J57 (rapper)

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J57 performing during a tour in 2014
J57 performing during a tour in 2014
Background information
Birth nameJames Victor Heinz
Born (1983-02-06) February 6, 1983 (age 37)
Long Island, New York, United States
OriginBrooklyn, New York City, United States
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, piano, sampler
Years active2003–present
  • FiveSe7enCollective
  • Soulspazm
  • Balanced
Associated acts

James Victor Heinz (born February 6, 1983 in Long Island, United States), professionally known by his stage name J57, is a Brooklyn-based American rapper, songwriter, record producer,[1] & record label owner[2], that infuses hiphop with indie rock, pop, folk & Americana music. He is a member of the Brown Bag AllStars, a group of emcees he joined while working at Fat Beats in 2004,[3] and Jamo Gang, a hip-hop group consisting of Ras Kass and El Gant.[4] J57 cites DJ Eclipse and his mentor DJ Premier[5], as his musical influences[6].

2003–2007: Early beginnings and Brown Bag AllStars[edit]

Born and raised in Long Island, New York, J57 started his music career freestyling, battle rapping and beatboxing in high school under the stage name JLOG1C with a group of friends.[7] In 2003, he started producing and went on to record his first recording with his crew. In 2004, JLOG1C started working at Fat Beats, a popular record store in New York where he met the Brown Bag AllStars and went on to record songs with the group at Jesse Shatkin's record studio.

2008–13: 2057, The Ports and The J57 Collection[edit]

In 2008, JLOG1C changed his name to J57 before Brown Bag AllStars released their first mixtape The Brown Tape, exclusively at Fat Beats.[8] On May 14, 2010 he released the Digital Society mixtape through Balanced Records, featuring vocals from Homeboy Sandman, the Brown Bag AllStars, Soul Khan, Andrew Reid, DJ Brace and many notable acts.[9][10] In 2012 he released his DJ Concept-promoted mixtape The J57 Collection and two solo EPs 2057 and The Ports EP[11], all which did well to gain him grounds and further led him to being ranked No. 20 in AllHipHop's list of "Top 50 in Underground Hip-Hop".[12] After overseeing projects for Koncept, Soul Khan, Sene and other artistes, including Homeboy Sandman's fourth studio album titled First of a Living Breed[13], he went on to release Walk in the Sun, a collaborative album he did with Blame One which was released in 2013.[14][15]

2014–2017: I'm the J57[edit]

In 2014, J57 was featured in DJ Rhettmatic's single titled "Louis Vuitton Wallets" and made vocal appearance and record production credits in the 2014 release of the annual Brown Bag AllStars A Year in Review mixtapes.[16] In mid-2015, he produced "Purple Tape", one of the lead singles from Method Man's fifth studio album The Meth Lab which went on to peak at No. 57 on the US Billboard 200 and was received to positive reviews.[17][18] On November 20, 2015, J57 teamed up with Koncept to release a joint EP titled The Fuel which was positively received among music critics.[19][20]

On January 19, 2016, J57 released his first solo album titled I'm the J57 to positive reviews.[21][22] before he went on to produce the entirety of Elixir, a 7-track gritty hip-hop studio album by Aaron Rose which gained multiple media attention. In an interview with HipHopDX, J57 revealed that 5 hip-hop albums including Moment of Truth, Madvillainy, Be, Below the Heavens and Ironman inspired him in creating the beats for the album.[23] The beginning of 2017 saw J57 become a member of hip-hop group Jamo Gang which DJ Premier formally announced in January.[24][25] In June, he released the music video for "Legacy" as a promotional tool to mark the release of the deluxe version of I'm the J57 and further decided to donate all proceeds earned from the album to people who were affected by the Flint water crisis.[26] As part of the group Jamo Gang, J57 produced the entirety of their debut project Jamo Gang EP, an 8-track hip-hop, boom bap EP HipHopDX described as "intoxicating".[27]


June 2018, J57 launched his record label FiveSe7en Collective.  Jamo Gang[28] (Ras Kass, J57, El Gant)'s debut self-titled EP was released, featuring DJ Premier, Snak the Ripper and more. J57 released 3 albums and 3 EP's; one of which titled "LP2"[29] an avant-garde release available exclusively for one week on J57's website.

Upcoming projects[edit]

J57 is currently working on his solo projects which includes a collaborative EP with Homeboy Sandman and a solo rap album titled We Can Be Kings which he first started working on while in Australia where he linked up with Joey Bada$$[30][6]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Digital Society (2010)
  • The Analog Tape (2011)
  • The Analogue Tape 2 (2013)
  • Walk in the Sun (with Blame One) (2013)
  • I'm the J57 (2016)
  • I'm the J57 Deluxe Edition (2017)
  • LP2 (2018)


  • Eye Don't Dream...But I Do (with Sene) (2010)
  • 2057 (2012)
  • The Ports (2012)
  • Malt Disney (J57 Remixes) (with Koncept) (2013)
  • Trill Cunningham (with F. Virtue) (2013)
  • Wax Aesthetic (2014)
  • Mute Dialogue (2014)
  • Instrumentals Vol. 1 (2014)
  • The Sample-Free Remix (2015)
  • Instrumentals Vol. 2 (2015)
  • The Fuel (with Koncept) (2015)
  • Sock Money (with Juan Deuce) (2015)
  • There's No I in Antcs (with Jesse Mechanic) (2016)[31]
  • Landmines (2016)
  • Element 4 President (with DeeJay Element) (2016)
  • Elixir (with Aaron Rose) (2016)
  • Instrumentals Vol. 3 (2016)
  • The Aware Wolves (as member of The Aware Wolves) (2017)
  • Sonic Boom Bap (2017)
  • Instrumentals Vol. 4 (2018)
  • Instrumentals Vol. 5 (2018)
  • Instrumentals Vol. 6 (2019)


  1. ^ Solo, Dread (November 20, 2015). "Koncept & J57 "The Fuel EP" + Interview". Respect Magazine. Philadelphia. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  2. ^ http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX- (May 18, 2018). "Producer J57 Launches New Collective Of Artists Who Inspire Him". HipHopDX. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  3. ^ Mainland, Alex (August 27, 2010). "Chronicle of a Changing City". New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Hahn, Bryan (January 9, 2017). "PREMIERE: JAMO GANG (RAS KASS, EL GANT, J57) AND BIG TWINS AREN'T PLAYING ON "HERE WE GO AGAIN"". Mass Appeal. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  5. ^ TheBeeShine Videos, DJ Premier Speaks on J57 | TheBeeShine, retrieved January 12, 2019
  6. ^ a b Riley (January 15, 2015). "Interview With Rapper/Producer J57". Above Average Hiphop. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Kujundzic, Petar (October 12, 2015). "Gimme That Fire, Stand Back And Watch Me Burn: A Conversation With Koncept & J57". Hypetrak. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "Brown Bag AllStars – The Brown Tape". HipHopDX. August 7, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  9. ^ "Digital Society". Balanced Records. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  10. ^ "J57- Digital Society". Underground Hiphop. May 18, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Drasims, Sean (June 7, 2012). "Double The Pleasure Double The Fun: Brown Bag Allstars J57 Releases Duo EPs". AllHipHop. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Drasims, Sean (January 1, 2013). "2012: AllHipHop's Top 50 In Underground Hip-Hop! EPs". AllHipHop. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  13. ^ "Reviews for First of A Living Breed". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. September 18, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "J57 EPs 'The Ports EP' and '2057 EP'". Birthplace Magazine. May 22, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "Blame One & J57 "Walk In The Sun" feat. Soul Khan". Okay Player. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  16. ^ Orcutt, KC (January 5, 2015). "Brown Bag AllStars Release Year In Review Compilation Full of Featured Guests: 50 Cent, Young Buck and More". Music Times. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  17. ^ "Method Man: The Meth Lab Album Review – Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  18. ^ "Method Man & Son Rap Along With Raekwon and Inspectah Deck in 'The Purple Tape' Video". The Boombox. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  19. ^ Hunte, Justin (September 24, 2015). "Koncept & J57 "The Fuel" EP Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist & EP Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  20. ^ Orcutt, KC (November 20, 2015). "Review: Koncept and J57 Release "The Fuel EP"". The Source. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  21. ^ "Weekly Mixtape Round-Up: J57, Nef The Pharaoh, and Migos". Mass Appeal. January 25, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  22. ^ Solo, Dread (January 14, 2016). "Premiere: J57 ft. DeeJay Element, Tenacity, Sean Boog & Mean Joe Scheme – "Burn The Empires"". RESPECT. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  23. ^ http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX -. "J57 Shares 5 Albums That Inspired His Work On Aaron Rose's "Elixir" EP". hiphopdx.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  24. ^ "DJ PREMIER FORMALLY INTRODUCES THE JAMO GANG (RAS KASS, EL GANT & J57) [VIDEO] – Premier Wuz Here". premierwuzhere.com. January 23, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  25. ^ "Jamo Gang enjoys hard drinks and beats on "Straight, No Chase"". artisticmanifesto.com. May 3, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  26. ^ http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX -. "#DXclusive: J57, Katiah & MAK3RS' Matt Stamm Link Up For "Legacy"". hiphopdx.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  27. ^ Scott, Dana (February 10, 2018). "Review: Jamo Gang's Intoxicating EP Nearly Drinks Itself Under The Table". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  28. ^ Sanchez, The Lesson w/ DJ (February 18, 2018). "Ras Kass Leads Debut Jamo Gang EP". The Source. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  29. ^ Horowitz, Matt (December 13, 2018). "The Witzard: J57's Unveils Limited-release Album LP2 Featuring Slipknot's DJ Starscream, The Audible Doctor, Jamo Gang & More (Only Available 12/8-15)". The Witzard. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  30. ^ Kearse, Stephen (December 10, 2010). "INTERVIEW: KONCEPT AND J57 PREPARE FOR DEPARTURE". Respect Magazine. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  31. ^ JES7 (March 11, 2016). "Antcs (Jesse Mechanic & J57) – There's No I in Antcs (EP Stream)". 2DOPEBOYZ. Retrieved July 28, 2017.

External links[edit]