Hailing from Watts, CA, Johnny Reed McKinzie, Jr. (born March 31, 1986), better known by his stage name Jay Rock, is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer.
Known for his aggressive voice, raw delivery and vivid storytelling, he is the first artist being signed to independent label Top Dawg Entertainment. Apart from his solo career, he is also part of the theoretical hip-hop supergroup Black Hippy along West coast rappers and label mates Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.
Since 2006, Rock released nearly a dozen mixtapes, but failed to achieve major recognition until his commercial debut single All My Life (In the Ghetto), featuring globally known artists Lil Wayne and will.i.am., spawned in 2008. In 2010, he was featured on the cover of the XXL’s annual Top 2010 Freshmen issue and was also named one of the 2010’s breakthrough MCs by MTV.
After much anticipation, Rock’s debut album Follow Me Home was released on July 26, 2011, debuting at #83 on the Billboard 200 with singles All My Life (In the Ghetto) and Hood Gone Love it. The album received a considerable amount of both commercial success and critical acclaim.
In September of 2015, his second studio album 90059 was released, debuting at #16 on the Billboard 200, receiving general acclaim from critics, moving in over 18,000 copies in its first week and spawning 3 singles: Money Trees Deuce, Gumbo and 90059 respectively. The album’s title comes from the zip code of Watts, Los Angeles, California, where Rock was raised.
On February of 2016, Jay Rock was involved in a brutal motorcycle accident, breaking his pelvis and several other bones and having to go through surgery. This event would inspire his next album.
Rock’s third studio album, Redemption was released in June, 2018. The album’s lead single King’s Dead achieved worldwide commercial success, receiving a double-platinum certification and marking Jay Rock’s appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (#21). Redemption debuted at #13 on the Billboard 200, moving over 31,000 units on its first week and receiving general critical acclaim.