“I gave up the war on public perception years ago; the battle of integrity is what I’m training for as of right now.”
Words of a man first and an artist secondly, Jamar Allen aka Justice was born in Nash County, NC on August 1st, 1982 and was raised mostly in the small town of Zebulon, NC. At a very young age due to what he considers “predestined circumstances”, Jamar began a nomadic journey over virtually all of the United States.
“By the time I was 16 I had a son, a criminal record, frequent flyer miles and a passport,” he jokingly states.
At a young age, Jamar wasn’t influenced much by what was considered secular music in his home growing up. He was raised by a single evangelical mother who was adamant with a strict regime of bible study, Friday night services, and mandatory Sunday worship. His artist were limited to the likes of Shirley Ceaser, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and The Clark Sisters.
“I wasn’t really into music growing up. I heard my dad could sing and people talked about that and his ability to play instruments but I didn’t actually see that for myself until I was a lot older. Music was actually the furthest thing from my mind. My sister was and still is vocally way far advanced than I was. She lead several songs on the choir…me on the other hand cried and pouted until I eventually quit,” he says with a mild chuckle.
“My son was born when I was turning 16 so my teenage years were brief to say the least. They quickly merged with adulthood and very long period of growing pains and exercises in bad judgment. With an early influence of mainly Tupac, DMX and of mostly rappers, the appreciation of music and arts in general began to snowball. I spent time in Reno, NV with my older cousin and out there it wasnt a lot of rap. It was more alternative, soft rock, country etc. so I adjusted. I even remember this radio I had when I was younger that only picked up 94.7. I think it was in Raleigh, and that was a country station,” he laughed.
His variety of musical intakes is evident in his music. Songs such as “She Wants” and “all I got” from the yet to be released “learned behavior” album, exude a more compassionate side of the artist atoned as Justice.
“I sing and I rap. I honestly wanted to be a singer simply because of the ladies. That point-blank period,” he says strongly with a slight smirk. ” I mean who wouldn’t want the admiration of every woman? Right, so that’s why I started singing.”
He soon learned that the vocal challenges of being a singer were rather uphill for someone with no prior training or singing experience.
“It was hard but I got to where I could hold a note. Kind of bob Dylan like, like I’m no Jennifer Hudson but I can keep your attention long enough to get my message across.”
He had to. Why? There were no singers in the initial circle of associates that he recorded and worked with. He found himself molding into a rapper. As his passion grew so did his ability. You can see that growth and ability in songs such as “time to go”, “trouble” and “so cold” from the reasonably anticipated mix tape appropriately titled “Panic Button”.