over 6 years in the game you may think you know
about JD ERA already, but guess again. Sure ERA has
been a staple artist in Toronto, receiving multiple
acclamations and notable plays on radio. He has
collaborated with some of today’s most popular
artists and producers. But this year, ERA is finally
taking his well deserved spot within the
entertainment landscape. With a music style that is
true to his renowned, raw and energetic talent, JD
ERA has the attention of key players and Legends in
the game. Backed by an experienced, business and
digitally savvy team, ERA is gearing up to embark on
a revolutionary new approach to music. Not only will
he be releasing his greatest, most commercially
viable music ever, he’ll be doing it through
innovative methods which have already helped him
expand his fan base well beyond the border and
overseas. With over a millions views on YouTube,
Blogs, and overall steady online following this
Toronto Artist is truly living up to the fact that
he is one of Canada’s best lyricists and ghost
writers. Applauded by his peers and other industry
professionals for his freestyle flow, JD possess an
unrelenting demeanor and competitive attitude that
will most definitely continue to serve him well.
being named Champion at the Marc Ecko Freestyle
Competition, Era has performed alongside artists like
Nas, Gza, Kardinal Offishall, Tyga, Drake, Method Man,
Red Man, Raekwon, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Gucci Mane,
The Clipse, Mac Miller, Terminology, Currensy and
Freddie Gibbs to name a few. It became apparent that
he was garnering even more recognition when he was
nominated for two DJ Stylus Awards and took home the
hardware for Best Rap at the Toronto Independent Music
Awards. His freestyle prowess was highlighted once
again when he was crowned the winner of the TAG
Records’ Survival of The Freshest competition,
solidifying his freestyle champion designation. In
addition, his late summer street release, “Coming to
America,” was nominated as Best Mixtape for Flow
93.5’s Real Frequency Award. With 5 solid mix tapes
albums under his belt, ERA latest mixtape release
entitled “Th1rt3en” and is now available on iTunes.
For the 2011 and 2012 NBA seasons JD ERA’s talent
and likability secured him the theme song spot on The
Score network’s “Court Surfing” NBA program broadcast
across Canada, while videos releases for “You Know
This”, “Fame & Fortune” off the Th1rte3n mixtape
charted on Much Music and other notable music
Looking into the future is
exciting; with a world of opportunity he is sure to
make it to the top. To get even closer to his dream
July 1st 2011 all of the attention finally paid off
when Era caught the interest of a certain Killer Bee,
Raekwon “The Chef” who launched his label ICE H20
Canada presence in Toronto. Despite rumors of where he
would sign, Era announced that he would be joining
Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan to build his Ice H2O Records
imprint. Once again, things began to take off for Era.
Traveling and performing with a hip-hop legend doesn’t
happen every day but Era was fortunate enough to do
just that. After multiple appearances together, Era
also put in some work on Raekwon’s latest project
“Unexpected Victory” with 5 features and 2 lead videos
for tracks “Just A Toast” & “Soldier Story”.
“Unexpected Victory” has gained Era a tour with
Raekwon. They’ve completed a 13 date Canadian tour
across Canada and are now currently wrapping up a 40
date U.S Tour. All of this is leading up to Era’s next
release “No Handouts” which is expected to be released
April 16th 2012, aptly referred to as 416. Appearances
on this project will include the likes of Grammy Award
Winning producer 9th Wonder, BET Producer of the year
Lex Luger. Judging from the string of singles that
have been released, ERA fans have proclaimed the
highly anticipated “No Hand Outs” project to be a XXL
freshmen classic. Wu-Internationa catches up with
possibly the first artists in Canada to be officially
down with the Wu to find out how it all started and
where it is going, Enjoy!
I like to say thanks first and foremost for
taking the time to answer these questions, highly
appreciated, and will also point out that nothing will be
altered, edited or changed when this is published online.
Wu-International: how are you JD?
Peace! I'm blessed. Things have been moving in the right
Wu-International: You recently got signed to Iceh20
Inc records, how did this come about?
I met Raekwon about a year ago at a show. He had heard my
name going around the city and wanted to meet me. I played
him my album at the time and the rest was history.
Wu-International: Was there any other specific
reasons that made Raekwon sign you?
Chef tells me he loves my versatility. I'm just trying to
beast on every beat and show the world we mean business.
Wu-International: Some might say Drake craze
and his popularity has helped as the businesses are now
taking Canadian artists more seriously now, what are your
thoughts on this?
It's definitely helped bring attention
to the country and artist North of the border. I feel like
regardless of where people are from the talents always going
to stand out.
Wu-International: After you got signed a lot of fans
wondered who you were. Can you tell a little bit about your
background, whereabouts, etc… ?
I'm a Toronto
emcee. I started out in the battle scene and just slowly
built my buzz across the country pushing my mixtapes and
Wu-International: Why are you called JD Era?
JD is my initials and Era is a timeline. Just my way of
saying its my time.
Wu-International: Any other names you go by you like
to share with us please?
Era Era. Say my name twice if u mean it.
Wu-International: How did you get into MC’ing?
I started out freestyling and battling locally. Then
a homey of mine Bad Nuze brought me to his studio
and I never looked back.
Wu-International: You were known for your freestyling
when you took your first steps in the rap game. Do you still
freestyle and what does it take to be a good freestyler in
I still freestyle. Not as much as back in the day but I'll
still ruin a rappers career tho. To me the best freestylers
are just quick witted. You gotta see 3 or 4 bars ahead.
Wu-International: When did you know MC’ing would be
more to you than just a hobby or good fun?
JD Era: I
always knew in the back of my mind that I would do this. Rap
was taking up too much time and money for me to not take it
seriously. I just always wanted to get better and loved the
Wu-International: You recorded your first singles in
2005: “Ride Clean” and “Take me home”, the second one
apparently did very well on urban radio stations. How do you
look back on those first efforts?
Your diggin in the archives! Those were my first songs to
get played on the radio. They helped me understand how radio
works. Those were mixtape songs getting played on commercial
radio. Looking back it was another stepping stone.
Wu-International: Next step were mixtapes, your
Facebook page mentions you have 4 mixtapes out there. Can
you let the (new) fans know which mixtapes you have under
your belt and where they can find them?
Black Market vol.1 and 2. Cold war with superstar Jay.
Coming to America. Th1rt3en. You can download them at
Wu-International: There was also talk
of a JD Era album getting released in 2010. Did that ever
materialize? If so can you give us the title?
But a lot of those songs came out over time.
Wu-International: According to the aforementioned
Facebook page u had worked with GZA and Nas amongst others?
Can you tell us some more about these collaborations?
JD Era: Naw
I opened for them. I'm definitely looking forward to working
with legends like that tho. It's like working with Raekwon.
Wu-International: Judging from your many Youtube
videos your style was very urban and radio minded. Will the
music you work on for Ice H2O be different from those
Yea I think you get a better idea listening to my mixtapes.
I can do the commercial joints, but the music is really
about the bars. I'm in the best school possible as far as
being an emcee. So I gotta show and prove.
Wu-International: The first results were already to
be heard on Raekwon’s “Unexpected victory” free album where
you had 4 features, would you please like to run them down
one by one and tell us something about the recordings?
Just a Toast- Mark Henry sent that. We were drinking
Courvoiser exclusive. Luxury Rap- Fred Da Godson got his
verse done in the 9th inning. Goodfellas
Wu-International: Which track showcases your skills
to the new fans best in your opinion and why that one?
It's hard for me to choose one record. I just want fans new
and old to really take in this No Handouts project..
Wu-International: A new mixtape “No handouts” is
announced to be dropping soon, can you tell us some more
about this tape?
I'm really proud of the music on No Handouts. It's all
original material. I can't tell you too much about it cause
I want all the features and production to be a surprise. But
I won't disappoint.
Wu-International: Apart from this mixtape, have
you already started on a solo album? If so can you tell us
something about the producers and features involved?
I started working on the album but I'm being patient right
now. I still want my music to reach a lot more people before
we drop the first LP.
Wu-International: When is this first album on Ice H2O
we're gonna play it by the temperature. That's one
of the benefits of being independent.
Does this project already have a title?
Wu-International: You started with
radio minded music and now signed to Raekwon’s label. What
part of the hip hop audience are you and Rae aiming at with
this album for Ice H2O?
Yeah, I have
records that can be played on the radio but it's never been
my focus. Especially connecting with Raekwon. He's not a guy
that typically gets played on commercial radio. I'm focused
on rap fans and people that appreciate the lyrics.
Just now you and Raekwon are
hitting the road with a Canadian tour. Is this the first
time you embark on a tour of this size and what do you
expect from it?
Yea were actually mid tour right
now. It's my first time. It's been a good experience. I'm
just learning as we go along.
Wu-International: How have the
shows been so far? How has the audience reacted to your
Shows have been dope! I'm a high energy guy on stage and the
fans have been going harder than me. So it's been sick.
Wu-International: Any plans of
joining Rae on tours outside Canada as well?
Yea Im going to be
with him for the u.s. leg of the tour as well. So look out
for that Unexpected Victory Tour in your city!
Now that you have been working with the
Chef in the studio and you are on the road and on stage with
him … what have you already learned from this rap legend?
The real gems I'm learning I can't
really put into words, but his work ethic is crazy. He's 20
years deep for a reason. Wu is 20 years deep for a reason.
Wu-International: So in all
honesty, what is like working with Rae?
JD Era: Its
refreshing for me. He's one of the wittiest people I've met.
So when we're in the studio there's a lot of creative energy
going around. He forces me to stay on my A game with my
rhymes too. You already know how sick Rae is with the word
Wu-International: Wu-Tang Clan is
a dynasty, how does it feel to be associated of some sort
with Rae who is a part of this movement?
It feels good. Its almost like a full circle being that
these are the guys that I grew up on.
Wu-International: You are probably
the first Canadian with any ties to the Wu-Tang Clan, some
fans will already view you as a killa bee, and others an
affiliate, how do you see yourself in this light?
I don't really think about it. To me I'm JD Era representing
Raekwon and his Ice H20 imprint. Love from the Wu fans is a
bonus. But I know I have my own groundwork to do.
Wu-International: Have you had the
chance to meet other members of the Wu-Tang Clan and if so
Yea I got to meet Ghost, and Meth when they came to Toronto.
Looking forward to meeting the rest of Rae's brothers.
Apart from Rae who else can the fans see you working with,
be it a general from the Clan or a killa bee?
By album time I'm sure I'll get
something together. I'm all about the element of surprise.
Wu-International: You have
been using the internet a lot it seems to promote yourself:
there’s the many Youtube videos, you used to run a blog in
08-09, there’s Twitter and Facebook off course, now you
havewww.nohandouts.net/ to post your recent endeavours. For
young artists internet is a given. How did it benefit your
It's just a way to reach fans in places that I may never
have been before. The Internet is a bit of a gift and a
curse because fans don't absorb music the same way anymore.
It's here today gone tomorrow. But it's helped me connect to
people on a more personal level.
else you would like to share with the fans that have not
been covered already ? Shout outs ?
Shout out my Ice
H20 family on both sides of the border. My Black Market
brothers. NoHandouts.net No Handouts is gonna be epic.
Keep up to date with
JD ERA at
JD Era Website
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