Joseph Gerard Crisol aka. “J.Crizzy” was born in Queens, New York in 1986. He was raised in Manila, Philippines, and eventually moved to Northern California in the early 90’s. J.Crizzy is a Rap, Hip Hop, and R&B artist with talents in rapping, singing, and production. J.Crizzy’s music focuses on the things we do to “let go”.
J.Crizzy: I am in love with music period, except death metal lol. I came back from the Philippines in the second grade. My earliest memories of music were Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Stylistics, the Temptations, Luther, Michael. It wasn’t until the I was 10 or 11 that I found Hip Hop/Rap. It was Big L, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, Pac, and Big Pun for me. I also listened to Boyz II Men, Soul For Real, and All for One growing up. Music was the one thing no one could take from me.
Swurv: What was your childhood experience like?
J.Crizzy: When my family came back from the Philippines, my parents found work in a small town in the Bay Area (Dublin, CA). It was mostly white folks, and most of them were pretty well off. My folks worked as care takers for mentally ill people, and we lived in the home with them. Didn’t really matter much to me at the time that us four lived in a single bedroom, and it didn’t dawn on me until later how hard my folks worked to get to a better situation. Never wanted for anything really, but I did notice that most of the other kids always had the newest shit.
Swurv: What artists were big inspirations to you back then, if there were any at that age?
J.Crizzy: Michael Jackson because of the way he was adored by the world during the peak of his career. People used to cry in the audience while watching him, that was crazy to me.
Swurv: So when it came to your first official song, the first one you ever wrote, what was it you wanted to deliver to the audience? In terms of the sound, yourself as an artist, what was the introductory picture you wanted to paint for the listeners?
J.Crizzy: My first ever song was an R&B song. I think I wrote it for a girl I had a crush on in middle school lol. But the first official Hip Hop song I wrote was a party track. I wanted the listener to dance. I guess without really knowing it yet, I was trying to make tracks that make folks feel something, whatever the emotion might be.
J.Crizzy: Hip Hop/R&B is, was, and always will be a giant machine that feeds on dreams. Labels control everything and if you’re lucky enough to get a deal, you better make sure you get points. It’s nice to see an emergence of independent artists who do not rely on the corporate machine, but for the rest of us, you gotta play the game if you want to win.
Swurv: Favorite hip-hop artist, song and album – and why.
J.Crizzy: It’s honestly a tie between Jay-Z and Nas. Jay Z because his bars and delivery are always super catchy and on point, and his rise to the top will probably never be matched. Nas because he is the ultimate storyteller. Every time I listen to a Nas record, I can almost see what he’s talking about. My favorite song has to be Jay-Z – Feelin’ It off of Reasonable Doubt. That record came together exactly how it was supposed to. I listen to that song a lot still. My favorite album is Magna Carta. It is the epitome of perfection for me, people say the new Jay-Z fell off or whatever, but I think that Magna Carta is the culmination of all the years of hustling legally and illegally.
Swurv: Outside of music, what is holds your interests? Whether it be other hobbies or side projects, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not in the booth?
J.Crizzy: I’m a NBA 2k Junkie lol. Me and my boys always battle for supremacy, shit gets real lol. When I’m not in the booth I love chillin with the folks, hittin the casino, hoopin, lookin at beautiful women. Just an everyday dreamer.
Swurv: Lastly, do you have any final thoughts, comments, shoutouts?
J.Crizzy: First off Thank You to Swurv Radio for the interview and to O for supporting me since I dropped my first solo joint. Thank you to my management team for putting in work for me and making sure everything is the best it can be. Look out for my album “The Life” dropping July 24, 2015 on all major music outlets. This album is pretty much the sum of all the years I’ve been grinding. I never dreamed of being able to create music, but through the grace of God and keeping the dream in mind, I’ve reached the place I wanted to be at since I was 10 years old. I hope I can inspire others to follow their dreams too.