By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Although RJ aka RJMrLA came up as Mustard’s protegee, it was his single “Get Rich” featuring Iamsu and Choice that gained him the recognition he needed to push to the mainstream light.
At the end of last year, RJ released a fire collaborative project with Mustard titled "The Ghetto," but it’s his "OMMIO" mixtape series that continues to be a fan favorite.
AllHipHop caught up with RJ in downtown L.A. to talk about his come up, and his career.
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is RJ?
RJ: I’m passionate about everything I do, I’m passionate about every detail I do. No bulls##t. Everything is organic, on some real s##t.
AllHipHop: Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
RJ: I think I fit in with everybody, but I also stand out. I’m super unique. I’m not always trying to figure out what category I’m in, my s##t is just tight. It feels good.
AllHipHop: Who are the top three LA rappers and where would you rank yourself?
RJ: I would rank RJ at the top. Then I would rank Mr. LA second. I haven’t introduced the world to Juice yet, Juice is the street name. It’s not actually me, but it’s a older me. ‘Cause I’ve just been telling the stories of my new success, but I haven’t broke down the story of being broke and where a n##ga come from and all that. They just feel like I came out nowhere, from out the sky or some s##t. I’m a real person, I’m not a myth. n##gas just want to make it.
AllHipHop: “Get Rich” is at over 12 million views on YouTube. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
RJ: Nah, I knew it was tight though. I know what tight music sounds like, but sometimes people aren't always on the same tight music you’re on. Certain people around me were like, “This s##t is gonna be big as f##k,” this and that. I was just like “this s##t hard, but I’m on to the next one.” That’s what I keep trying to do, keep going to the next one.
AllHipHop: That was released in 2015 and you’ve managed to keep your own sound. Are you adapting to his new wave of trap and melodic rap?
RJ: I think that s##t ain’t gonna adapt until n##gas are more satisfied. That’s when you’ll see it. Right now, you don’t see it. My sound is still breaking through. It hasn’t fully broke through, but it broke in LA like a motherf##ker.
AllHipHop: What’s the best piece of advice Mustard has given you?
RJ: I can’t really say because I’m a grown ass man. He looks out. That n##ga do his s##t. It’s more so like we over here eating, and we trying to eat more. We trying to grow. We trying to blossom and everything fruitful. I only say that because I want it to be understood, I’m not no lil n##ga.
AllHipHop: What is your take on the music industry?
RJ: I think it’s trash, but it’s a way for people to eat and build and make a living. It’s trash, but at the same time it’s like a good waste.
AllHipHop: I personally think you’re super slept-on. What do you say to people who say the same?
RJ: I think so too. They need to wake up because I’m not just speaking for some bulls##t. I’m not just trying make money, I’m trying make history. Going back to your music industry question, it’s a way for me to eat. It’s just weak sometimes. I’m just trying to keep it going. As far as me being slept on, it’s probably due to me not pushing the envelope on the music that got me heard originally.
Me being so talented and so creative and so unique, “Get Rich” and records like that stuck, but nothing else crossed over. Because I’m so talented, I’m like “I did that, and now I’m trying to do this.” Like alright, I’ma try to rap like this now.
It’s just about being great and being tight at everything that I do. That’s what I push. That’s what I do, so that could be a reason why I’m slept on. The celebrities don’t understand that I’m not no f##king character. I’m RJ Mr LA, it’s not no bulls##t.
AllHipHop: Three things you need in the studio?
RJ: Engineer, producer, and a cameraman.
AllHipHop: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
RJ: I don’t know, this is what I’m meant to do. It’s just music. I was doing a lot of s##t before I was doing music, a gang of s##t.
AllHipHop: Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
RJ: I think Ed Sheeran, or Hitta J3.
AllHipHop: Dream collab?
RJ: I don’t know. I’ve worked with Snoop, Chris Brown, Quavo, Plies…
AllHipHop: Ed Sheeran?
RJ: That’d be hard. Ed Sheeran would be a dope ass collab.