When Big Sean, Waka Flocka and Kanye West call on you to do their hooks
by the age of 21, you’d think you would be satisfied in your career. But for Roscoe Dash, his latest EP J.U.I.C.E. (Just Understand I Control Everything) is only the beginning.
At the age of 13, a young Dash, whose real name is Jeffrey Johnson, Jr., was balancing basketball, high school, homework and most importantly, music. He would go home to his make-shift studio and write music on his computer while his brother provided the beats (usually before doing his assignments). Dash cites Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.” as the first hip-hop song that influenced him to consider music as a career.
“It was the first song that grabbed me,” Dash said. “If a song can brighten your day and make you do this [bounces head], then it’s something you should really pursue.”
Six years later, Roscoe Dash is recognized as a club-banger regular who inspires people to do more than just nod their heads to a beat. Any hook he comes on becomes an instant party anthem.
But the Atlanta native doesn’t immediately think that when he begins recording. “I don’t ever go into the studio and say let me make a club record,” Dash said. “I just really go in and express myself with however I’m feeling that day.”
His recent collaboration with Big Sean and Yeezy on “Marvin & Chardonnay” is an example of Dash’s experimental music-making process, taking a mixture of random ideas and finding various ways to express them. “The beat was crazy that I didn’t know how to rap on it,” he recalls. So he went straight to the hook, thinking that everybody drew some inspiration from Marvin Gaye and combined it with the wine he calls the perfect mood-setter. “When you put those two together, you got trouble,” Dash jokes.
Dash exercises creative control over every aspect of his music, thus the title of his EP J.U.I.C..E., slated for release on Dec. 20. “The term [Just Understand I Control Everything] is something me and the homies use a lot. We’ll use each other’s advantages like if someone has Delta Sky Priority miles or whatever and we all wanna jump the line, we’d say, ‘Hey man, gimme some juice. Juice me up!”
The 7-track compilation boasts features that tap into Dash’s close circle, including Big Sean (“Siddity”), Wale (“Into The Morning”), French Montana and Meek Mill. But what the “No Hands” rapper is most excited about is showing his multi-faceted talents.
He delves deeper into his R&B side with a track called “Impossible” where he showcases his singing prowess. “It isn’t really about giving people something they haven’t heard or selling records, it’s really about me just expressing myself.”
Dash also revealed there will be a J.U.I.C.E. Pt. 2 in the form of an LP to be released in March 2012, tentatively called J.U.I.C.E. Forever. A contribution from Yeezy, a collaboration with B.o.B. and an urban rock song called “Waterfalls” with Jared Evan are set to come on the latter half. “I’m gonna do a 1-2 punch with my album… [the EP] is really just a spoonful of what I’m really gonna hit people with later on.”
Another side of Dash comes through in his parenthood. The proud father looks to his 5-year-old Jayla as his motivation. “It’s crazy, I look at her and I see me,” Dash says of his daughter. As a result, he aims to set an example in his artistry. “A lot of people lose sight of that and forget that they’re role models in the music that they’re making, the things that they do and posting the videos they post.” It also helps that Jayla also approves of daddy’s music.
Fans are also a major influence on Dash’s work. Look to his Twitter and he responds to his fans and follows them back unlike most artists on the social media site. “If Twitter would have been relevant way back when I was growing up and I could talk to some of the people I grew up listening to, a lot of things would probably be different.” He takes his fans’ feedback seriously and aims to constantly drop mixtapes to keep them satisfied.
“I like to be that reason why people bob their heads, stomp their feet, smile, whether they havin a bad day, maybe they could’ve just lost their job, that music that comes on and they just forget what they worryin’ about.” --Adelle Platon