JD Era

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JD Era
Also known asEra the Great
Born (1985-04-15) April 15, 1985 (age 33)
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresHip hop, R&B
Years active2005-present
LabelsBlack Market Music
Associated actsNas, Gza, Kardinal Offishall, The Clipse, Raekwon, Bobby V, Mac Miller, Frank-N-Dank, Tony Touch, Madchild Dave McIntyre

JD Era (born April 15, 1985) is a Canadian rapper and lyricist. He has worked with artists such as Nas, Gza, Kardinal Offishall, The Clipse, and has also cut several tracks with longtime friend Drake. In 2008 he won Best Rap at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, and also won the TAG Records’ Survival of The Freshest competition. He has also released a number of mixtapes and singles, and in the Juno Awards of 2013 his album No Handouts was nominated for Rap Recording of the Year.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

JD Era was born on April 15, 1985 and raised in Missisauga, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario.[3] He began listening to rap at a young age, particularly to groups such as Wu Tang Clan and the song "C.R.E.A.M."[4] Rapping by the age of fourteen, he began writing his own rhymes at sixteen.[3] He started freestyling in local rap battles as he grew older, stating "I always knew in the back of my mind that I would do [rap]. Rap was taking up too much time and money for me to not take it seriously. I just always wanted to get better and loved the music." A friend, Bad Nuze, brought him into his studio for a number of recording sessions, and JD Era stated "I never looked back." About his name, "JD is my initials and Era is a timeline. Just my way of saying its my time."[5] Around 2003 he signed with his long-term manager, Mike "Major" Malabre of The Product.[6]

Music career[edit]

2005-10: Early years[edit]

JD Era has stated that one of his earlier difficulties was going from being a battling Emcee to writing his own full songs.[7] In 2005 he recorded his first singles: "Ride Clean" and "Take Me Home." They became his first songs to receive airplay on urban radio stations,[5] including Flow 93.5 and 91.5 The Beat.[3] His first mixtape, Prince of the North, was released on July 14, 2007, on The Product and Black Market Music. A single from the album, "Paper Chase," had a music video filmed as well, increasing his exposure nationally.[7]

In 2008 he was nominated for two DJ Stylus Awards, and that year at the Toronto Independent Music Awards he won Best Rap.[5] He continued to freestyle even as he worked in the recording studio, and also in 2008 he was named winner of the TAG Records’ Survival of The Freshest freestyle competition.[5] He was also later named the Champion at the Marc Ecko Freestyle Competition.[5] Around 2008, Major, JD Era, and Fase became co-owners in Black Market Music Group, which has ties with Universal Music Group.[6]

His track "25th Hour" was included in the mixtape Dame Hustle The Hip Hop Experiment by Stricklee Hip Hop in February 2009. Around 2010 he was a member of the group Wise Guys, along with Bishop Brigante, Ken Masters, Jonny Roxx, Young Tony (aka Hush) and Drake. According to Hip Hop Canada, "The group’s biggest claim to fame as a unit was several diss songs including 'Goodnight & Goodluck' and 'Good Riddance.'"[8]

He released the mixtape I'm Coming to America in 2010 on Black Market, which increased his exposure in the United States, and had production from artists such as Drake.[7] At Flow 93.5’s Real Frequency Awards, Coming to America was nominated as Best Mixtape.[5]

2011-12: Th1rt3en-Black Tape, touring[edit]

JD Era released his mixtape Th1rt3en-Black Tape on February 22, 2011, through Black Market and Universal Canada. The music videos for the mixtape's tracks "You Know This and "Fame & Fortune" both charted on Much Music and other music countdowns.[5]

For 2011 and 2012 he wrote the theme song for The Score network’s Court Surfing NBA program, which was broadcast in Canada.[5] On April 26, 2011, Black Market released "The Score: Couch Surfing Theme," later followed by the second season's version.

He and his manager met Raekwon in April 2011[citation needed][5] at a show in Winnipeg,[9] stating"He had heard my name going around the city and wanted to meet me."[5] Later that summer they toured together with 13 dates in Canada and forty in the United States.[5] On January 17, 2012, JD Era self-released the single "Payday 2," which featured Raekwon. By May 2012 he was touring across Canada, having at that point been to British Columbia, Winnipeg, Montreal and Saskatchewan.[4] By the summer of 2012 he had wrapped his Unexpected Victory Tour with Raekwon.[9] As of 2012, he is the only Canadian artist signed to ICE20, the record label associated with Raekwon.[1]

2012-13: No Handouts[edit]

In 2012 he also began working on his next album. Raekwon assisted with A&R,[4] with producers such as 9th Wonder, Lex Luger, and Burd X Keyz.[4] No Handouts was released on October 2, 2012, on Black Market.[10] An invite-only listening party for the album, however, had been held at the IC H20 office in Toronto on May 1.[4] Several videos were filmed for the album, including for the track "Smoking Good."[9] He later toured in support of the album across Canada,[9] and in the Juno Awards of 2013 No Handouts was nominated for the Rap Recording of the Year.

2013-present: Singles, Barz Vol. 1[edit]

In July 2013 he was a guest artist on the Tony Touch track "Unorthodox," also featuring Ghostface Killah, RZA, and Raekwon. The track's album reached #14 on Top Rap Albums. On August 6, 2013, he and Bishop Lamont also were guest artists on "Kill Kill Kill" by Mad Child, included on the album Lawn Mower Man,[11] which reached #3 on the Canadian charts.

In December 2013, former collaborator Bishop Brigante joined JD Era on the Toronto stop of Era's Do You Know Mary? Tour.[8] The tour later traveled to Ontario, with other guests such as Rich Kidd.[8][12] In January 2014, he headlined a show with Honey Cocaine,[13] and the next month played four Ontario dates while headlining with Rich Kidd.[14] He has performed live with artists such as Nas, GZA, Kardinal Offishall, Tyga, Drake, Method Man, Red Man, Raekwon, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Gucci Mane, The Clipse, Mac Miller, Terminology, Currensy and Freddie Gibbs.[5]

His mixtape Barz Vol. 1 was self-released in March 2014, and made available for free online. The album was mixed by DJ T.LO,[15] and music videos were released as well, with "Rice In Chinatown" directed by Machete Cortez, and "That Ain't My Style" produced by RoadsArt.[15] At the same time, he also launched his website, EraDay.com.[15] In June 2014 JD Era released the music video for his track "Mary," on his #EraFriday series of singles. The music video was directed by DubPlate Films.[16] As of 2014 he is signed to Black Market Music, and is still managed by Major of The Product Management.[17]

Personal life[edit]

While based in Mississauga, he has spent time living and working on music in New York City,[1] and has performed in the UK.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Category Result
2005 Marc Ecko Freestyle Competition JD Era Freestyle Champion
2006 Pony Freestyle Contest JD Era Freestyle Champion
2007 TAG Records’ Survival of The Freshest JD Era Won
2008 Flow 93.5 Coming to America Best Mixtape Nominated
Toronto Independent Music Awards JD Era Best Rap Won
2010 IMTA Awards JD Era Best Rap Artist Won
DJ Stylus Award JD Era Best Rap Artist Nominated
2011 JD Era Best Rap Artist Nominated
2013 MOBO Awards JD Era Best Rap Artist Won
Juno Awards No Handouts by JD Era Rap Recording of the Year Nominated


Solo albums[edit]

Albums by JD Era
Year Album title Release details Certifications
2007 Prince of the North
  • Released: July 14, 2007
  • Label: The Product / Black Market
  • Format: CD, digital
2008 Coming to America
(JD Era and Wristpect)
  • Released: August 2008
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: digital
2011 Th1rt3en-Black Tape
  • Released: Feb 22, 2011
  • Label: Black Market / Universal Canada
  • Format: CD, digital
2012 No Handouts
  • Released: Oct 2, 2012
  • Label: Black Market
  • Format: CD, digital
2014 Barz Vol. 1
  • Released: March 2014
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: digital


Incomplete list of songs by JD Era as a primary artist and performer
Year Title Album Label
2007 "Paper Chase" Prince of the North The Product / Black Market
2009 "25th Hour" Dame Hustle The Hip Hop Experiment Stricklee Hip Hop
2010 "Beats Keep Bumpin" (with Magnum 357) The Storm None
"First and Last" Rap Is Alive Vol. 1 DJ Mitch Cuts
2011 "The Score: Couch Surfing Theme" Non-album single Black Market
"Cover Girl" (ft. Bobby V) Non-album single
/ Th1rt3en-Black Tape
2012 "Payday 2" (ft. Raekwon) Non-album single self-released
"Couch Surfing 2012"
"Comeback Season" Black Market
"Smoking Good" No Handouts
"Hate Me Later" (ft. Mac Miller)
"The Greatest" (ft. Raekwon)
"Money" (ft. Mezzaih, Fever) Liza Heat Vol 2: Rookie Of The Year DJ Naeem & DJ Phila

Guest appearances[edit]

Incomplete list of songs with featured performances by JD Era
Year Single name Primary artist(s) Album Label Notes
2006 "What Up (International Remix)"
(ft. JD Era, Shawn Jackson)
Frank-N-Dank EP 12" Chisel Sound
2008 "Get Money" (ft. JD Era, Tona) Art of Fresh Back to the Earth Soulclap Inc. (CA)
2011 "Papito" (ft. Ceazar, Reason, JD Era) DJ Symphony Non-album single Ceazar
2012 "Money Girl" (ft. JD Era, Captain Hooks) Chase Milly Non-album single Black Market
"Just A Toast" (ft. JD Era) Raekwon Unexpected Victory Be Music
"Goodfellas" (ft. JD Era, Camoflauge)
"Soldier Story" (ft. JD Era)
"Gangsta Cazals"
(ft. Camoflauge, JD Era, Styles P)
2013 "Unorthodox"
(ft. JD Era, Ghostface Killah, RZA, Raekwon)
Tony Touch The Piece Maker, Vol. 3: Return of the 50 MCs Red River #14 Top Rap Albums
"Kill Kill Kill" (ft. JD Era and Bishop Lamont) Mad Child Lawn Mower Man Battle Axe #3 Canada Chart

Further reading[edit]

  • "Video: JD Era Interview". Much Music. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14.
  • "JD Era: No Hand Outs Interview". Wu-International.com. January 17, 2012.
  • JD Era Discography at Allmusic
  • JD Era Discography at Discogs


  1. ^ a b c Peralta, Tania (April 4, 2014). "JD Era: Getting Out Of The Kitchen". Noisey. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
  2. ^ "Local Artists Are Well Represented Amongst 2013 Juno Nominees". Torontoist
  3. ^ a b c "JD Era: Last FM". http://www.sonicbids.com/band/jdera3/press/. last.fm. External link in |newspaper= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Interview: JD Era tells us about No Handouts mixtape concept, Raekwon's advice, shift in Toronto scene". The Come Up Show. May 18, 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "JD Era: No Hand Outs Interview". Wu-International.com. January 17, 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-25. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^ a b "Major Interview". Made in 72 Hours. 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  7. ^ a b c "Video: JD Era Interview". Much Music. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  8. ^ a b c "JD Era and Bishop Brigante reconnect on Do You Know Mary? Tour [News]". Hip Hop Canada. December 16, 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  9. ^ a b c d Patrick, Ryan B. (2012). "JD Era Interview". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  10. ^ "JD Era No Handout Review". Be So Bossy.
  11. ^ "Madchild Landscapes The Charts As The Lawn Mower Man". HipHop DX.
  12. ^ "JD Era, Rich Kidd, A-Game & more at Roc The Mic in Toronto on May 31 [News]". Hip Hop Canada. April 17, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  13. ^ "Honey Cocaine & JD Era to headline in Toronto on Jan. 25 [News]". Hip Hop Canada. January 22, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  14. ^ "JD Era and Rich Kidd: The 5 STAR GLOW Tour kicks off on Feb. 22 [News]". Hip Hop Canada. February 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  15. ^ a b c Unkle, Dutch (March 27, 2014). "JD Era – BARZ Volume 1 [Mixtape] #Premiere". Hip Hop Canada. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  16. ^ Unkle, Dutch (June 6, 2014). "JD Era – Mary ft. Captain Hooks (Dir. DubPlate Films) [Video]". Hip Hop Canada. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  17. ^ "Diggital Waxx 2.0 - JD Era feat. OB - Not Around". Hip Hop Encounter. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-25.

External links[edit]