The SoJones focus: Emaximus

We now have some really good news for those authentic west coast fans out there. Our rap hero Erik Johnson has made so many great moves in the rap game and now it’s awesome that Emaximus has so many different types of songs on Bandcamp. Soon, with his content tactics, he will not even need to beg for that record deal because all the shows have been cracking lately.

Emaximus is on iTunes now.
Emaximus is on iTunes now.

Recently Emaximus was on and they had this to ask him. Check him out on Twitter and see you on the inside!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?

EMAXIMUS:  I was born and raised in Oakland, California.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?

EMAXIMUS: I started out playing around beat boxing when I was four years old I grew up listening to hip hop, funk, R&B, and hard rock in elementary school. I tried playing the saxophone when I was in the fifth grade but I stopped cause I didn’t like to practice. I sung in the church choir off and on when I was a youth. I got so deep into hip hop I wrote my first rap when I was 10yrs old. From that point I was all into being the dopest MC. So everyday I would freestyle, write raps, and songs. I would take two radios put the beat or single instrumental in one and a blank tape in the other and freestyle and record songs that either I wrote by myself or with my cousin Tysyn Jones aka Teflon) and friends (Johnathon Grisham Kameron Johnson, Jaseon Outlaw, Brandon Hemphill. It got to a point that I was writing everyday and hanging out with cats older than me. I was getting lit in Foothill square parking lot and would freestyle for hours.

When I was fifteen I performed a song I wrote for myself and a home girl of mine,  at my high schools homecoming night rally.  That was my first public performance. I would go thru old school funk records with my best friend dub them on a tape and then write songs to them. I also would go over my cousin’s house who was heavily into music and sift thru his collection of tapes and find beats he or someone from his crew had produced. I would be heavily involved with the ciphers that were at the high schools I attended in 11th and 12th grade. I was 17 years old when I went to my first studio session to freestyle for this one producer. When I graduated from high school I had plans on being an artist so I entered competitions out in Ohio where I went to college for one year. At 18, when I came back to Oakland, and I started recording with my friend  and next door neighbor Marc Coleman (Brainchild) who moved to San Leandro and started producing.

Emaximus has passion in rap that reps west coast to the fullest!
Emaximus has passion in rap that reps west coast to the fullest!

I have been recording since then. At 21, I interned at a music marketing company in Oakland named Ill Trendz Productions owned By Sean Kennedy, where we promoted major and independent record labels. I worked there for 4 years and left because I had a manic episode and was diagnosed with a mental illness. I had always been writing during my promo period, but I didn’t start recording again till I was recovering. My Dog Tru then introduced me to a producer named Chandler Bolt I joined him recording at sub underground shows where they played mostly underground Punk/Metal and we were the only hip-hop group. I joined his group Dime Life Crooks that at the time was him and Appliance (Jerimiah). Then My Cousin Daryl Bolden and other folks (Jhad & Louisiana) joined later on. We all split our separate ways but still remained friends.

I then continued to record in Oakland even though I moved to the North Bay Santa Rosa in 2005. I worked with GMan Stann and B Banks then I released my ep “The Leakage” in 2007. I went on to work with and receive more producers from Rob Lo (Producer of The Mobb Figgaz) to DJ Daryl(formerly part of Beats By The Pound) and then Opened up for E-40, Rappin 4-Tay, San Quinn, SkeLo & Celly Cel. I’ve also receive production B Bumble ( Produced Mac Dre, Too Short, Bad Influence),TrackBangaz, Jaywan and The Track Pros. I’ve recorded over 100 songs worked I plan to release eventually I was signed to VOD Recordings, a distribution label located in Boston. Last year I released maxi-single titled “Ripper” available on ITunes. I released a mixtape titled. “We On That Sh#t Again-Making Something From Nothing” available on I started my own indie label “MasterMindz720” to release my own music and others with hopes to work with larger labels I just released my single titled “Opulence” that is now on ITunes and other web stores.

Emaximus gets the party started quick!
Emaximus gets the party started quick!

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?

EMAXIMUS: My songs are about being resilient, excelling in the face of adversity. My songs are lyrical reality and deep into my psyche of my perception of life. They are songs based on my experiences, my life, growth, ups and downs of a tortured soul and bipolar mind. Striving for greatness on the streets in a crazy world. It’s mind over matter.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?

EMAXIMUS: My favorite song to perform is” West West” . It’s a party funky track that gets the crowd into the show. It’s a West Coast anthem and it gets Westsiders juiced and grooving.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?

EMAXIMUS: It’s a dirty biz so you have to watch who you deal with. I recognized it takes allot of hard work to be successful in this biz,and I know I have to come with my A game in order to make it. The ups and downs with the high can be intoxicating. I’ve become obsessed with creating songs pursuing a music career. It also takes a long time to be an overnight success as well.

Read more of the interview here.