cole song. “I should have cheated…” Shout out Keyshia Cole. You gotta have a male perspective for the song. I said let me make my own version of it.
I was talking to my cameraman about the song before we shot the video. He said “we gotta have the girl cheat on you in the video.” I’m like damn, that sounds f##### up to me right now. Matter of fact, I’m with that. Because honestly I’ve always been into acting. I’ve always thought that one day, I want to jump into that line of business as well. It made me think about that. That would be tight, I think people would be affected by me getting cheated on. Because I don’t normally do videos like that.
We did it. I showed it to a few people before it came out. Everybody was telling me they’re blown by the clip that’s in the video. If you ain’t seen it, you gotta see it. It’s basically me sitting in the bed, going through my girl’s phone. I see a video of her having sex with another guy. A lot of men have been through that…
AllHipHop: A lot of girls have been through that!
Rayven Justice: You right though! We know that, that’s a given. By now, we know all the hurtful songs from the Mary J. Blige’s, up and down. You know what us males did in this world to y’all, but somebody do gotta be the voice for men that’s getting treated as such as well. That’s how it came about. I gotta voice it. If no one is going to do it, let me be the guy to do it. Shout out Keyshia Cole once again, that’s where the inspiration came from first of all.
AllHipHop: What’re you doing if you catch your girl cheating?
Rayven Justice: Oh my God, who knows. [laughs] Who knows. It’s definitely going to be some heartbreak involved, I can tell you that.
AllHipHop: Is there a double standard when it comes to cheating?
Rayven Justice: There can be at times possibly. I know there’s guys out there who feel they’re the biggest player of all time. They feel their girl won’t do nothing to them probably based on what they got. It can happen to anybody. You can’t buy happiness, that’s the bottom line. That’s why you’re confident when (can’t make out this sentence) happiness is involved, depends how the levels are going on in the relationship. That’s where the loyalty lies at, you gotta be able to make your other person happy. That’s what it is, what it’s all about.
AllHipHop: How have you grown sonically?
Rayven Justice: I’ve grown tremendously since the last time we linked. Vocally, lyrically, all that. Honestly, Covid stuff really helped me out. I used to watch Dragon Ball Z as a kid. When they went into the castle, it’s a time castle. Time passes fast for them, but slower for people outside of it. When they go in and train, they come out and be super turnt up. Extra powerful, extra faster than everybody. That’s basically how I look at it. Covid was a time capsule for me to be able to work on and fine tune everything I needed to work on as far as my voice and lyrics. With the new music I got coming out now, I’m showcasing where I’m at and how I’ve grown. I’m excited for it.
AllHipHop: Any features on your new project, Ray?
Rayven Justice: Definitely, we got Krayzie Bone of course on there. We got Sada Baby on there. Shout out Sada Baby, he going crazy. We got my boy 24Hrs on there, shout out bro. We got two of my artists on there: Surfa Solo and Drenesse. Both two fire individuals, check them out. And a lot more, I’m excited for the music overall. It’s a dope body of work, it’s a rollercoaster ride really. I want it to showcase not only my vocals, but the production side as well. It’s a lot of different vibes on there, it’s dope.
AllHipHop: How did you tap in with Sada Baby?
Rayven Justice: I reached out to Sada on my own. He came down to the Bay, he always comes down to the Bay. He’s always in Oakland. I tapped in with some of his people I know he’s associated with in my city. They linked me with the right people. We got together on my birthday last year and did a single called “Doggin’,” with the video. You definitely gon’ see that. On my mind, let me double back on that bro. Reach back out, sent him a different type of record this time around. He f##### with it, so I’m excited. We would’ve done the video too, but he caught Covid or some s###. It’s coming though. We’re gonna wrap that up as soon as he comes back to town.
AllHipHop: Free Mozzy, how was it working with him?
Rayven Justice: Me and him, we got a genuine dope sound together. Shout out Daveo, he definitely connected those dots as well. We got a lot of records together honestly on ice. We’ve been locked in, but speaking on Mozzy, shout out to bro. Free the bro. I got another album after Ray, it’s me, Mozzy, Fetty Wap. It’s a slapper, free both the guys. I think Fetty still in jail, I got both of them on there. I got OMB Peezy on there. I’ve been working, I got lots in store. I’m just sitting back at this moment.
AllHipHop: How was it doing the music video with Mozzy?
Rayven Justice: It was a movie. I had got back from being out of town, he said “let’s do the video to the song.” I said let’s do it, I’m here. Came here real quick, they had it all set up. The whole cameraman, whole crew. It was a movie .It felt like I was on set of a movie. It was a dope situation, shout out to the guys. Right after that, we put out another song called” Tear Me Down.” We’re gonna keep on coming with them.
AllHipHop: What about “Ride” with Yungeen Ace? Love him.
Rayven Justice: That’s my homie. I did the record in Oakland. I was in the studio with my partners, I asked who y’all hear on it? They were throwing out names. One of my boys said “you should do something with Yungeen Ace.” I like his music, so I reached out to him. He tapped back in saying “he’s with it. Send me some records over.” I sent him two different songs over, because I was confused. I can hear him on both of these. When I sent them over, he damn near loved both of them. He said “they both fire.”
I said choose the one you hear yourself most on out of both, and he chose “Ride.” I said let’s do the video, he gave me his free dates. Set it all up with the cameraman that I got. I flew him down to the Bay, we did the video in the Bay. I threw some b-roll scenes of LA in there, just to have this Cali feel. I wanted the whole Cali to win out the whole play, showcasing our side of this s###. He was down-to-earth, hella humble. Super humble. We were chopping it up on some real s###, he’s a real cool young dude. I definitely want to work with him again, and proud of his success.
AllHipHop: What’d it mean to do “Slide Thru” with Migos? Rest in peace Takeoff.
Rayven Justice: RIP big bro man. We was all cool, shout out the whole gang. I really knew Coach K and P. They reached out to me years ago when I dropped “Slide Thru” and wanted to sign me to QC. That’s how I got a chance to meet the Migos honestly.
AllHipHop: What happened?
Rayven Justice: They flew me to Atlanta, I sat down with them. They took me to Ruth Chris for the first time, I had never been. [laughs] It was exciting for me, like damn I heard a lot about this store. They was chopping it up with me. They took me around Atlanta, I got a chance to see their hoods. I got a chance to experience their lifestyle. They took me to the studio. At this point, the Migos wasn’t in town. They was in the Bay doing a show while I was with Coach K and P.
The very next day came, Coach called me like “the boys back.” I’m like oh word? He said “yeah, I’m about to come pick you up. We going to the studio.” I said alright cool. We went to the studio. Quavo was in there, he was already doing something on the computer. I didn’t know how fire he was until I was in the studio, he knows how to do more than just rap. I admire people who know how to engineer themselves, know the ins and outs of Pro Tools and all that. He know how to do all that by himself.
Offset had just got out of jail, he came in there with all his chains on. Takeoff had came in, all of them was cool. Quiet at first but when they opened up, it was all love. They welcomed me right on in, I remember vividly, Takeoff was high off some weed. He was sleepy, he had went in the corner of the studio and knocked out on everybody. [laughs] Quavo said “don’t trip off him, we gon’ make sure he does the verse tomorrow.” I’m like it’s all good, I’m not tripping. Appreciate y’all. I was living the moment.
The next day came, s### Takeoff did the verse for me [snaps] and the whole song was complete. The remix was complete, it was done. I released it, it was amazing support from the gate. From home and everywhere else, it was a dope opportunity that we did it together. RIP bro.
AllHipHop: Goals for yourself at this point of your career?
Rayven Justice: Just to be better every year I do what I do. That’s it, to be the best I can be while I’m alive. That’s my only goal, that’s my biggest goal.
AllHipHop: Anything else fans should know about you?
Rayven Justice: I’m hard working and I’m not going to stop till the day I die. More music on the way, stay tuned.