PREMIERE: Justo – Black Ops w/ Interview


What are you listening to currently?
Right now, besides myself I’d say Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak. The west coast is really doing something special right now. I must salute them. Everything else I listen to isn’t so current lol.

What are your nominations for album of the year so far?
I think Kendrick’s DAMN LP is tough. The originality, the style, the storyline. One of my favorite records this year. Other than that I live under a rock. lol.

Do you have one album you always go back to?
As far as my own records are concerned, I always go back to this joint I did in 2010 titled, The Biggie Tape. It was a project I recorded at Jam Master Jay’s studio which at the time he called Hall of Fame Studios with producer/engineer extraordinaire Etan Yravas. His company at the time, Kaos Academy, had the idea to have me rhyme over some classic instrumentals from none other than the Notorious B.I.G. It ended up getting great feedback, and is still one of my most lyrical joints to date. Outside of my own material, my favorite go-to record for just nostalgic purposes is 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin. A lot of my high school memories are linked to that record… still a classic.

What are your fondest musical memories?
My fondest musical moments in life in general was just being a kid listening to all the different kind of music my parents would play. There was always a soundtrack playing in the background, and it ranged from Soul, to R&B, Hip-Hop to Smooth Jazz and more. There were so many different styles. It truly brought color to my imagination and environment.

Are there any artists in the UK that have caught your eye? What are your thoughts on UK Hip-Hop?
As I previously stated I live under a rock so I don’t know much about any U.K. artist off-hand. I’d love to be exposed to some though. I have worked with a few underground U.K.-based producers before though. But I def need you to put me on to some notable artists out there.

If you weren’t involved in music, what could you see yourself doing instead?
I’ve worked with kids for a while doing sports and youth counseling, so something probably dealing with youth development. It’s pretty damn important for our future.

Who would play you in your biopic and what would you call it?
Wooo this is a tough one, haha. I would have son from the movie Get Out play me…I think he’s dark enough, haha. Nah, but he seems like he would do a good job portraying me though. And the movie would be called, Ghetto Testimony: Rise of A Brooklyn Son.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Best piece of advice I was ever given came separately from both of my parents. My mom’s best advice is always, “Too much of anything isn’t good, you have to have a balance.” And pops always told me that, “Your gifts & abilities aren’t always enough, you also need discipline.” I try to stand by those pillars as my foundation.

What advice would you give to beginners starting out?
Best advice—don’t get comfortable. Constantly push yourself to new creative heights and never settle. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket or think there’s only one way to get on. Make your own lane if there’s no room in the one you’re currently in and last but not least, KEEP WRITING!!!

All in all, Black Ops is subtly Janusian; it looks at both the past and towards the future whilst remaining in the present. Justo is grounded but ready to keep things moving. Like he said himself, this isn’t even his best work as he’s too much of a perfectionist. If something this good isn’t his best work, lord helps us when he reaches that summit.

Stream it below and purchase via this link.

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About Luke Alex Davis

Luke Davis is a music producer and editor of music blog Sampleface. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis and football and reading.