CJ unveils his debut EP ‘Loyalty Over Royalty’, which is out now via CJ Music Group / Warner Records.
The opener ‘Politics’ practically explodes on impact as CJ’s raw energy burns through the track with breathless bars and a menacing melody. He also shared the high energy music video for the single, which feels like a championship celebration.
The 24-year-old artist maximizes his momentum over each of the eight red hot tracks on ‘Loyalty Over Royalty’. Flutes flutter above 808s as CJ carries a catchy chorus on ‘I’m Lit’, while featured artist French Montana rolls through with a classic cameo. Then, there’s ‘Goin’ Up’, in which CJ powers another drill beat with a staccato delivery and a punchy refrain. French notably served as the EP’s Executive Producer, guiding the “young czar” every step of the way. Of course, the EP also boasts the banger that started it all, ‘Whoopty’, which has spent a total of five weeks in the UK Top 10 and has been certified Gold in the States. ‘Loyalty Over Royalty’ ignites what promises to be an unforgettable 2021 for CJ.
To celebrate the EP’s arrival, CJ delivered a live powerhouse performance on YouTube last night with surprise guest French Montana. CJ, alongside DJ Enuff rocked through a showstopping five-song set which has been seen here. CJ started 2021 by jumping on Busta Rhymes’ infectious ‘Czar’ remix, and releasing the single ‘Bop’, which has already racked up millions of streams and video views
In the summer of 2020, CJ’s infectious and booming ‘Whoopty’ rose from Staten Island obscurity to global attention in weeks, and with good reason. Rapped in CJ’s lean, percussive style, the track is undeniably great and wildly catchy, as threatening as it is stylish, gritty but full of promise – all qualities embodied by the MC himself, who has since grown a huge international following and been named Billboard’s #1 Emerging Artist.
The fact that CJ, who is 100% Puerto Rican and was raised by a single mother, hails from a borough that hasn’t produced a major rap act since the Wu makes his rise an even greater testament to his skill and charisma. CJ wrote his first bars at 7 and started recording as a teen, digging up beats online, crossing the city to hit different studios, and rapping about the anxieties that haunted him as an ambitious youth (see ‘On Me’). In 2018, his remix of Gunna’s ‘Toast Up’ earned him more attention, but CJ really came into his own during 2020. With studios shut down and drill blaring from nearby windows, he put pen to paper, writing song after song.
After all that honing and nurturing by industry vet and manager, James Cruz, ‘Whoopty’ emerged equal parts delirious, fun and street, thick with New York slang and sprinkled with Spanish. ‘Whoopty’ racked up over 183 million views on YouTube and 2 million video creations on TikTok, where it also sparked two dance challenges. CJ’s hustle earned him a deal with Warner Records, too, and now with a slate of singles on deck, he plans to show just how versatile he is while proudly putting Staten back on the map.
‘Loyalty Over Royalty’ EP tracklist:
- ‘I’m Lit’ (featuring French Montana)
- ‘Goin’ Up’
- ‘Real One’
- ‘Outro (Blessings)’