Music is made to inspire. This universal language of sound pierces into the souls of us all to entertain, motivate and parallel our every mood. Great music hypnotizes the listener and takes our emotions on a roller coaster ride of twists, turns, ups and downs.
Tampa, Florida rapper Young AJ is such a musician. Using his infectious gift of gab to spread positive messages, this fledgling future super star has already become a regional favorite with two solo mixtapes in the streets of the Sunshine State. And he is steadily making noise with his newest single “On My Job” featuring veteran rapper Trick Daddy and forthcoming street album Just Like Music due in the Summer.
“I want to do more with my music than just talk about what everybody is talking about,” says Young AJ. “I use my music to tell a story and motivate people.”
Born A.J. Crawford on the West side of Tampa, AJ’s upbringing consists of the best of both worlds. One side of his family was made up of well-known hustlers and street cats. On the other side of the family tree were prominent business and political figures in the local community. Influenced by his extremely different roots, Young AJ was destined for greatness.
He decided to use that greatness in pursuit of a music career during his 11th grade year at Blake High School. At age 17, the adolescent assembled a five-member group known as the Top Prospects. Consisting of four rappers and a vocalist, they released two mixtapes back to back- Respect The Hustle Vol.1 and 2.
They gained popularity by performing at local talent shows, homecoming games, and house parties. Before long, the Top Prospects were well respected by students and teachers all around Hillsborough County. The group disbanded, however, in 2007 when Young AJ graduated.
A year later, as AJ was continuing a solo career, he was caught by complete surprise when he arrived to the murder scene of his best friend Levi Dixon. Levi was also a member of the Top Prospects. His life was snatched away exactly two days after recording the hook on AJ’s first solo track “My Girl.”
AJ was devastated by this tragic loss. “Levi was the next big thing,” says AJ. “He loved music with a passion. Our last conversation was about music.”
A black cloud hung over the entire city of Tampa by the tragic loss of The Prospects only vocalist. Since “My Girl” was one of Levi’s final recordings, Young AJ began to receive 10 times the recognition he was used to getting.
“I went from 100 to 2,500 myspace plays in one day,” says AJ. “I knew it was Lee working from above.”
Young AJ has been on the rise since that day. “When in need of a little inspiration, I think of all the good times me and boy shared,” he admits.
Performing at various open mic nights around the city, AJ instantly became a crowd favorite. By December 2009, AJ dropped his first official single, “Run It Back,” a club track featuring a sample from Cheryl Lynn’s high-energy 80s R&B single “Encore.”
The track took off and everyone around Tampa began to talk about this new kid on the block. By the summer of 2010, “Run It Back” expanded throughout Florida and AJ began to get phone calls back to back about booking shows.
The single led to the release of Young AJ’s first solo mixtape Its My Time hosted by the popular DJ Spinatik. The tape was a success in the streets and created an even bigger buzz for Young AJ.
Shortly after, AJ dropped follow-up mixtape Its My Time Vol 2: Play Still in Motion hosted by DJ Spinatik and DJ Christion. An instant local smash, it featured Grand Hustle/Atlantic recording artist Young Dro, Tom G and Javon Black. It was an even bigger success for Young AJ in the streets.
Keeping his name hot, Young AJ is on the verge of releasing his most-anticipated project to date, Just Like Music, which is set to be released early this Spring. The street album is made up of a collection of samples from classic 1980s hip hop and R&B records and charged by his leading single “On My Job” featuring veteran rapper Trick Daddy. Over a soulful, mid-tempo Luther Vandross sample, AJ and Mr. 305 inspire the next generation to make the right decisions in life.
“People love my music because I give them something that they can feel,” says AJ. “I know they can feel it because it’s coming from my heart.”
DOWNLOAD MP3 PACK: CLICK HERE
For Booking & Information:
Team Crawford Ent 813.408.3773 | TeamCrawfordEnt[at]gmail.com
Media & Public Relations:
Urban Addiction Group | Amber Craft 786.361.6131 | PublicRelations[at]UrbanAddictionGroup.com