Point Blank "Jesse James"

Updated: Dec 31, 2020



From Gucci Mane and Rich Boy to Yelawolf, the state of Alabama has been known to produce quality across all genres in the hip hop world. The next big wave to come from the “Heart of Dixie” is Point Blank Music Group. Leading this wave is this years winner of Alabama Hottest Producer of 2020 (Alabama Music Awards) “Jesse James” Raymond. When we recently had the opportunity to sit down with this rising star, knew we couldn’t pass this up!

CRN Staff:

Tell us about how it all started. Take us back to the beginning.

JJ:

Well, I grew up with music in my veins. At 4 years old I was in smoke filled old bars, against my mother’s wishes of course. I always felt I was connected to music more than anything else. Soon after, I started writing poetry and playing the drums. By 10 years old I was helping with stage mixes for live bands and really learning the industry. Looking back on it now, I can see how influential it would be to me later in life. I started recording on tape recorders and creating my own mix tapes. This became my outlet, I learned that I could express myself through music when I was unable to talk to people about how I really felt.


CRN Staff:

That’s amazing. Wow, what made you want to take things to the next level?

JJ:

In 2005 after watching the movie ‘Hustle and Flow’, I decided to go to a real studio and record my first album. Not having many studios in the area that specialized in hip hop I ended up traveling to Georgia, New Orleans, Florida, and anywhere else I could. This allowed me take in multiple different styles and to create a new sound. My mom bought me my first interface and mic in 2006 so I could start recording myself. My thought was this would help to get my songs perfect before going to a studio to get it recorded properly. Turns out, I started liking the way I made myself sound better than all the different studios I was going to did. Some people in the hood heard what I was doin on my own. Soon enough, my friends and local people started coming to record with me. I was only charging $5-$10 a song. Even though I was raw and barley knew what I was doing, I was making money and people started to really like my unique sound.

CRN Staff:

So I heard that you signed a deal at 20?

Yeah, I got signed to label in Atlanta at the age of 20 in 2007 and had a distribution deal but due to issues within that label the album never got released and we parted ways in 2008.

CRN Staff:

Wow, that must’ve been rather disheartening. To be that close to your goals that young. How did you deal with that?


JJ:

It REALLY motivated me. That was the exact moment I decided my career was not going to be in anyone else’s hands again and I would push my own label and build up a team of my own. It took many years of learning and building the skills needed to convince myself that it’s time to risk it all. In 2016 my wife and I invested everything we had in creating the business we have now. Myself, and in turn Point Blank Music Group started gaining some realtraction, but this time, not only as an artist, but as someone with an ear for talent and creating artist specific unique sounds. This is what led me to start to develop artists. Focusing on helping them become stand out artists and huge successes in their own right.

CRN Staff:

Such an incredible journey you have been on thus far. Tell us about some of the artists you and PBMG are working with.

JJ:

For the last 5 years, I have been working with a young artist most know as Colin Keyz. I could see the amount of potential he had even at the young age of 16. By 18 we had started to work on his first studio album. After 2 years of developing and fine tuning Colin’s sound, his highly anticipated first album “Love and War” was released. This subsequently led to multiple offers. After months of negotiations, we decided to stay independent. Knowing how special of an artist he is, we will be releasing 2 more albums in January 2021.

CRN Staff:

I have heard Colin’s music and its cutting edge and in the now. Any other “diamonds in the rough you got hiding back there?

JJ:

As a matter of fact, we do. In 2018 I also met an artist by the name of Cokaa. His hard punchline and very calculated flow instantly put him on my radar as a potential prospect. He released 2 albums when I decided to add him to the fast growing team. He was working with a newer producer/beat maker by the name of DJ Kaz who I also saw as a great asset to the team and pulled them in together.. In 2020 myself, Colin, and Cokaa put out a joint album titled “Pandemic”. This was after months of them trying to get me to do another projectwith me on the mic, I finally gave in just to have at least one joint album with two guys I consider my brothers. We was not prepared at all for the love that album got with our single “Time” being a widely fan favorite. And now we are working on Cokaa’s 3rd and 4th studio album for release early 2021. In 2019 another spontaneous and charismatic artist dropped in Point Blank Studios by the name of Noo Sauce. Right off the bat I knew he was raw but his crazy ways and unique style would be a very nice mix up that the market was needing. After a year of recording with Me I decided to go ahead and pull him onto the label as well and started working on his first studio album to be released at the beginning of 2021.


CRN Staff:

Sounds like you’re building a stable of talent over there. So we heard you won a pretty big award this year. Care to touch upon that for us?

JJ:

Absolutely, after all the noise we have been making these last few years, I became such a sought after producer to work with that I ended up getting nominated as Hottest Producer of the Year at The Alabama Music Awards. I wasgoing up against multiple platinum and gold selling producers that I have either worked with and/or looked up, I thought the chances were slim I would win. Simply being nominated was a great honor. After hearing my name being read as the winner, a sense of pride swept over me. Not just pride for myself, but my whole team.

CRN Staff:

You have done a lot in a short amount of time, yet still remain humble. That’s awesome. Want to leave us with any closing thoughts?

JJ:

Now with a complete team I know we have many more years of growing making great music. I could not be prouder of these guys that are family to me. I could never forget my wife that has stuck beside me through the crappy hotels, long nights, days away from home for no money, all the while having to be there for our 4 kids while I was gone. Nothing can really prepare you for the things that we encounter in this life but I know with everyone mentioned above we have a solid unbreakable team ready for whatever this industry throws at us. Major love to the people behind the scenes that never get deserved credit as well. My wife #1 for handling most of the social media for us and putting up with all of us on the road acting crazy. My videographer Rakeem McGee aka RM Capturez for always giving us the highest quality videos possible and making sure our vision comes to life. The supporters that have shared, viewed, and pushed our music into recognition and everyone on our journey God our bad that have put us exactly where we are today.


- Country Rap News Staff

- Kelsey Leigh



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