Not all paths in music are a straight line. For Ramble John “RJ” Krohn, it took a few years and playing different instruments as a kid to find hip hop. “I had sort of a meandering experience in music, trying, but not excelling — but enjoying it. I would pick up instruments and try them out. I played in bands when I was 15 and 16 and I later joined the jazz club.”
RJ discovered the hip hop scene at local events in Columbus, Ohio, where he listened to rap music and went to open mic DJ battles. “I was excited to see the contrast of my school, with students who were classically trained, but half-defeated about careers in the industry.” Throughout the mid-nineties he pursued this new world full of turntables, samplers, DJs, energy and possibilities. He helped with the production of rap albums, but in 2002 he released a solo record called Dead Ringer.
“It was much more successful for me than being a producer for rappers,” he said in a phone interview from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he now resides. Since then, RJ focuses on his solo career, remembering his inspirations like Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Just Blaze and the multi-talented performer, Dungen from Sweden.
After a very busy 2010, RJ plans to keep the ball rolling with EPs. When he’s not producing, writing or recording, RJ is handy in the kitchen and with home improvements: “Manual labor and food get 90% of my energy outside of music.”
To hear tracks by RJD2, check out our music library below.
“Games You Can Win”
“Walk with Me”
“The Glow” (Remix)