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|Birth name||William G. Shields|
|Also known as||The High Plains Drifter, Jay Star, Billy Brimstone|
25 December 1979 |
|Occupations||Rapper, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Producer|
|Labels||Low Life, Reprezent, YNR|
|Associated acts||Champions of Nature, Groundwurq Entertainment, Klashnekoff, Lewis Parker, Task Force, Harry Love|
William G. Shields, (born 25 December 1979) better known by his Stage name Jehst or a slew of aliases including The High Plains Drifter, Billy Brimstone and Jay Star, is an English rapper and co-founder of hip hop label YNR.
Born in Kent on 21/08/1979, Jehst spent his early childhood in Crowborough in Sussex before moving to Huddersfield where he went to Honley High School. After being admitted to the University of Westminster in London for a degree in Illustration, Jehst subsequently dropped out due to an offer of a record deal and an opportunity to set up his own label.
His debut release came in 1999 with the Premonitions EP on YNR Productions, which he co-founded with Leeds hip-hop artist, Tommy Evans. His solo career extended further when he appeared on Task Force's EP Voice of the Great Outdoors (2000) with the track 'Cosmic Gypsies', which resulted in a longtime association with Low Life Records. The release of four 12" records on the same label soon followed, while at around the same time in 2002 Jehst was also a pivotal member of the seven man group 'Champions of Nature', whose members included AM, Apollo, L. Dolo, Lewis Parker, Profound and Supa T. The group eventually released two EP's before disbanding, but not before the final release of the highly acclaimed full-length The Return of the Drifter. Issued in June 2002, it was a double release with an accompanying 11-track CD of the same name. This was essentially a collection of previously released tracks and a cross-section of Jehst's work up to that point.
Furthermore, Shields had begun collaborating with producers such as Evil Ed, Harry Love and Lewis Parker to further enhance his status as an established figure within the British hip hop scene. In 2003, he unveiled his debut album Falling Down, which featured guest appearances from Lewis Parker, The Sundragon, Usmaan and Klashnekoff. Jehst's next solo installment came in the form of the 2005 effort, Nuke Proof Suit. The following year saw Jehst's production project, Jehst Presents: Underworld Epics come to fruition. In 2007 The Mengi Bus Mixtape was released, accompanied by a string of live shows including a small run of shows in Australia.
Shields has also released material under the name 'Billy Brimstone' on his own label, YNR; the same label responsible for many up and coming and established British hip hop artists.
Prior to deciding to focus full-time on his music, Jehst was a founding member of the graffiti crew TCS - The Chemical Souls (previously FSB - Full Scale Burners) in Halifax / Huddersfield with Spymad Reap and Misc (later extended to include Reakt and others). Whilst not the most prolific artist in the area due to his musical commitments, Jehst was considered a talented and accomplished wall writer for a short time and was highly influential on his peers. The influence of TCS is still evident in the graffiti around the Kirklees district today, and fresh Jehst dubs have shown up in spots around East London as recently as 2009.
Jehst's highly anticipated album, 'The Dragon of an Ordinary Family' was released in June 2011. The first single from the album, Starting Over, was launched by a viral marketing video campaign in which a supposed Jehst fan recorded footage of the rapper appearing as a worker of the Post Office. 'Jehst Is My Postman' later turned out to be a PR stunt, as this recording was followed up by a music video of the single, featuring many other rappers dressed in a variety of costumes.
- The Return of the Drifter (2002, Low Life)
- Falling Down (2003, Low Life)
- Jehst Presents: Underworld Epics (2006, Low Life) (Various Artists/Handles production duties)
- The Dragon of an Ordinary Family (2011, YNR Productions)
- The Mengi Bus Mixtape (2007)
- "Alcoholic Author" ("Nightbreed" featuring Kyza and Klashnekoff on B-side) (2002)
- 'Finalisation' from Champions of Nature's - Finalisation EP (2000)
- 'Breakfast' of Champions from Champions of Nature - Finalisation EP (2000)
- 'The Bodyclock' from Nmonic's 'Voice Mail' EP (YNR Productions) (2000)
- 'Carpe Diem' from Champions of Nature - The Fuckoff EP (2000)
- 'Jazzy Styles', 'Finalisation', Breakfast', 'Carpe Diem', 'Salsa Smurf', 'C'mon! (C.O.N.)' from Champions of Nature - Self Titled LP (2000)
- 'Cosmic Gypsies' from Task Force's Voice of the Great Outdoors EP (2000)
- 'Riviera Hustle' from Braintax's album Biro Funk (2001)
- 'Communications', 'Cold Sun' and 'Seasons Of Espionage' from the Lewis Parker album It's all happening Now (2002)
- 'It's All Live' from DJ MK's compilation Westwood UK Hip Hop 2002 Vol. 1
- 'Adventures In New Bohemia' and 'City Sickness' from the Low Life Records compilation Food (2003)
- 'Freedom Fighters' from The Answer & Genesis mixtape FTP Radio Vol 17 (2003)
- 'Weed' from Evil Ed's mixtape The Enthusiast (2004)
- 'Fantastic 4' from Rhaja's album Tierre Caliente (2004)
- 'Freestyle Exclusive' from DJ Louis Slipperz mixtape Task Force Presents DJ Loius Slipperz: £10 Bag, Volume 1 (2004)
- 'The Guns Of Navarone' from the Micall Parknsun album The Working Class Dad (2005)
- 'E.V' and 'Suicide' from the LG & Biscuit album Smoke Rings (2006)
- 'Souls Of The Unborn' from the Kashmere album In The Hour Of Chaos (2006)
- 'Concrete Shoes' from the Sir Smurf Lil album Myalpha (2006)
- 'Money in the Bank' and 'Findaz Keepaz' from the Asaviour album The Borrowed Ladder (2006)
- 'Equal Portions' from the Verb T album Bring It Back To Basics (2006)
- 'Sound of the Drum' from the Yungun album Grown Man Business (2006)
- 'Water Torture' from Cee Why's album Kidulthood OST (2006)
- 'Winterland' from the Verb T and The Last Skeptik album Broken Window (2007)
- 'Move' With Micall Parknsun, From HMD's One Pursuit (2007)
- 'Centre of the Sun' from the Kashmere album Raiders of the Lost Archives (2008)
- 'Sleepy Little Town' from the Jack Flash album The Union Jack Album (2008, Klink Records)
- 'Dysekta into Bass 31' from the DJ Nonames mixtape Strictly Grizzness (2009, Dented Records)
- 'We Won't Mind' from the Thundamentals album Sleeping On Your Style (2009)
- 'Dust' from The Optimens album The Out Of Money Experience (2010)
- 'I Can' from Bliss n Eso's album, Running On Air (2010)
- 'The Long and Short of it All' from Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly's album Maps (2012)
- 'Connect The SPDIF' from The Purist "Connect The SPDIF" EP (2012)
- "Jehst Biography". britishhiphop.co.uk. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2008-08-06.