JOLA X CINCINNATI HIP HOP EXAMINER
Ohio rapper signs with a major label
April 14, 8:25 PMCincinnati Hip-Hop Examiner Greg Simms
Jola and Jermaine Dupri
Photo by Sam Cuddy
Jola, a rapper from Vandalia, Ohio, has recently signed with Jermaine Dupri’s label,So So Def. This is big news for a number of reasons. The first reason, is that’s it’s been a while since an Ohio rapper has been signed to a major label deal . The second reason, is that it’s been even longer since a rapper was signed from small town Ohio.
The third reason… is because Jola has a real shot at super stardom.
Who is Jola? According to Jola, 21 , he’s an MC who strives to just..be himself. He claims to be the new voice of middle America. “A lot of kids today are lost. Kids don’t know who they are. God made you who you are for a reason. I even named my mixtape ‘I Went To Private School’. And I still got swag.”. Jola has a sound that’s radio ready and clever. His debut Internet single (and the single that got him his deal), “She Say”, is built on a Journey sample. Yep, the arena-rock guys.
How did Jola get on in the industry? According to Jola , A friend of his, Kenny, “Sent Jermaine (Dupri) a link to the video for “She Say” through Twitter. Jermaine then hit Jola up on YouTube, and said that he was interested in working with him. J.D flew Jola out to Atlanta (where Dupri is based), and the rest is history”. When asked about how he felt when Dupri signed him to his So So Def label, Jola replied, ” It was exciting. J.D. wanted to be a part of the ‘I Rep the Trunk’ movement.”
Jola and his crew have been hard at work ever since the signing (which was only two months ago). As far as album/single info, Jola can’t say when the album will drop. The first single should be in either May or June of this year. Jermaine has already picked the first single, and it will be a surprise.” As far as what his music will be, Jola said, ” I bring the realness back. You can’t knock something that’s real. I’m from the suburbs, but the streets give me just as much love as the suburbs. You have to have the complete package these days.”
An Ohio kid with a tangible chance to make it big. Yeah, it’s been a while. A long while. And don’t think the significance of all of this is lost on Jola. It isn’t. Jola spoke on the subject, ” I need Ohio behind me. When you get your hometown behind you, you can be big. I‘m gonna put Ohio on the map”