Money Jay Bio:
Born in the Bronx, New York, Money Jay moved to Decatur, Georgia at the age of two. His stay-at-home mother and truck driver father sought solace in the South, hoping to raise their family in a safer and slower environment; but trouble knows no borders.
“My folks had three other kids so there wasn’t a lot of money to go around,” admits Jay. “Folks used to roast me on my clothes so I wound up getting in a lot of fights. I knew I had to get my own if I wanted to be somebody. So after that, I started hustling.” Whether it was candy or weed, the young Money Jay was already building a reputation as a hustler by the time he hit 7th grade.
After being expelled from high-school in the 9th grade for gun possession, Jay was only given more free time to roam the streets. A couple of wrong turns eventually landed him on the wrong side of the law a few times. It wasn’t until he saw his close friends and family getting jammed up with years-long bids that he decided that this was not the route he wanted to take. “Everyone around me was getting locked up,” says Jay. “They would call me from jail everyday and I didn’t want to end up in the same boat so I turned to music to try and leave all that illegal bullshit alone.” Like anyone else that’s grown up in the 80’s and 90’s, rap music was a dominant influence on Money Jay’s life. He used to write down raps in school and share them with friends, which led to him actually recording some of his lyrics over beats. By age 16, he had built a home studio and started making and distributing his own mixtapes. Though music still wasn’t his main focus, the product spread, demand grew and over time Money Jay’s music was getting spins in some of Atlanta’s most popular nightclubs.
Ironically, it was a daytime occurrence that led to Jay being in the position he is now. “One day I was out hustling on Glenwood Road, and Akon came to the spot,” remembers Jay. “He got a CD from me, drove off and then came right back saying he wanted to sign me. Even then I wasn’t taking the music serious, and he could tell. But he always told me that I should.” Akon remembers, “As soon as I got in the car, something told me to put his CD on. Once I heard it, I hit a U-turn and went back asking if this was really him rapping. When he told me it was, I wanted to sign him on the spot; but I knew he was still hustling so I let him know that if he got serious, I wanted him on my team.” Akon’s advice fell on deaf ears initially as Jay opted to keep one foot in the streets. It wasn’t until his younger brother was incarcerated that he started paying full attention. Keeping in contact with Akon, Jay finally left the streets alone and let him know he was ready to be a Konvict recording artist.
Since then, the musical partnership has been nothing short of promising. The first leak from Money Jay’s upcoming debut is the surging single “Death Row.” The track is one part club-banger, one part salute to his brother and closest friends’ legal problems. “One day I was at the crib, watching 2Pac perform “Hit ‘Em Up,” says Jay about the inspiration behind the Sonny Digital-produced banger. “Knowing how I am and what I’ve been through, seeing that performance made me feel like I would’ve been signed with Death Row at their prime.” While Death Row is now a thing of the past, Money Jay aims to keep that spirit alive with his future at Akon’s Konvict Music label. Well equipped with the voice, street cred and most importantly music to become rap’s next big thing, it shouldn’t be long before someone else is watching Money Jay on TV and getting inspired in the same way.