“Grab What You Can” from local hip-hop artist


Local hip-hop artist, Tough Junkie, just released a new album, “Grab What You Can,” and to be perfectly honest, it is one of the best churned from Jacksonville. A titillating 45 minutes of pure, soul power music that can make a deaf person bob their head.

The history of Tough Junkie remains unclear. One fact for certain was that he was born and continues to be a Jacksonville native. However, any facts past his birth seem to be reclusive and utterly untraceable.

Although there have been some history that can be traced. Junkie’s life started with music being his sole outlet. He started out testing the limitations of beat-making, using only a dual cassette player and a Sony Walkman to produce beats – a piece of equipment later dubbed as pause breaking.

Junkie continued mastering the crafts of beat-making and storytelling while educating and familiarizing himself with the more technical aspects of production. Although he does not hold a specific affixation with a certain genre of music, Junkie feels that his own talent and creativity expresses itself through hip-hop.

In reality, Junkie has been perfecting his craft and is still working for more than 10 years that. Even though he has 43 prior albums, his official debut album came to reside with Colemine Records.

After listening to his latest L.P., the progression of the artist and his craft is apparent. The song “Grab What?” surmises the entire album, especially the line, “Watching the difference between conforming and selling out.”

Although the album plays out smoothly, the recording process had its tough times.

“Constructing an album that was meant to be a progressive step and every progressive step taken was removed from the album,” Junkie said.

Junkie said he felt that after the album was done he had actually taken a step back, when considering the path of he had to take to complete the album.

This can be heard when comparing his previous album, “Refinement,” to the new album. Many of the creative freedoms he was able to enjoy were exactly what some execs felt were the expendable portions of the new record.

However, this album is allowing him access international exposure that is helping him to “gladly take the role of humble ambassador” for Jacksonville’s local hip-hop scene.

His influence for “Grab What You Can” was simple.

“People in general. People of poverty. Don’t take for granted the people who create or build the things that everybody else use, and that’s basically what the album is all about. The people who pillage from others creativity,” he said.

Some musical catalysts Junkie rambled off included Michel Legrand, Vince Guaraldi and rappers from the Detroit scene.

He spoke about coming to UNF and said, “Whenever they can book me, I’ll be there.”