Jafrican MC, James Crow is no stranger to the hip hop scene here. One fateful day in chemistry class at Forest Hill High School back in 1995, a friend of Crow’s placed a cassette tape of some of the material he and his group had been working on. Crow, aka Herbert Brown II, took the tape home and was amazed, first at the material, and secondly, that guys that he knew were doing something that he wanted to do. At this point, Crow would always rap in his room to whatever songs came on the radio.
Now, after listening to Us From Dirrt’s Reel of Dope, he believed that he could actually do the same. Shortly after graduation, he linked up with some of his friends from high school, Skipp Coon, Rashid Hadee, and Young Valentine, and they began working on music together but separately. Crow and Coon would become Team Blitzkrieg, and Hadee and Valentine would become Chapter 13.
However, after recording a handful of songs and performing at a few shows, Crow recognized something about himself. While he enjoyed making music and that whole process, he did not enjoy the “rap life”. He couldn’t see himself away from home for long periods of time, performing night in and night out. He also realized that he was 21 years old and hadn’t accomplished much. He made a decision to put rap away, quitting cold turkey.
While Crow was making a name for himself in the poetry scene under the name the Ugly Poet, his brother, 5th Child was simultaneously making a name for himself in Jackson’s hip hop scene. 5th asked Crow several times to record with him. Crow would always decline. By this time, however, Crow was married, a father, and was employed as a high school math teacher. He was at a point that if he were to rap again, it would only be for fun. He decided to record a song with his brother.
Crow was featured on 5th’s “Gangstas Don’t Rap” on his Behind the Music album.
The bug was back. Crow then began working on his debut, titled, The Black Codes. Released on his 32nd birthday (11/12/11), Crow began to reestablish himself in the local scene. Since then, Crow has worked with other local rappers and rock bands. He is also involved in Hip Hop for Social Justice Movement in Jackson. On Nov. 8, 2012, Crow released his sophomore album, Religion Guns Money on Homework Town Records.