Maybe it's something in those mystical murky waters of the Gulf Coast that has produced some of the most explosive musical talents across all genres. Artists as diverse as rock legend Janis Joplin and soul ensemble Neville Brothers to platinum rapper Lil Wayne and Southern hip hop trailblazers UGK all draw influences from those balmy bayous that stretch from the Lone Star State to the Sunshine State.​
 
Nestled somewhere in between is the port city of Mobile, Ala., home to another great musician set to make his mark on the world-- J Simon. Setting flames in those same Southern states as his predecessors, he comes from the bottom of the map at the foot of the Bible belt, and he has been holding his city down for several summers with five mixtapes and a string of runaway hit singles.
 
Formerly known as Rellik the Dirt Road Pimp, this multi-talented musical maestro disposes of his alter-ego and is set to drop his forthcoming Boondock Global-released project Rellik DRP Is J Simon. Like a breath of fresh air, he blends rock, R&B, funk, soul and jazz with a signature hardcore lyricism and pushes the envelope with lead single "Owe Me." But this is just the beginning.
 
"This is the introduction of J Simon," he explains. "I spent so many years promoting a character that I created but the world never got to know J Simon, the person who created this character…My music sounds so much different from other artists because I'm doing what feels good, what's real. I'm not trying to fit in."
 
That strong determination is rooted in humble upbringing in the Mobile suburb of Saraland. Born Jerel Simon and raised mainly by his grandmother, J has been in love with the sound of music for as long as he can remember.
 
His granny bought him his first trumpet when he was 11 and on any given Sunday, young Jerel could be found at Church of God Pentecostal playing his horn or singing heavenly praises in the choir stand. And in school, he wowed his band instructor with a natural ability to master his craft.
 
But although he loved playing his horn and writing R&B songs, J was most interested in rap music. Introduced to hip hop by his Aunt Kheressa, she took him to first rap concert headlining MC Hammer. She outfitted the youngster in shiny shoes, baggy pants, a fresh haircut full of lines and s-curls to top it all off. He was so fresh and so clean that Hammer invited him on the stage and the half-pint dancing machine tore the stage up.
 
He started rapping the very next day. "I've always been an entertainer," he recalls. "Every time my family would come into town or we have a family reunion, they would have me pull out the horn or sing a song I wrote."
 
Rated the best trumpet player from middle through high school, his talents earned him a full music scholarship to the University of South Alabama after graduation. While at USA, he entered into a school talent show. J rapped behind a live band and mixed a trumpet solo into his performance. Needless to say, he won the competition and performed so well that word got back to a retired football player who had recently launched a label. After auditioning for the CEO, J was signed to the label and getting paid top dollar to run the studio.
 
"He bought me a 1964 Chevy Impala because I was running the studio, making $750-$1,000 week," J admits. "I figured out a band director only makes $24,000-$30,000 a year and I was making more than the band director. So why the hell am I here?"
 
Within a few months, he dropped out of school to work at the studio full time. Shortly after, Shake 20 Records released compilation album Southern Hospitality featuring all the artists on the label but spotlighting Rellik the Dirt Road Pimp. As fate would have it, the label CEO got caught up in a drug sweep shortly after the album's release.
 
The police shut the studio down, took all the cars and were watching J's every move like a hawk. "I gambled and left school," Simon admits. "At that point, I ain't have nothing. It left me naked. I couldn't do anying. I couldn't move around…I didn't want to go back home because I felt like everything my mother and grandmother were helping me do had gone to waste."
 
In the midst of sleeping from house to house, some big time street cats offered to give him some drugs to sell. With no other options, he took them up on their offer until he could get back on his feet.
 
"I was pushed into it because it was at my disposal," he remembers, "and I had no other money coming in from nowhere."
 
Despite the hare times, he started his own label Boondock Global and teamed up with Hitt House Records to release his solo debut project The Last Born. The regional hype around the album afforded him the opportunity to tour the country with Grammy-winning R&B singer Dave Hollister.
 
J. Simon began releasing mixtapes that quickly gained attention across his community. His first project was titled "1st of the Last Born", which was released in 2006. Following the success of his first project, he released "MOB UP" Vol. 1 and 2, in 2008 and 2011. Receiving much acclaim from his peers and fans, J.Simon released his fourth project, "King of the Backwoods" in 2013.

J.Simon's world quickly came to a devastating halt, as the death of his mother took a toll on him. It was his last conversation with his mother, where she told him "Never stop, don't quit and don't be weak", which guided J.Simon through his most trying time.   


Picking back up where he left out, he released his fifth project, "I Am J. Simon", which received rave reviews and led to an array of nominations and wins from local Alabama music award shows.    

  
Currently, J.Simon just finished his sixth studio project entitled "Simon Says" which was released  through indie label LANEntertainment. On this project, J.Simon has several hits with "Name On It" produced by Cheeze Beatz, "Fantasy" featuring Ink and "Mood” produced by Musik MajorX that are leading the pack. In addition to this, J.Simon opened in select cities for rap legend Tip "T.I." Harris during his nationwide “Hustle Gang Tour”, even opening in his hometown of Mobile, AL for the official tour kickoff.   

J.Simon continues to strive for greatness whether it's as a husband, father or performer. He prides himself on being a unique entertainer who chooses to go left when everyone is going right. It is this motto that has led him to achieve great accomplishments with many more to come.  



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