Denver-based rapper JayDubb ThaRuler
(born Justin Wallace) says his verse on an upcoming single, “Off Brand,” a collaboration with Los Angeles-based rapper Westside Boogie, concerns urging a woman to feel more appreciative of herself.
“A lot of girls I’ve been in contact with over the years have been in prior relationships that make them question themselves and their value,” JayDubb says. “It was pretty much to show them that there is more out there.”
JayDubb adds that Westside Boogie
, whom he contacted on Instagram before the two met at a Colorado show and agreed to work together, took his verse in a slightly different direction.
“He did his verse more as kind of, ‘I’ve been watching you and making sure that you know you are still okay,'” he says. “So it kind of intertwines, but with the initial concept of it that I was really going for.”
JayDubb describes the song, produced by Bubba Uno Beatz and CJ Onna Westside, as a bouncy party track. He wanted to make a modern-sounding track with a West Coast feel, and has been collaborating with more Los Angeles-based artists as of late.
“With his style of rap, it brings a more hip-hop type of feel, more than the rap/trap type that’s going on now,” he says of Westside Boogie. “It’s able to be a little more catchy and a little more catered to both our audiences.”
He says the song has recently gotten some airplay on Colorado Springs hip-hop station 96.1 The Beat
, but it will be available to the public on Friday, May 6.
“I was selected as their artist of the month,” he says. “I didn’t really take the time to let the opportunity slip, so I put ‘Off Brand’ right on the radio.”
Looking ahead, JayDubb says he has four albums ready to drop, but he’s hesitated to release that much material at once, focusing more on singles. As an independent artist, he felt that was the best way to proceed.
JayDubb is originally from Colorado Springs; he started rapping when he was thirteen years old, when he was first drawn to poetry, specifically that of Edgar Allan Poe. He also reworked the Langston Hughes poem “Harlem” into his own original poem, “What Happens to a Love Concealed.”
“It got published in some poetry thing,” he says. “I had to go to Las Vegas to accept an award for it for originality.”
JayDubb became more serious about music after a close friend died his senior year in high school. Hip-hop was transformed from an idle hobby into a way to cope with his grief.
“I became very conservative,” he recalls. “I was already introverted, so I just wanted my music and my basketball, and I was kind of losing myself as I went into college. Me and him, we were that close.”
An injury also sidelined his sports prospects, so he jumped into hip-hop full-time. He says he took influence from people like Big Sean, Lil Wayne, Lil Chris and Tupac as he developed his style.
“I listened to a little bit more Tupac than Biggie,” he says. “I felt I could relate more to Tupac’s stories than Biggie.”
He released what he sees as his first true project, the eight-song album The Year of the 7
, in 2018. JayDubb has performed live in Colorado, Florida and Germany, and says he’s opened for acts including Kid Ink, Kirko Bangz, T-Rell, Paul Wall, Baby Bash, Trev Rich, Top Flite Empire, Caskey, Fetty Wap, YBN Nahmir and YFN Lucci.
He left Colorado Springs a couple of years ago for Denver’s more robust hip-hop scene. He says that even amid the pandemic, the local scene has continued to grow.
“There’s a lot to do, and it’s growing so much,” he says. “I think within the next five years it will grow even bigger.”
JayDubb says that when he writes, he doesn’t keep himself limited by genre, and he’s written hip-hop, rock and country songs. He has to be really drawn to a beat before he commits lyrics to it.
“Mostly I write about my experiences with life,” he says. “It has to be relatable in some sense or way. I’d rather it be a story of something I experienced or that actually happened to me. I know I connect a lot more with my audience when it’s a story from my life rather than someone else's experience.”
“Off Brand” will become available on all streaming platforms on Friday, May 6. For more information, visit jaydubbtharuler.com. He'll perform with Stunna4Vegas on his Rae Rae’s Son Tour on June 10 at Sunshine Studios Live, 3970 Clear View Frontage Road, Colorado Springs.