JR Writer on How He Linked Up with Cam’ron and Joined Dipset

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Harlem’s own, J.R. Writer sat down with DJ Vlad for the first time to talk about his troubled childhood, how he started rapping with Cam’ron and Juelz Santana, and why he asked for $1,000 for featuring on Santana’s single “Squalie” off of his album From Me To You.

While these days Harlem has changed due to gentrification and overall time, J.R. talked about growing up in the 90’s and how it was the perfect era for him, despite getting in some trouble. “I got locked up when I was 12.” He said, “I did a bid for a year and a half, then at 15, I did another year and a half, and I came home when I was about to turn 16, and I got my mind right, focusing on rap and that’s when I met Cam.”

After coming home, he says he went to the studio immediately and battled a bunch of people and gained notoriety in his hood. “I was the hottest in my area,” he told DJ Vlad. Fortunately, an affiliate of his was well acquainted with Dipset and by being around him, he ran into Cam and Juelz and displayed his talents on the spot. “I spit for him—a bunch of people was out there tryna rap for him, but he heard me. He was like ‘Yo, listen. Juelz not signed, nobody signed, but stick around and I got you.”

Later, Writer says he finally saw his big payoff when he got to feature on Santana’s From Me To You album. Like any rapper, he was excited to get on one of his tracks, and when he was asked how much he wanted to get paid, he said, “Give me a $1,000.” He explained, “I was like 18,17, and $1,000 was a lot to get paid for, for some words, some bars.” He told DJ Vlad that Juelz then told him he would give him $8,000 out of the $10,000 check he was getting paid. “The day he dropped the check off, my daughter was born.”