Early Years Born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, his real name is Justin Irvin Rivera; J.I is proud of his Puerto Rican heritage. Growing up with older brothers rappers, they went head-to-head with rap battles. Nas, 2 Pac, Eminem & Drake were artists J.I admired. Musical Journey/Career The Rap Game tv show was a talent show hosted by Jermaine Dupri. After the young rapper posted rap videos on Instagram, he came to the attention of Dupri and secured himself a slot on the season 2 show. He didn't win but gained experience and a large social media following. As the show ended, J.I took part in freestyle battles around the country and made various appearances on radio shows like Hot 97. The rapper also graced the cover of a few hip-hop magazines. "Quiet Storm" was a song about growing up in the city; after uploading it to YouTube, the song reached a million views on the platform. He followed with his debut EP, "Barely Famous". From 2017 onwards, he went through a rocky road; a lot was going on in his life; then, in 2019, he pulled himself back up and decided to take things seriously. Securing a management deal with Gabi Acevedo, he released his debut mixtape "Hood Life Krisis, Vol. 1." The track "Need Me" gained traction and carried a sample by Mia & Jay Z. The same year he signed a deal with "Interscope Records," after the release of "Hood Life Krisis, Vol. 2," the rapper continued to elevate and headlined a mini solo tour. 2020 saw the release of "Proud of me," the single "Spanglish" was a collaboration with Myke Towers, a Puerto Rican rapper; the lyrics were a merge of English & Spanish. After dropping the track "Need Me," it became certified gold by the RIAA. He followed by his third mixtape, "Hood Life Krisis, Vol. 3".