Johnny “J” was born in Juarez, Mexico and raised in South Central Los Angeles, by his adopted parents under the name Johnny Jackson, which later became Johnny “J”. He attributes his distinctive sound to his heritage and listening to the Sounds of Philadelphia, Motown, and Stax Records brought home by his father. At the age of three, his father bought him a drum set, because he was always beating on pots and pans whatever he could get his hands on. Later in life, Johnny “J” bought a drum machine, and keyboards to produce records.

This self-taught musician started creating tracks while in the Washington Preparatory High School drum line. Though he received a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, he chose not to attend. Immediately after high school, he produced his first platinum single “Knockin Boots” for fellow classmate and artist Candyman, with a platinum album, Ain’t No Shame in My Game, to follow. Johnny “J”s Hit with Candyman made him the first platinum-selling rap artist on Epic Records in 1990. It also garnered him Grammy and American Music Award nominations.

This hit garnered Johnny “J” major-label success and later paved the way for what was to follow. After meeting 2Pac in 1992, he heard an underground record from Big Syke called “Living On The Edge”, at which point he recorded nine songs in just three days with 2Pac. Following those recordings in 1993, Johnny “J” produced 2Pac’s hit single “Pour Out A Lil Liquor” and the movie score of Above The Rim, movie soundtrack. The song also appeared on the Thuglife “Vol I” album, that went platinum. Johnny “J” also produced a song on 2Pac’s third solo album “Me Against The World” titled “Death Around The Corner”. These two songs were from the original nine songs that Johnny “J” recorded with 2Pac in 1992.
The rest was music history in the making. In 1996, Johnny “J” produced and co-wrote eleven songs on 2Pac’s double CD “All Eyez On Me”, which sold more than 15 million records in the United States alone. 2Pac’s single “How Do U Want It” off the album sold more than 3 million copies and was 2Pac’s first number one song all across Billboard Magazine, which made this the first rap album to enter the Billboards number-one spot upon its initial release. The album and single were later nominated for Grammy and American Music Awards, and it won a Soul Train Award for Best Rap Song.
Prior to 2Pac’s untimely death, Johnny “J” produced and co-wrote over a hundred songs with him. Those recordings are now available as posthumous releases. Johnny “J” produced many songs for 2Pac, but after losing his music partner, he ventured into producing other artists and movie soundtracks.

The first of which was Jon B., whom was introduced to Johnny “J” through 2Pac. While filming the video for “How Do U Want It”, Johnny “J” later produced the 2Pac and Jon B. collaboration “Are You Still Down”, off of Jon’s Cool Relax CD. This was an original 2Pac song called ‘Tongue Kissin”. The album and single each sold over a million copies. He later did a collaboration with Bizzy Bone from Bone Thugz In Harmony in 1998, which spawned a gold album “Heavenz Movie”, from two of the singles he produced off the album “Thugz Cry”, and “Nobody Can Stop Me”.

It wasn’t until his wife Capucine Jackson, suggested that he sign the artist Napoleon from the rap group The Outlawz in 2002, that he officially was going to put out his first rap artist on his own label. A double CD was recorded titled “Have Mercy”, KLOCK WORK Entertainment had executive produced a video from that album titled “Never Forget” featuring Val Young and Johnny “J”, it was a tribute song to the late 2Pac,

Some good things come to an end, during the recording of that album Napoleon was going through a process of finding himself, and eventually became a Muslim and decided to stop rapping. This devastated Johnny “J”, and he decided not to put the record out. After that, Johnny “J” later purchased a recording studio in Glendale, California, and kept recording tracks and looking for other artist like Tatyana Ali, who he recorded an entire album with, and he worked on a Gospel Hip Hop artist, until his untimely death.


Johnny “J”

Movie Work

Johnny "J" produced and scored music for a number of movies and soundtracks. These include The Fan, The Big Hit, Mark Wahlberg's last recorded song, Don't Sleep, Gang Related, Supercop, and many others. Johnny "J" also scored the DVD release of the documentary Thug Angel, which sold over a million copies. Later on, he scored the Oscar-nominated documentary film Tupac: Resurrection and produced a multi-platinum album of the same name to follow.