Flash back to the late 90s. The turning point in music just before everything went completely digital and everyone you knew was a rapper or singer. Jon Young was just a kid from Orlando, Florida with a passion for hip hop which was introduced to him at an early age by a childhood friend. This passion inspired by artists like Outkast and Bone thugs n Harmony, combined with a love for writing, eventually led him to create music of his own.
Due to a lack of studio access and beat availability, Jon began learning the technical side of music from beat production and audio engineering to designing his own artwork & web sites all on his own. While most kids were focused on typical things like partying, Jon was determined to learn everything he could about producing his own music. Armed with only a hand me down Packard Bell computer and his older brothers 4-track recorder, Jon Young began to lay down his ideas, producing beats with software like Sony Sound Forge & Acid Pro.
As years went on, he began to excel at his craft just around the time social networking was beginning to take off. The new site Myspace was the perfect launching pad to get his music out to a potentially larger audience. In a matter of a few months, his name climbed to the top of the music charts off the strength of songs like “City I Luv,” “Don’t Wanna Fight” and “Doin My Thang.” His song concepts touched on subjects that were nearly unheard of at the time in hip hop like relationship issues, motivation and of course his hometown which had yet to be put on the map. No promotion was involved other than pure word of mouth, a truly viral success.
At this point, Jon had yet to prepare a full length release, the demand for it forced him to quickly compile the songs he had recorded into a self pressed album titled “City I Luv,” named after his then most popular track. Hundreds of copies were sold hand to hand, through his web site and at numerous outlets in Central Florida such as Magic Mall, J Mart and Flea World.
Following the first CD came “Slept On,” a group album with friend and collaborator J. Cash. Things only grew to a larger scale with singles like “Just Chill” and “Listen to Your Heart.” These two releases caught the attention of several A&Rs from labels like Atlantic Records and Universal/Fontanta. They settled on a deal offered by Defient Entertainment, a new label under the parent company Warner Music. The contract was signed in early 2007 and followed immediately by a studio session at The Hit Factory in Miami, FL to record their first major single “Post Up” featuring Baton Rouge emcee Lil Boosie. A slew of promotions rolled out including a cameo in DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood” music video, write ups in Ozone Magazine and performances in Dallas, Milwaukee and Miami, but things came to a halt due to irreconcilable differences between them and Defient.
Once control was regained, they took matters back into their own hands and released their material to iTunes and began booking their own shows. Since then they have performed all over Florida as well as Colorado, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and throughout Iowa thanks to a relationship built with Clinton, Iowa emcee Skeez from Inside Out Entertainment.
Over the past several years, Jon Young & J. Cash have experienced numerous ups & downs in music but have retained a solid following by steadily releasing new material & music videos and by maintaining personal connections with listeners. In 2011, Jon Young’s remix of “If I Die Young,” retitled “2 Soon,” surpassed 1 million views on YouTube with their channel receiving over 3 million total views and millions more on fan-made videos of their songs. It’s obvious support for their music still exists, and with a legacy spanning nearly 10 years in an industry where many artists never make it past a year there’s no denying the impact they’ve made on the next crop of aspiring rap artists especially in their hometown of Orlando, FL. To this day they still reign as the highest selling independent hip hop artists in the city.