• Bridney Casillas

Always In-Sync: A Conversation with Jus Cuz

Meet the Battle Rapper who Talks About His Love for Music

By Bridney Casillas

"My entire family has a musical background, so I grew up around crazy talent since day one," says Jus Cuz.

Justin Dozier, or known by his rap name, Jus Cuz, is a local artist from Southeastern Connecticut who will be participating in this year's Homesick iBattle series taking place in Connecticut on November 21st.

He will be headlining the event along with his opponent, Jack Casserole, and is excited to be a part of the huge platform for battle rappers. He will be one of three rappers representing New London, which he refers to be as being dope.

Battle rap is a type of rapping that includes two rappers who are opponents in a competition, bragging or insulting each other. Rap battles are freestyled spontaneously and are often performed in front of live crowds and judges.

Dozier has participated in twelve battles in the last four months. His favorite battle he participated in was the Surf Tournament, another showcase in Connecticut where he won first place.

He says it gave him a sense of accomplishment being around other big-name battle rappers.

Dozier says he always enjoyed battle rap and loved the feeling of getting butterflies before presenting himself in front of the crowd, saying that it fueled him to present a better performance.

"I actually started off as a battle rapper before I ever even made a song. Growing up, rapping was different," says Dozier, 30.

On top of being a battle rapper, Dozier is also a songwriter and musician who collaborated with his wife, Connecticut R&B singer Maya on a song, "More." Penned by Dozier, he asked Maya if she could help co-write the piece.

"It went from decent to amazing and that was all her. We actually have a few songs together that are unreleased but soon we will get them out there."

Growing up, he was inspired by rapper and hip hop icon, Jay-Z and looked up to East Coast veteran battle rapper, Mudra Mook, who is said to have inspired the majority of current battle rappers. As he got older, the battles he started to gravitate towards featured battle rappers, Tay Roc and Hitman Holla.

"If you said you rapped, you had to prove it anytime there was [sic] other rappers around."

He grew up around a musical family and grew up in a household where music was treasured. His father was a singer in a church choir and gospel group that toured the United States.

A short Q&A was conducted with Jus Cuz, in order to get to know the rapper, who explained what his greatest accomplishment is and which song of his is his favorite.

Bridney Casillas: Describe the best thing about being an artist.

Justin Dozier: I love being able to create music and watching it resonate with people. Knowing other people feel the same as me and watching it take them through their process is always dope.

BC: Musically, what is your greatest accomplishment?

JD: I think being on the song, "Power of the Dollar" with The Game was pretty big. Also, having one of my songs uploaded on LeBron James's website was dope too.

BC: What is your favorite song you have released and why?

JD: Man, I don't know my favorite song... It might be "Momma Said," and the passing of my mom is what inspired that.

BC: If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or living, who would it be and why?

JD: Jay-Z because who wouldn't want to make a song with they [sic] idol.

You can see and hear more from Jus Cuz on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

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