BY ASHA MAHADEVAN
BACKGROUND: Rapper Jus Daze, 31, was born in Brooklyn but raised in Queens. He has lived in the borough for the past 20 years and now lives in Ridgewood. He likes the diversity of the neighborhood and calls it “comfy.”
OCCUPATION: He is a hip-hop artist and a voiceover artist, doing voiceovers for documentaries. He works in Manhattan in a law firm.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Jus Daze volunteers with Forward Rise, an organization he says that is dedicated to showing how children with disabilities are active in the community and inculcating positivity in youth. He is currently helping to facilitate an event the organization is holding in the summer in Long Island. He is fundraising and using his connections in the music and entertainment industries to raise the profile of the event, which includes a wheelchair basketball competition. He will also perform and sell CDs, the proceeds of which will be fully donated to charity. Growing up severely bowlegged, Jus Daze learned that if you stay grounded and embrace the community, the community will embrace you. Before Forward Rise, he also put together a mix tape that he gave away in exchange for contributions toward Hurricane Sandy relief. He matched the amounts he got with his own money and gave it all to Red Cross. He also spreads the anti-bullying message to schoolchildren.
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “Winning rap battles in New York and in Canada, being on Jimmy Fallon in 2013, all that was great, but my greatest achievement is that when I started, I didn’t know what to do with the talent I’ve been given. I am moved when people tell me that they get through whatever they were going through by listening to my music. Helping people through my music because music helped me express all the pain I’ve been going through.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Sometimes, my biggest challenge is staying motivated in an industry [music] that is very underhanded and not letting the politics get in the way of my dreams.”
INSPIRATION: “The previous generations of hip-hop artists, pretty much everybody who listened to my music and gave me feedback, people who supported me, my family, my mom, my aunt, my wife, the children who tell me they did not bully back when they were being bullied. It’s inspiring.”