J. Shaft was raised in the Newark New Jersey area in the 70’s where the depression was ending from the 60’s riots, heavily into sports he dreamed of making it in the NFL until the arrival of Hip-Hop. Shaft was always into music, heavily influenced by his older sisters playing music such as Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green and Roberta Flack and many more.
Although Shaft loved the music, he never thought entertainment was something he could do. But in 1978 something happened that changed that, Shaft was introduced to his first rap song by Mike and Dave called “123 are You Ready” Shaft would stay up until the a.m. and listen to the first known hip-hop station WHBI with the Jerry Blood Rock show and the Mr. Magic hip-hop show with guest DJ Grand Master Flash: so taken by this new form of music, his life was changed forever and the thought “now was I can do this.” Shaft says,” It was still an underground thing at this time and no one was making the money they are now, back then it was all about who could say the slickest things and the most outrageous shit possible” Newark, N.J. is only a 15 minute ride over to N.Y. and Shaft and friends were always going there to get their hustle on and buy the newest hip-hop gear. By visiting the New York area so often he became even more influenced by this new music style and just the whole phenomenon of hip-hop and graffitti. At this time nothing else mattered sports, school, nothing, only hip-hop. Shaft formed his own group The B. C. 3 that later turned out to be the Super 6 after adding three more members. Shaft named East Orange New Jersy in which he lived Ill-town and the name has stuck ever since. 20 something years later and after the start of the hip-hop movement where we see the likes of Redman, Artifacts, Queen Latifah, Channel live and Naughty by Nature. In the early 80’s Shaft was hanging out in New York clubs like Disco Fever, Harlem World and Fun House as well as Broadway International where he would hang out and record the shows of the Cold Crush Four the Treacherous Three and Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five as well as Romantic Fantastic and others and then he would take the tapes back to Il-town. Hanging out with these icons is how Shaft learned the hip-hop game. After being involved with the best of the best and also working with some of today’s greats Shaft has his own artist too. His private home studio still strives to carve his niche into the world of hip-hop.
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