The Pulpit chopped it up with fellow Poet/Rapper, Just John. Taking the South Florida music scene by storm with a contemporary sound mixed with an unapologetic, old school drive and lyricism, the Award Winning Poet welcomed us into his world and let us probe around.
“So who is ‘Just John’?” we asked, fascinated by his simple yet catchy moniker. “Just John means being authentic,” he responded. It means being genuine, real, and not false or copied. It means being you and doing you no matter what anyone says - and this is his mantra. Though some might be surprised to know that while he gets into a high-energy flow behind the mic, off the stage he’s actually just a simple guy who doesn’t really ask for much.
When asked about his style and creative process, he states that he just writes. Whether “it” ends up becoming a poem, a rap, or a monologue isn’t important. What is important, though, is writing “it” down, and moving what’s erupting inside of him onto a sheet of paper. He lets it out while also mentally constructing a vision and sound to attach to the words. Just John also describes himself as a ‘backwards writer,’ always writing the last line first. Then he embarks on the journey of filling in the blanks of what happened prior to that final line.
Also with the desire to relate his art to people and to keep it positive, Just John immensely enjoys playing around with metaphors in his work. He admits that some of his content may fly over the head of most, as he speaks and raps in one big metaphor. He states, “Metaphors are intentional. They’re intended to give everyone understanding, and the more specific it is the more relatable, such as ‘broke my heart like a glass.’” When it comes to relatable and metaphoric stories, he adds, “I’m gonna’ be the best rapper you’ll ever meet.”
Acknowledging artists like J. Cole, Wale, and Chance the Rapper as some of his influences, he recounted the first poem he ever wrote, which was about someone he remained tight-lipped about. (Could it have been his first crush or the ‘one who got away’?) He is also influenced by the ladies; Jorja Smith, for her unique style, as well as Sabrina, Ella Mai, and a few others.
While writing and music is his life, Just John never loses sight of ‘The Bigger Dream.’ He believes that everyone should have access to clean water.
As we wrapped up our chat with Just John, he leaves us with his parting wisdom to get out of your comfort zone and to never back down from opportunities. Lastly, he reminds us to live life on the edge and be as authentic (Just *insert name here*) as you can be.