New EP from Jux Strongarm explores deep currents of American culture and political tensions
ALBANY, NY – A little more than 12 years ago, Daytwaun Minter was on the fast track to superstardom in the world of hip hop. He had been making a name for himself in New York with some of his early work, and that reputation was beginning to spread along the East Coast. He was primed for big things in the music industry. But in late 2007, his life on the street caught up with him and he was arrested for four bank robberies and an attempted robbery of a gun store. While he had the opportunity to trade information on others involved in 14 other robberies for a lesser sentence, he instead chose to keep his mouth shut and accept his full 13-year sentence. In December of 2018, he was released after only 11-and-a-half years in New York State prisons. In the months since, he has been dedicating himself to his music and picking up where he left off before prison.
Nodding to his past but pointing to the future, the artist now known as Jux Strongarm makes gangsta music that’s fused with conscious and political rap in ways that no one else out there is doing within the industry. His six-song EP “My Fellow American” is due out on July 5 and puts that unique sound and style on full display. With a blend of conscious songs, club songs and hard-hitting gangsta songs, “My Fellow American” explores a variety of topics that have permeated America’s society over the past decade – from the Black Lives Matter Movement to the protests of NFL players spurred on by the actions of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The debut single from the album is a song called “Gangsta Gangsta.” Jux calls it an upbeat club song for a new generation.
“With this new generation, everybody claims to be tough but nobody is really tough anymore,” he said. “They’re just claiming to be tough. There were rappers prior to the rise of those like Drake who were tough and really got into stuff. Drake said it best that back then people reached for weapons, but now they just reach to sell records. I think if it ain’t gangsta now, it’s never gonna be gangsta. That’s where this generation is headed and that’s what this song is about.”
Jux said the whole premise behind his music is to lean more toward the conscious side of lyrics and force people to think more deeply about things going on around them – all while having a good time with the music.
“I’m definitely talking about gangsta stuff and the consequences of that because I’ve lived it and it’s not fun,” he said. “But that’s just an introduction of who I am as a way to lend credibility to what I’m saying. If you don’t have credibility, people won’t listen to the good stuff you’re talking about and the positivity. Some artists try to come out with political stuff right out of the gate and people don’t pay attention. I’m giving people an introduction and then I’ll talk about the political stuff – like Black Lives Matter and the police shootings that are happenings everywhere. At the same time, I want to entertain. Music is about entertaining. So some of my punchlines are sly and clever underneath all the stuff I’m talking about that are going on in the community.”
“Gangsta Gangsta” is currently available across all streaming platforms with the EP to follow on July 5. Jux said he plans on releasing an LP in November called “Gangster, the Final Frontier” and he’s also going to have a booth at the Capital Center in Albany for the CNYS Black Expo in July to promote his brand.
To listen to Jux Strongarm’s music or to follow him on social media, please visit:
“My Fellow American”