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Birth name Jay Mumford
Born 1976 (age 40–41)[citation needed]
Origin Queens, New York City
Genres Alternative hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, producer, writer
Years active 1993–present
Labels Old Maid Entertainment, Fat Beats
Associated acts Prince Po, Cage, Celph Titled
Website www.govillaingo.com

Jay Mumford, better known by his stage name J-Zone,[1] is a producer, rapper, multi-instrumentalist and writer from New York City.[2][3]


Known for his quirky lyrics and trash talk style of rapping, J-Zone released a string of idiosyncratic and critically acclaimed albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s that acquired a cult following.[4][5] Of these, the 2001 release Pimps Don't Pay Taxes, was particularly noted; it featured rappers Huggy Bear and Al-Shid,[2] for whom he would subsequently produce a number of 12" releases.[6] In 2003, the New York Times cited his J-Zone, S.A. Smash concert in Brooklyn, New York as a noteworthy pop and jazz concert in the New York metropolitan region.[7]

Not finding commercial success, J-Zone eventually walked away from rap, and in 2011 published the book Root for the Villain: Rap, Bullshit and a Celebration of Failure.[2][5] The book has been well received; the L.A. Times Music Blog stated that "Like his albums, it's equal parts hilarious, self-effacing and sharp. He's the sarcastic older brother putting you up on game. It's a love letter to rap laced with sulfur, the flip side of Dan Charnas' similarly excellent The Big Payback."[1] The Washington Post Going Out Gurus blog called it "a must for every curmudgeonly grown-up hip-hop head",[5] while Nathan Rabin writing for The A.V. Club called it "one of the funniest and most honest books ever written about the modern music industry and its luckless casualties."[2] Among other stories, J-Zone talks of how his record company informed him that they had thousands of his unwanted CDs taking up valuable warehouse space and gave him the choice of picking the CDs up for himself or having them all erased (he chose the latter), mentions his time with future stars like Danger Mouse, and outlines how he is selling his book via self-produced cassette tapes for the 2011 market. He also notes that he found his Wikipedia page had been deleted because he wasn't significant enough to have it kept on the site, though the page was later restored (obviously).

In 2013, J-Zone returned to music with the release of the album, Peter Pan Syndrome,[8] which was listed as the 17th best album of 2013 by Spin.[9] After learning to play drums seriously during his hiatus from music, J-Zone released the drum break album, Lunch Breaks, in 2014.[10]



  • Music for Tu Madre (1998)
  • Pimps Don't Pay Taxes (2001)
  • $ick of Bein' Rich (2003)
  • A Job Ain't Nuthin but Work (2004)
  • Gimme Dat Beat Fool: The J-Zone Remix Project (2005)
  • Every Hog Has Its Day (2006) (with Celph Titled, as The Boss Hog Barbarians)
  • To Love a Hooker: The Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007)
  • Peter Pan Syndrome (2013)
  • Lunch Breaks (2014)
  • Backyard Breaks (2015)
  • Fish N' Grits (2016)
  • J-Zone and Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites (2016) (with Pablo Martin, as The Du-Rites)


  • A Bottle of Whup Ass (2000)
  • The Hogs Sing The Hits: Pig Parodies (2006) (with Celph Titled, as The Boss Hog Barbarians)
  • The 1993 Demos EP (2013)


  • "No Consequences" (2000)
  • "Zone for President" (2000)
  • "Q&A" (2002)
  • "5 Star Hooptie" (2003)
  • "Choir Practice" (2003)
  • "A Friendly Game of Basketball" (2004)
  • "Greater Later Remix" (2005)
  • "Steady Smobbin'" b/w "Celph Destruction" (2006) (with Celph Titled, as The Boss Hog Barbarians)
  • "The Drug Song (Remix)" b/w "The Fox Hunt" (2012)
  • "Zonestitution" (2013)
  • "Stick Up" b/w "Mad Rap" (2014)
  • "I Smell Smoke" b/w "Time for a Crime Wave" (2015)
  • "Seoul Power" b/w "I'm Sick of Rap" (2015)

Guest appearances[edit]



  • Root for the Villain: Rap, Bullshit, and a Celebration of Failure. Cambria Heights, NY, Old Maid Entertainment, 2011. ISBN 978-0-615-53227-1


  1. ^ a b Weiss, Jeff, Rap & Books: Underground iconoclast J-Zone 'Roots for the Villain', Los Angeles Times, retrieved January 6, 2013 
  2. ^ a b c d Rabin, Nathan, J-Zone lost his Wikipedia page—and his interest in being a rapper, The A.V. Club, retrieved January 6, 2013 
  3. ^ Breihan, Tom (October 21, 2016). "Stream The Du-Rites J-Zone & Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites". Stereogum. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  4. ^ J-Zone lost his Wikipedia page—and his interest in being a rapper | Music | Money Matters | The A.V. Club
  5. ^ a b c Hahn, Fritz, Nightlife Agenda: Holiday cocktails, rare beers and Nerd Nite, Washington Post, retrieved January 6, 2013 
  6. ^ J-Zone * New Music And Songs * MTV, MTV, 2012, retrieved January 6, 2013 
  7. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa, Pop and Jazz Guide, New York Times, p. E23, retrieved January 6, 2013 
  8. ^ Soderberg, Brandon (September 11, 2013). "J-Zone’s ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’: The Grumpy-Old-Man Rap You Need in Your Life". Spin. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ "J-Zone, Peter Pan Syndrome (Old Maid)". Spin. November 22, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ "J-Zone learns the drums and drops Lunch Breaks". Wax Poetics. November 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]