|Birth name||Jovan Smith|
|Genres||Hip hop, west coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, hyphy|
|Years active||2002 - present|
|Associated acts||Mistah F.A.B., Keak Da Sneak, Richie Rich Philthy Rich|
Jovan Smith (born 1987), better known by his stage name J. Stalin (also stylized as J Stalin or J-Stalin), is a rapper from the Cypress Village housing projects in West Oakland. In 2007, he signed to Zoo Entertainment Production Company run by artist Mekanix, who described his style as a variant of Hyphy known as "Go". He is also the Owner of Livewire Records, President of Town Thizzness ENT, which is a sub-division of the late Mac Dre's Thizz ENT.
J. Stalin was born into poverty and earned money as a child by selling candy bars on the BART trains. Around age 16, he began recording and selling rap music. As a youth he sold drugs in his local housing projects and spent eleven months on parole for drug dealing.
Although young and boyish-looking, J-Stalin adopted a tough rapper persona. He references Joseph Stalin in his stage name because they shared the same initials, and "he was short like me, but he was always smashin' on everybody." In a recent interview he remarked about his home and lifestyle, "This is West Oakland, man. This is the bottoms right here." He went on to say that the crime rate in his neighborhood was so high, the city had remodeled the housing units in his housing project to remove the back doors so that criminals could not escape from home raids by the police. His major influences Stalin claims came from a small town named Castroville. He claims he can relate to the poverty and hardships the town has to deal with and has major respect for the town. Stalin was also in the internet sensation video "Cupcakin" with J-Nash.
J. Stalin's first widely released performances arose when a DJ Daryl, a local recording studio owner, placed him on a track he was recording. A colleague of Daryl's, Richie Rich was impressed enough to put J. Stalin on three tracks in his 2002 album Nixon Pryor Roundtree album and two more as a member of Rich's group, the Replacement Killers. He later recorded and performed with artists such as G-Stack, Beeda Weeda, Keak Da Sneak and San Quinn, E-40, The Luniz, The Team, The Frontline, Mob Figaz, Yukmouth, Numskull, Shock G, and others. As of 2006 he had released roughly 7 mixtapes and had four releases scheduled for 2007. Mekanix and Zoo Entertainment released "On Behalf of the Streets" in early May 2007. J. Stalin is the President of Town Thizzness, and the owner of Livewire Records. He is also the front man in his group, Livewire Da Gang The Livewire Gang consists of many artists from various neighborhoods in North, East, and West Oakland. Some of these artists include, Shady Nate, Jay Jonah, Philthy Rich, Stevie Joe, Lil Blood, Ruben Stunner, R.O.B., Ronald Mack, Kiwi, and Mayback.. Retro and TD slaps from Sacramento . Jon Jon on the beat from the 209. The Livewire R&B singer is L'Jay. Nano is the President Of Livewire From San Francisco
J. Stalin Discography
- 2006: On Behalf of the Streets
- 2006: The Real World: West Oakland
- 2007: DJ Fresh Presents: The Tonite Show (with Beeda Weeda)
- 2008: Gas Nation
- 2009: The Real World: East-West Oakland Edition (with Mayback)
- 2009: Giants & Elephants (with Guce)
- 2010: Prenuptial Agreement
- 2010: The Annulment
- 2010: Women & Money (with Lil Kev)
- 2010: The Real World: Part 3
- 2012: Bottom of the 9th (with L'Jay R&B singer)
- 2012: Memoirs of a Curb Server
- 2013: Miracle & Nightmare On 10th Street (with DJ Fresh)
- 2006: Stamp of Approval: The Mixtape
- 2006: R.N.B. Mixtape
- 2006: Demolition Men Presents: Early Morning Shift (Mixtape Magazine Edition)
- 2007: Warning Shots Vol.1 (Mixed by DJ Edit)
- 2007: Demolition Men Presents: Early Morning Shift (EMS Mixtape Vol.2) (with Shady Nate)
- 2008: Welcome to da Slap House
- 2008: Warning Shots Vol.2
- 2009: Prenup: The Leak
- 2010: Demolition Men Presents: Early Morning Shift (EMS Mixtape Vol.3) (with Philthy Rich)
- 2011: I'm Sellin'Dope
- 2012: The Body Snatchers
- 2012: I Pledge Allegiance To The Wire 2
- 2013: The Return Of The Body Snatchers
- 2013: Down To The Wire Compilation
Livewire Da Gang Discography
- 2007: Pay Ya'Self or Spray Ya'Self (Stalin, Shady, Jonah)
- 2009: Livewire Radio
- 2009: Livewire The Empire
- 2009: Livewire Radio 2
- 2010: Livewire Radio 3
- 2008: Murder Fa Hire: The Hop Out (HD, Lil Blood, Ronald Mack, Lil Rue)
- 2005: 808
- 2006: Let's Get It On Tonight
- 2008: Show Me
- 2008: Paint The Town
- 2009: Lyrical Exercise Pt. 1
- 2009: Try Again Tomorrow
- 2009: Rock Day
- 2010: D-Boy Blues 2010
- 2010: Across the Water Feat. Philthy Rich, GoldToes
- 2010: Stop My Shine
- 2010: Everyday my Birthday
- 2010: Last Night
- 2010: That Quick Feat. A1
- 2011: Lyrical Exercise Pt. 3 Feat. L'Jay
- 2011: Self Made Millionaire Feat. Lil Retro, Lil Blood & L'Jay
- 2011: Dopegame Feat. L'Jay
- 2011: No Middle Man Feat. Berner
- 2011: Colder Blood Feat. The Jacka, Berner, Fam Syrk
- 2012: Pigeon Coop Feat. Ya Boy, Shady Nate & L'Jay
- 2012: Who Are You (with DJ Fresh)
- 2012: Dope Game (with DJ Fresh)
- 2013: Molly Song ft Problem
- Garrett Caples (25 April 2006). "Column: Ruling Party: Rising hip-hop star J. Stalin morphs from d-boy to Go Boy". San Francisco Bay Guardian.
- Black Dog Bone (June 2007). "The Mekanix (Dotrix & Tweed)". Dog Magazine.
- J. Stalin, Early Morning Shift (album notes), Demolition Man Records
- Rachel Swan. "MP3 of the Day: J. Stalin's "Banga Dance"". East Bay Express. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
- Kimberly Chun. "2006 Best Of The Bay: A Vision Of The Future". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- "Love in these streets: West Oakland". SLASH magazine. 10 March 2007.
- Minister of Information JR (26 June 2007). "Purple Mane: an interview wit’ G-Stack of the Delinquents". San Francisco Bayview.
- Russell Morse (10 July 2006). "Oakland is the New Oakland; Stem cell research and the Oakland rap revolution". Youth Outlook. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
- Garrett Caples (21 November 2007). "Out of the shadows: Shady Nate, the number two rapper of West Oakland's Livewire crew, emerges as a boss". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
- Garrett Caples. "The post-2Pac pack: Did the death of Tupac Shakur throw Bay Area hip-hop into a tailspin? And is there really a "New Bay" rising?". San Francisco Bay Guardian.