Pepperboy Music: An Interview With Singer/Songwriter Jay Rock


Pepperboy is a singer and songwriter for the rap group BossHoss. His latest album, A Deeper Love, was released on January 18th, 2019. To celebrate the release and his latest turning point in life, I’ve interviewed him on this blog about his career and journey as a musician.

A Brief History of Jay Rock

Born in Watts, Los Angeles, in 1986, Jay Rock was exposed to music at an early age. His mother constantly played soul and funk records, while his father was a fan of alternative hip-hop artists like Run-DMC. He began writing lyrics at 13 and soon developed a fanbase in his local community.

In 2004, Jay Rock released his independently-released debut album “Exile Island”, whichEPK Magazine called “one the most promising debuts of the year”. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) tracked down Jay Rock’s music and signed him to their indie imprint Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). In 2006, TDE released Jay Rock’s major label debut album, “Stolen Tongues”. The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and spawned five singles that reached the top 20 on U.S. radio charts. It also received rave reviews from critics; Rolling Stone called it “a strikingly confident debut that bristles with sinewy rapping and irresistibly catchy hooks”.

Jay Rock released his second studio album, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, in 2013. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and received widespread critical acclaim; Complex Magazine referred to it as “one of the most enduring rap albums ever made”. The album has since been certified gold by the RIAA. In addition to his music career, Jay Rock is also known for his acting career; he

How did Jay Rock come up with the name Pepperboy?

Rock says the name came about when he performed at an after-hours club with then-friend Trayvon Maxie. “I was on stage, smoking some herb, and I started to feel it kick in, and I started feeling extra energetic,” Rock recounts. “And somebody called me Pepperboy onstage and it just stuck.”

Though the rapper has always been associated with Denver, where he adopted the current name Jay Rock for his music career, he’s originally from Watts, Los Angeles. Growing up in a single-parent household, Rock says his musical influences ranged from EPMD and N.W.A to 50 Cent and Lil Wayne.

In 2007, Jay Rock released his first album as Pepperboy–a mixtape (which eventually turned into an official L.P.) that featured production credits from Kanye West, Just Blaze, Jeff Bhasker, The Neptunes and others. The rapper followed up 2009’s Deuce with another full-length L.P. in 2011 before dropping another mixtape called Black Lip president earlier this year, then headlining Glastonbury three days later (and playing all weekend).

What is Pepperboy Music?

Pepperboy Music is the musical brainchild of Jay Rock, one of the most promising young vocalists in music today. He’s already shown his potential on some big stages with artists like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, and now he’s ready to show the world what he can do.

Rock’s voice could cut through any crowd, but his lyrics are just as impressive. His songs are introspective but also reflect on day-to-day life experiences with honesty and precision. It’s no wonder why so many iconic artists have tapped into his sound – Pepperboy Music is a genre all its own.

 Rock talks to Complex about everything Pepperboy Music, from the writing process to his goals for the label. Read on for what he had to say:

When did you first start writing songs, and how has your process changed over time?

I started writing songs when I was 15, and my whole career stayed that way until this point. I’m still learning every day, so the process changes constantly. There isn’t anything qualitative about songwriting; it always comes down to inspiration and translating that into actual words and melody, then recording it properly. Making beats is also important, so you always have a foundation or rhythm underneath your vocals, which can help frame your performance or fill in awkward silent moments onstage during live performances. I’m very particular about my production, so everything sounds cohesive when played back together as a whole piece –

Why does Jay Rock want to “save and change the game” in music?

When it comes to music, Jay Rock wants to “save and change the game.” The West Coast rapper, who just released his fourth album, Redemption, is unafraid to speak his mind and fight for what he believes in. In this interview with Pepperboy Music’s KC Garnett, we talk about why Jay Rock wants to save hip-hop and change the game musically.

KC Garnett: What inspired you to start singing and writing songs?

Jay Rock: I was always lyrical growing up. That’s something that my father encouraged me in. He would always have me write little rhymes and stuff. And then, when I started getting into rap music, there was an artist called Ludacris, who I loved. He and Tupac bridged the gap between pop culture and street-level rap at a time when people tried to separate the two. So I just took everything he did and ran with it.

K.G.: When did you realize you had a natural talent for music?

J.R.: When I first started rapping, people would comment on how good my lyrics were even though they didn’t even know what the songs were about. But once I started releasing legitimate albums, people could hear what I was saying instead of just hearing words thrown together haphazardly on a track. And that’s when it hit me – from then on out, and all my efforts would be put into making great music.

K.G.: Do you think that music has the power to change people’s lives?

J.R.: Definitely. I think that music can reach people on a deeper level than anything else. It can bring people together and inspire them to do better things in life. That’s something that I strived for with my music is to use my platform to help others and make a difference.

Describing music theory and his tattoos

Jay Rock is making waves in the music industry with a new sound that fuses elements of Rock, hip-hop and blues. Born Jayvon Lorenzo Carter in 1988, Rock grew up in the small town of Clinton, Mississippi. After high school, he moved to Memphis to study music at The University of Memphis. While in Memphis, Rock met music producer Rick Rubin who helped him sign a record deal with Universal Music Group.

Rock’s debut album “Vol. 3: Life and Times of Sinner” was release in 2014 and yielded the hit singles “Dead Presidents” and “Guilty Ones.” His latest release, “365 Days of Soul”, was release earlier this year and feature the single “Big Games”. In addition to his music career, Rock is also an artist tattoo artist whose designs have been feature in magazines such as G.Q. and Rolling Stone.

One of Rock’s most notable tattoos is a sleeve full of imagery inspired by ancient African spirituality and culture called the Olo School. The sleeve includes intricate designs portraying deities from Yoruba mythology, such as Orisa (the goddess of vengeance), Oshun (the goddess of love), Elegba (the god of healing) and Osa Segede (the serpent god). 

In an interview with MTV News U.K., Rock explained how tattoos have always been central to his life: “I’ve always had tattoos since I was young because my parents are into that kind of thing… For me, it’s not really.

Collaboration, production, and race in the music industry

Pepperboy Music is a soulful, blues-infused quartet that hails from Detroit. Jay Rock is the lead singer and songwriter of the group, and he spoke with BASSNECTAR about his experience in the music industry, collaborative production, and race in the industry.

Pepperboy Music has been making waves in the industry for its soulful music and blues-infused sound. What inspired you to pursue a career in music?

I was always creative as a kid; I would make movies with my friends or write songs. It just observe like something I was think to do. When I turned 18, I started playing the guitar seriously. I joined a band and fell into this whole ‘singer-songwriter’ thing. I loved telling stories through my music and connecting with people on a personal level. The industry always fascinates me because it’s such an ever-changing landscape, so every time I see somebody do well or fail, it motivates me even more, to keep pushing myself.

How has your approach to collaborating changed since you first began working together at Pepperboy Music?

It used to be nerve-wracking for me because there was always this fear of not being good enough or not fitting in with whatever vision somebody had for us. But now we’re good at working collaboratively without any pressure. We determine what works best for each song based on our strengths and directions. 

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