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Interview: Troy from Northside Richmond

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Troy is a Northside Richmond rapper that's solidifying his presence within the Richmond music scene. He recently dropped a video for his song Change directed by Arcani, had reached over one hundred thousand streams on Spotify with his Mick Jenkins collaboration All We Got Is This, and it's looking like Troy is not slowing down anytime soon. It was an honor to chat with the Northside native about his music and journey, which I first heard of him from an RVA Magzine article my old roommate at the time handed me and said "get hip to him."

Jay: Prior to being known as Troy in your music, you were known as JrDaRappr (pronounced JR The Rapper). What inspired the name change?

His apperance on RVA Mag as then JR Da Rappr in 2020.

Troy: I realize that a lot of artists take on a different persona with names and I saw where I was heading especially before the Mick Jenkins song and I wanted to make sure I stay to myself during this journey. So the name change was the best way to make sure that happened for real.

Jay: For those that are new to you, how would you describe your journey in the hip-hop culture in Virginia? Where did it begin for you and have some tendencies you first had changed over time while approaching a new song, visual, or album?

Troy: Well, I honestly didn't really know how many people rapped in Virginia or Richmond, because I can't even lie, I'm a HEAVY west coaster. I listened to a lot of west coast rap even before I started rapping, so when I did start rapping, I found out how many dope people there were. I was truly surprised.

For how I make music, nothing really changed. Honestly, I do everything backward. I come up with the album name first, then theme, cover art, what I want it to be about, and then I write my songs last. I might have the video in my head before I even write the song, no cap.

Jay: Describe your chemistry with NameBrand. My first introduction of your music was with the Highway to Hell album that was executively produced by NameBrand back in 2020.

Troy: I actually went to a Rap Elite event at the end of the year one time. it was the finale and there was a three hundred dollar cash pot, so I was trying to get the cash, I can't even lie. I did my two minutes [of rapping in a cypher] and I made it to the sudden death. I ain't never been and had no clue what was the sudden death for the Rap Elite. I never went back but I ended up linking with HipHop Henry because of it. I made a mixatpe called 96 Degrees and made it out the kitchen of my cousin's apartment and I think someone sent it to Mike (Michael Millions) and Radio B invited me over to Mike's crib to record a verse.

Mike mentioned that his brother NameBrand heard the mixtape and how he was a big Dr. Dre fan. I was like "Well damn, that mixtape was all YouTube beats and I was looking for a producer for real." So, I ended up linking with him and went to his place. We clicked as soon as we met and we were talking for hours and hours even before working on music. So that album [Highway To Hell] didn't even take much time for real.

Troy (left) outside of The Hof in Richmond, Virginia with NameBrand (center) and Junnie Mac (right)

Jay: You recently performed for the RVA Rap Elite on the rooftop of The Hof. What are some other platforms that you would like to rock a set on?

Troy: Honestly, any platform. That was my best show yet. That was something different so anything that has that vibe and will allow a brother to rap, I'm with it.

Jay: Weeks ago, your song with Mick Jenkins, All We Got Is This broke over 100,000 streams on Spotify. How did that play come about and how did you feel once the track was released out to the public?

Troy: Stuff like that really doesn't hit me as people think it would. I listen to Mick Jenkins like, I fuck with bro hard like he's somebody I listen to a lot, and the fact I got a song with him really still hasn't dawned on me. I wasn't expecting it to do all those numbers. I didn't care about the streams. I was just happy to have a song with a n***a I really listen to, I deadass killed the verse so I knew it's a good song. Then when it started popping off, it was crazy because we really just pieced the song together. I just got a hook from him and then I did the verse, then he heard the verse and fucked with it. I was like, shiiiitttt, might as well throw a verse on it. Mike and I pieced the song together like a puzzle. The verse was originally did something for Arcani but I ended up cutting it down so it can fit the song. It turned out perfectly. I'm always moving to the future and it still hadn't hit me. I don't dwell on my accomplishments because I'm still not where I want to be, so I don't really celebrate.

Jay: If you were not doing music, what would you see yourself doing and why?

Troy: I don't even know. I try whatever I want to try. You can ask anybody about me, they'll tell you I have mad hobbies. It just so happened I found my passion. I tell people you got to try stuff to find out what you really love. I did personal training, kickboxing, skateboarding. If I didn't do music, I would've probably tried something else because you only have one life. Without music, I don't know because this is something I love doing so I'm going to keep doing it.

Jay: What should people expect from you for the rest of 2021? To add more to this question, who do you see finishing the year strong?

Troy: We got some big things happening. I can't say exactly what but you keep your eyes open around September...

You can follow Troy on Instagram and Twitter.

Written by: Jay Guevara. @justinhisprime on all social media.

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