A little while back, Karmaloop TV held a contest offering the grand prize of an original video shot and directed by the world class KTV crew, responsible for such legendary videos as Diplo’s “Express Yourself” and A$AP Ferg’s “Work.” The overwhelming winner of the contest, by individual popularity, was Boston rapper J. Lye, who selected his song “Where’d You Go” ft. Lisa Bello for a music video directed by Lil Internet. Check out the video above.
We chatted with J. Lye to learn more about his approach to music, the experience of shooting “Where’d You Go,” and what the lovelorn song means to him.
Tell us a bit about your rise as a Boston rapper. How has the city affected your style?
I take a lot of pride in being from Boston and in being a Boston rapper. It isn’t the easiest breaking out as a rapper from Boston because this city is stereotyped as being filled with only “street” MCs, which isn’t the most popular on a global scale at the moment, and my music doesn’t represent that. However, the support that I have received from fans in Boston has been tremendous and growing up listening to rappers from Boston has vastly influenced my style. I make sure to do my best to represent Boston in my lyrics and whenever I perform.
Who are some of the artists you’ve performed and collaborated with?
I’ve performed alongside artists such as Dipset, Meek Mill, Roscoe Dash, Machine Gun Kelly, Los, Hoodie Allen, Chris Webby, and co-headlined with acts such as Cam Meekins, Radical Something, and Sebastian Mikael.
Is this song about a particular person? Did you ever address the unrequited love, or is “Where’d You Go” song the message itself?
This song was written about a particular person and situation that I went through in the past. I believe that everyone really has that one person that they feel got away, so I wanted to create a song that people everywhere could relate too. This song was my way of reaching out to that person and letting them know how I feel.
What do you wish to achieve through your music?
The reason that I write music is so that I can express myself and hopefully help people all over the world deal with similar issues and experiences. I hope to reach success on a global scale and help people in the same way that music has helped me.
What is it that makes the perfect beat to rap over?
I pride myself on being a very versatile artist and someone that listens to all types of music. I usually don’t write to a beat unless it speaks to me. Whether it’s the instruments on the record or the sample included in the beat, as soon as something touches me and I feel sudden inspiration, that’s when I feel that it’s time to write over a beat.
If you had to describe yourself as a combination of three rappers, who would they be?
That’s an extremely difficult question, but I would say that I would be a combination of Drake, Joe Budden, and Macklemore. The reason for this is that I like to get extremely personal with my music and speak a lot on things such as personal relationships, but also try to include material that is somewhat socially conscious.
Does this video have you feeling a type of way?