Keeping Music Alive
Jolo Reeves is a 27 year old Independent Hip-Hop artist from Metro Detroit, Mi.
Since 2016, he has performed all over the city of Detroit, from local bars and pubs to underground warehouse raves, and large EDM shows like the annual "Meltdown Festival". His career as a rapper started in 2015 when he was selected as a finalist for TeamBackPack's MULA Contest, where he would eventually battle the legendary Token. After his battle with Token, his notoriety took on a life of it's own, propelling Jolo into his first viral video for his "70 syllables in 6 seconds" which gained 700k views on facebook in it's first day.
Ever since then, Jolo has performed for thousands across the United States, focusing primarily on his home state of Michigan where he has built a support system for the local music scene, and provides local upcoming artists with the opportunities to perform and to be heard all over the world. Born Joseph Reeves, Jolo was raised in Madison Heights, Mi by his widowed single mother Lisa Reeves. He was the youngest of his 3 siblings, Amanda being the oldest, and Anthony second. His musical talent was shared by his siblings which fostered a relationship with various genres.
From an early age, Jolo was very short and was picked on by his peers. This was worsened in 2005 when he developed a severe case of Vitiligo which is a condition in which the pigment cells of the skin, are destroyed causing affected areas to turn pale, often seen as patches of white skin. Enduring the effects of this at a young age naturally caused a lack of self confidence for the then 4th grader. However, In 2005, he won a poetry contest and was published in a book of poems for his work. This moment was the catalyst that made the artist you know today.
Growing up in Madison Heights during the late 90's, Jolo did not have what you would call a "traditional" childhood. From an early age, Jolo and his siblings grew up without their father, Tristan, who was killed by a drunk driver when he was only 2 years old. Lisa worked as a janitor for an historical church in downtown Detroit for several years, which is where he spent many days walking the halls. Late night drives to Detroit in the backseat of his mom's car were some of his earliest memories. His oldest sibling, Amanda, would watch over him and his older brother Anthony while their mother was struggling to cope. Eventually Lisa developed a drug addiction, which would ultimately end in her losing the custody of her 3 kids.
Thankfully Jolo's grandparents, Tony and Josephine Capizzi, agreed to take them in and foster them until their daughter Lisa could get clean. After 3 years of sobriety, and a list of requirements for living conditions and legal standards, their mother Lisa was finally given visitation rights back. With a renewed relationship with their mother, Jolo was able to see and learn that people are capable of rising above their challenges and hardships to become stronger. Eventually Lisa would regain custody of her children, but the resentment for the past was a hard feeling for Jolo to process. Turning to art, poetry and music was his only escape.
Growing up without a father had a profound effect on Jolo as he transitioned into manhood. As mentioned in several of his songs, it was very difficult to trust a father figure after the abuse he experienced at the hands of his mom's ex boyfriends. Jolo relied heavily on his older brother for advice and guidance, and in a way they taught one another how to be men. This is mentioned throughout his music and is still something that resonates with him today.
Writing silly poems eventually turned into writing funny rap songs with his friend Kevin, which to Jolo's surprise was not so different from his poetry. Upon hearing of this unrecognized talent of his, Jolo's brother Anthony came up with the idea to make a funny music video. The "Reckless Music Video" was an atrocious piece of work, that was shot on an old 360p webcam. The first of it's kind, was instantly disliked by Jolo, but Anthony insisted on filming another. Rinse and repeat, Jolo enjoyed writing music, but had not really poured his soul into any of his work. This would change in 2012 when he wrote his first story teller called "Go Back", which focused heavily on the pain of his childhood.
After years of writing songs just for fun and performing at talent shows with his friend J-Cloud, Jolo had begun crafting his sound and style around the artists that inspired him. Growing up in Metro Detroit naturally meant Eminem would be his biggest influence at the time. This however was the reason he was not chosen to be on the X-Factor show, as the judge said that "nobody wants another Eminem from a Detroit trailer park, we already have one". In 2014, his music was recognized by the local music scene, and he was offered to perform his first show at a hookah lounge. This moment changed everything for Jolo, as the stage called to him, spurring him onwards. After that, he perfected his flow, becoming the fast spitting rapper you saw at TeamBackPack's MULA 2015.
With the buzz following his battle with Token depleted, Jolo eventually fell into irrelevance. This deeply wounded him and his pride, leading to a severe depression that lasted several years. After a while, Jolo began to lose hope of ever making it as an artist, which only served to deepen his relationship with music. As the years flew by, Jolo focused more on his craft and recording music behind the scenes. Hoping to only release music with professional music videos, which never truly came, he was left with an enormous catalog of unreleased music consisting of over 40+ finished songs!
The Covid-19 epidemic of 2020 delayed his return, as he had plans to release his new music and perform cross country. However, in the typical Jolo fashion he continued to hone his craft and write new songs. Most his releases up to that point were his least favorite tracks, deemed not worthy enough to wait for a professional music video. The average time between finishing a song a releasing it was 3-4 years. So most songs that have been dropped between 2018-2021 were already years old. Having enough of this never ending cycle, Jolo is finally ready to throw his reserves to the wind and release his catalog to the masses.
He is currently putting together a new project that will be released in the spring of 2022 that focuses on his absence and mental health awareness. Although details have not been provided as of yet, rumors have been circulating that Jolo will be a huge contender this year as an artist on the rise. With his new skills, and knowledge in the music industry, the experts are keeping a close eye on him.
You can learn more about Jolo Reeves or his merchandise by visiting his site www.JoloReeves.com