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J. Stalin (born Jovan Smith) is a rap musician from Cypress Village in the neighborhood of West Oakland in Oakland, California. In 2007, he signed to Zoo Entertainment Production Company run by artist Mekanix. Although young and boyish-looking, J. Stalin adopted a tough rapper persona. He references Joseph Stalin in his stage name because they shared the same initials, and "he was short like me, but he was always smashin' on everybody." In a recent interview he remarked about his home and lifestyle, "This is West Oakland, man. This is the bottom right here."
J. Stalin's first widely released performances arose when a DJ Daryl, a local recording studio owner, placed him on a track he was recording. A colleague of Daryl's, Richie Rich, was impressed enough to put J. Stalin on three tracks in his 2002 album Nixon Pryor Roundtree album and two more as a member of Rich's group, the Replacement Killers. He later recorded and performed with artists such as G-Stack, Beeda Weeda of the Hieroglyphics collective, Keak Da Sneak and San Quinn, E-40, The Luniz, The Team, The Frontline, Mob Figaz, Yukmouth, Numskull, Shock G, and others. As of 2006 he had released roughly 7 mixtapes and had four releases scheduled for 2007. Mekanix and Zoo Entertainment released "On Behalf of the Streets" in early May 2007.
More recently he had two recent releases under Town Thizzness, "Gas Nation" and "Prenuptual Agreement", which was highly regarded as his best work. He has his new release coming soon titled "Memoirs of a Curb Server."
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