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ComScore


"GORILLA"
Directed by KD Gray

Back in 1989 when, then Joseph Stewart wrote his first rhyme, it was neither the money nor the party that drew him to the craft. The song that forced me to rap was To Da Break of Dawn by LL Cool J, he remembers. I was in 5th grade and it was a homework assignment. Reluctant to admit that these first 16 bars should count towards his 20-year romance with hip-hop, he recalls, It was wack. It was something about school is cool. All the boys in the class had to do it, but I ended up writing the whole thing. Flipping LLs diss record into a public service announcement back in elementary school shows Joes uncanny ability to transform negatives to positives. Recently, he has used his personal losses to propel him to take Atlanta's open mic circuit by siege. After my parents deaths, I started taking rap more seriously. Their deaths made me fearless, says Stu. His fearlessness shows up in his music through his vulnerability.

I wanna make being human cool. I talk about my emotions, he laughs. To most audiences this would seem contrary to what hip-hop is, but Joe Stu suggests that thats the point. Im trying to give my listeners options. Im a blue-collar rapper. My music is for the cat paying back his student loans and the dude that works at McDonalds.

His personal blue-collar hustle is tattooing. Tattooing kicked my ass. It humbled me. But, he also credits tattooing and painting with opening his imagination to write his rhymes. Quite simply Joe Stu is hard to peg and anything but average. His content is introverted and intelligent and his aim is to be relatable. He courageously dives into the best and worst in himself on wax to inspire his listeners to be more human. Tackling topics like abortion and porn addictions with dope beats and dope rhymes, clearly he's not the average Joe.

 
 



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