Meet Julox, a southern gentleman with a distinctive Colorado flow that's all his own

Julox, a southern native who relocated to Aurora in 1991 is a busy man. With more than twenty projects already under his belt and eight more on the way, including a joint project with UGK records, this dedicated rapper is proving that he truly is trill. Although he draws inspiration from spending time in Texas and Louisiana, Julox represents for Colorado with his unique down south flavor. We caught up with Julox to get the scoop on his new album Da Gator Ghoul, released just last week, and to get to know the man behind the blunt.

Westword (Nicole Cormier): You've been involved in the Colorado hip-hop game for a long time. What kind of changes have you seen?

Julox: Well I'm gonna start with the community first off: It got a lot better. I mean, back then, there wasn't so many people rappin', you know? I ain't saying that like that's bad, but back then, the ones that were rapping, well... we didn't have as many good artists. So, we're definitely stepping up with everything -- boys are leaving out of town, and people linking up. Not even that; the people right here are doing real good, and stepping it up. I thought I'd never say that. I'm not gonna lie.

But um... for me, I guess I got grown. You know? Like, when I was young, the first CDs I put out from '98 to maybe 2002 was all bullshit, so to speak. For real, I was talking about topics that no one wanted to hear. I was really doing that stuff, but all you were getting was guns, drugs, sex -- that's it. I kinda evolved from all that.

I don't even act the same way as I used to, and you can tell that in my music. I'm on some grown man shit now. When I used to rap my voice was way deeper, but now I use my words right. I was sorry back then, but I'm not that same dude.

Ww: You've put out 21 projects so far, all of them with very interesting titles, but the newest one takes the cake. What the fuck is a gator ghoul?

J: [laughs] Alright. Alright, that's the half-gator, half-ghost. I got it from a Scooby doo episode, something I been liking since I was a little kid. Let me explain it right quick: Scooby and them gotta go to somebody's house in Louisiana -- that's where I'm from -- and it was a half-man, half-gator haunting the property.

So I started calling myself the gator ghoul. I'm just silly like that, though. I been telling my partner Booderman, I was gonna come with an album called Gator Ghoul for a long time, and he didn't believe me, but the day has come.

Ww: Tell us about this album, what can we expect, and how is it different from the rest of your catalog?

J: I got all features [cameos] on this album; every song's got a feature on it. That sounds crazy, but it's something I always wanted to do. So that's different. Them is my boys; they showed me love. So I showed them love back. It'll show people that Colorado can really do it.

And what I did is picked artists that nobody really knows. I got people like FOE and 800 on there, too, certain people like that, but I didn't get the Young Does and other people you'd expect. But I do got Return of the Gator Ghoul coming, that will have everyone you'd expect on it.

It's grown-man-I-don't-believe-in-the-fantasy-land rap about the bling bling, my car got all this candy paint and all that -- you're not gonna get none of that from me. I'm just gonna smoke my weed. I kinda make a point every song to talk about weed, because I am a weed head.

Oh yeah, I wrote all these jams in Dallas, Texas, but I came back here and recorded 'em all in three days. I've wrote a bunch of songs down south, but never a whole album. Like I said, I'm not gonna lie [on the tracks], even though to some people it may seem far-fetched.

Ww: You released a mixtape with Hazeleo of UGK records. Do you foresee future projects together?

J: Yeah! We actually talking about doing an album together; don't know what that'll be called yet. We got a lot of stuff we talk about doing. I talk to that dude all the time. That album with UGK helped me out a lot, and they real cool over there.

Mama West is real real cool. That's Pimp C's mama, for those who don't know. She taught me a lot. Hazeleo's my boy, and he didn't have to help me out like that, but he did. That was my favorite mixtape I ever did!

Ww: You've spent time performing in the South. How do you compare the fans there, to here?

J: Crowd participation, first of all. If they like your shit, they'll let you know you're jamming. Like, they ain't gonna be just looking at you; they got they hands in the air -- you don't even got to tell them that. You see people getting down for real.

But if you suck, they'll rush the stage and rip the microphone out of yo' hand. I seen that happen before and had my heart beating, and I couldn't swallow my spit. Here, I almost expect to get booed, because I talk different, and my slang different.

When I go to Texas and Louisiana, that's home. They really feel it, even if they don't know me from spit. Also, the pay is so much more down there, boys 'round here think I'm on some uppity shit, but down south, you do fifteen minutes and you get $2000 -- and free room and board for you and a few partners. Here, you ask for gas money, and people act like that's a problem. So that's different.

Ww: You have a very distinctive style. Who inspires you?

J: I got to start with my sister. She don't rap or nothing, but it was the music she was playing. My mama, too, but she played the R&B -- that's where I got my singing from. I really wanna sing -- I don't even wanna rap -- I just can't sing as good as I rap.

I gotta say, Scarface. When I first heard Scarface, that was something different for me; he touched me up good. Also, Brother Lynch Hung is when I really started being like, "Man, hold up!" He was rapping all the thoughts that I had in my head.

Ww: Besides the album drop what other projects do you have coming up?

J: Got a freestyle project called No Pen No Pad Volume 2, Pickles and Peppermint Sticks mixtape, because that's how life is: You gotta take the bitter with the sweet. I got the 318 Mixtape with Delta Boi. I got an album Crawfish, Potatoes and Corn, which is a follow up to Catfish, Shrimp and French Fries. That's already done. It's already old, but no one's ever heard it. Me and 800 [the Jewell] got a CD that's gonna go so motherfucking hard. Jewellox. I got so many more, I think like eight projects ready to go.

Ww: Anything else you want us to know?

J: Yeah! First off, Free Hawk Man, aka Mr. Mannish. Every rapper got a partner in jail they want to shout it out to; that's mine, right there. Everything I've been doing has been a blessing, I'm a spiritual dude, and I know right from wrong, for the most part. I have to thank the Man above.

And tell them boys, I am not a Crip, and I'm not a Blood. People always thinking I'm a Crip, and I ain't no Crip or no Blood. Also, don't compare me with other boys that's tight around town -- I'm sick of that shit. I'm not trying to be the best; I just want to be the best I can be at this. I'm trying to do me. That's how fuckery gets started, and I don't want no part of that. Thanks for letting me vent, right there.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicole Cormier