Can’t Tell Me Nothing: The Memorable Life and Terrific Times of J’Moris
The story that’s most revealing about J’Moris—as an artist, a man, and a grifter—took place well before he ever shot a single music video, dropped any of his assortment of singles, published even one of a handful of EPs (of which there’s at least 5), and released two albums (including February’s Moris Better: Loveless Confessions).
Revelatory, perhaps, it illustrates something of the fiber of which he’s made, and the character he’s exuded on all of his musical creations as both a rapper and a game-giver.
“I came home for my 15th birthday, and I had just bought a car,” Moris denoted. “I pull up to the house and you can’t tell me nothing.”
Mind you, this is in Texas which, despite its history as once being its own country, was certainly part of the US of A at this juncture, and had definite legalities about the age at which one can operate a motor vehicle.
“I came home and my mom had said something to me and I’m like, what? What are you talking about? And it went from there to ‘get out. You don’t need to be here; I don’t want to see you no more’. So, I took it to heart and I went with it.”
The postsecondary student would go homeless for a significant part of his high school career—which is perhaps a logical inference from such an encounter with one’s guardian at the time.
But not more than a couple years later, Moris graduated high school. With honors, that is. The man said he finished in the top 10 percent of his class. He also said he was offered a scholarship to play basketball at Texas’ Abilene Christian University, a relatively small school willing to provide for his education in exchange for his skills as a hoop star.
Nope. Turned it down, he did, and instead enrolled at Lamar College, where his career as a rapper solidified, helping him to get to where he is today.
“I was like, know what?” Moris said. “I want to go to a bigger school. I want to be able to play in games where I hop on that fucking NCAA and take my team [far] and be like, that’s me on there.”
Moris’ ethos, though well substantiated in the preceding anecdote, is likely even better evidenced in another, prior to the former. Overcoming homelessness to pursue higher education (he was aiming for a degree in Business Management and Marketing) is one thing. Doing so takes determination, self-reliance, and a seamless integration with one’s surroundings, while focusing on even better ones.
Those same qualities manifested early on during the inchoate stages of his rap career, however, which will soon result in the release of another single, “Being Humble”, from the forthcoming full-length project tentatively entitled Moris Better: Trapping Blues. This time, the tale involved a sibling and an artistic endeavoring in the emcee that has yet to be fully sated.
“When I was younger my older brother Crunch, he bought one of those boom boxes with the tape player,” Moris remembered. “He had one of those that had the microphone. This is back when you had to rewind over a beat, and you had to press play and record to record your voice and everything, with the microphone to it. He brought it home and he was like hey, rap. I was like, what? I don’t know how to do that. He was like just freestyle, whatever comes to your mind. I was like, okay. I liked it; it just stuck with me.”
The rapper would go on to issue his first recording (produced by The Composer 4000, AKA Delafonte) in high school, and spend the next several years—including his tenure in college—balancing the precious dichotomy of music and life. Today, of course, he’s come to realize “music is life,” Moris said, and has become the focal point of his existence, especially now since embracing parenthood and having his own youngsters to raise.
It seems the same gumption that enabled Moris to unceremoniously move out of his mother’s house as an adolescent (though it would surely lead to homelessness), also allowed him to embrace a career on the microphone, despite initially not knowing how to rap. It was also present when he opted to discontinue going to college and eventually take up the mic full time.
Unsurprisingly, such qualities have made the rhymer more than a tad bit philosophical, particularly about the upcoming release of “Being Humble”, which is scheduled to drop in time for summer.
“It’s going to be more so, kind of surreal,” he reflected about the track. “Love Confessions was more so kind of female oriented, relationship [focused] and things like that. But this is going to be based on some real things, a different side of me. Trapping Blues, you know? Life is a struggle. It’s a journey. So you can’t have the ups without the downs. If there were no downs then you couldn’t value the ups. So it’s a constant struggle. Shout out to my people, though. Shout out to  Assassin and shout out to D. Hewitt. Shout out to James. ”