JULESISDOPE: His views on racism and music...
On July 9 2016, during one of the harshest and dogmatic cultural-wars of our era, JulesIsDope (Julian Myers) would be found at the “Common" Market in Charlotte, NC, putting on a mini concert that welcomed everyone whether they were Black, White, Puerto Rican, Asian, African, Jamaican, or Hispanic.
He was colorblind towards the two things that bring people together seamlessly... entertainment and music.
Onstage at the Common Market South End
The Baltimore native says that there weren't a lot of people that he could look up to while growing up other than the WU-Tang Clan— “They were on MTV cashing welfare checks. By me, seeing them, it put something in me that I knew I could do something special one day.
Landing in Charlotte during the Fall of 2005, JulesIsDope attended Johnson and Wales University, earning a double major in Business Operations in Global Perspective.
While still in college, he began writing and performing gospel music.
“I’ve been doing this for a longtime. I actually released my first album under Young Jules, and I released my first gospel album back in 2007. I toured before the project was even done. Praise 100.9, brought me on tour with them when I released my first project, “Holy Crack, Addiction to God,” he confirms.
“I’ve done shows with the Clark Sisters, John Pee Kee and Virginia Thompson. Yeah, the list goes on.
I sold about 11,000 units independently and traveled. I did pretty good. Even through that transition, I still felt some push-back. It was weird, even to the point of going to the school and talking to students about life and stuff—teachers had to sneak me in because I was a gospel artist and from the religious aspect, they had already taken God out of the school as well as the Pledge of Allegiance.
The first song that I ever wrote which is considered a secular record, is called, “Make it.” It’s on YouTube... look it up. It’s talking about a lot of stuff in the community, but it’s to a hard beat. If you hear it, you can hear everything clearly, and it makes you bounce a little bit."
The official video for Make It
JulesISDope said that he loves vibes and songs that make him feel, which is one of the reasons he was able to release his single, WU-Tang, as promotions for DTLR’s newest FoamPosite footwear.
When we asked him about the track, he said, “It’s a phenomenal record and it’s very explosive. When I made it, I started writing at the time when the thing with Trayvon Martin was going on, and everywhere I went, I would just see WU-Tang symbols… When I actually heard the track, it was sampled, but it was public record once we did the research and decided to use it. We brought the track—the track just kinda takes the listeners to a place."
Official DTLR Nike FoamPosite Promo
Although the world is cluttered with chaos and uncertainty by killings, protesting, segregation(really setting us back 300 years), boycotts and broad discussions about police brutality, civil justice and other things that would set the soul on edge, the 28-year-old rapper speaks calmly when asked about his thoughts on current affairs in America.
“Wow. I’ll tell you what, I just don’t think we are in the season to make that change. Right now, it’s just the opener, but we aren’t in the season to see that change take place. This is the opener—the beginning. I do think that in our lifetime, we will see some changes happening. Not just the US, but the world. There’s a lot about happen,” he said. "I feel the discussion is needed and if we were given this platform, it takes skill to be able to take things that we don't want to talk about and things that are necessary, and put it into a song, to actually get people to like it. It takes skill and frustration. As a good artist, you want to make sure that you still keep the proper prospective of the listeners.
With entertainment being one of the largest mountains on this earth, this is something that people with the right minds, will have to conquer," he said.
"I said I was afraid when I released WU-Tang because certain facets of the song will put you in the frame of mind that you might want to blow stuff up by just being in the hood and calling for the police and they don’t come. The most that you’ll get out of the police is the police messing with you. I’ve even had police messing with me while growing up in Baltimore. I had a good job, wasn’t involved in drugs, and was focused. I would get stopped and searched on the corner for no reason. Luckily, it wasn’t as brutal as a lot of the things I’ve seen, like the things that’s on TV today.”
JulesIsDope plans to use his platform with a positive message while releasing more thought provoking content. “It’s weird because the way that the game goes here—so, a lot of my stuff will be conscious but I also see the mainstream side of things. I’m trying to blend a mainstream sound and still deliver a message. I guess that’s where the artist side comes in at.
I’m in there just painting up a storm in the studio every day, trying to make time for work, family and everything else. But really trying to get that sound so when we present this, and we get the big engine behind us, we’ll be able to cover the territory the way we want to."
He said that he was afforded the opportunity to perform at the Common Market because he had been visiting the location for about 5 years, and he met 90% of the people in Charlotte at the Common Market.
“This is the type of place you can come to, where everybody is everybody. They don’t care about the kind of money you got or what you do—you’ll meet famous people and you’ll meet millionaires, everybody is just chilling and having a good time.
Scene from the Common Market South End
Once I felt their energy-- unity is the type of the thing I like. So, when I found out they were closing, I said, “Yo, I gotta perform for you guys.” They said[Common Market], “We would love for you to do a show for us.”
'We made it happen tonight.'