Keeping Music Alive
Jolo Reeves is a 27 year old Independent Hip-Hop artist from Metro Detroit, Mi.
Since 2016, he has performed all over the city of Detroit, from local bars and pubs to underground warehouse raves, and large EDM shows like the annual "Meltdown Festival". His career as a rapper started in 2015 when he was selected as a finalist for TeamBackPack's MULA Contest, where he would eventually battle the legendary Token. After his battle with Token, his notoriety took on a life of it's own, propelling Jolo into his first viral video for his "70 syllables in 6 seconds" which gained 700k views on facebook in it's first day.
Ever since then, Jolo has performed for thousands across the United States, focusing primarily on his home state of Michigan where he has built a support system for the local music scene, and provides local upcoming artists with the opportunities to perform and to be heard all over the world. Born Joseph Reeves, Jolo was raised in Madison Heights, Mi by his widowed single mother Lisa Reeves. He was the youngest of his 3 siblings, Amanda being the oldest, and Anthony second. His musical talent was shared by his siblings which fostered a relationship with various genres.
From an early age, Jolo was very short and was picked on by his peers. This was worsened in 2005 when he developed a severe case of Vitiligo which is a condition in which the pigment cells of the skin, are destroyed causing affected areas to turn pale, often seen as patches of white skin. Enduring the effects of this at a young age naturally caused a lack of self confidence for the then 4th grader. However, In 2005, he won a poetry contest and was published in a book of poems for his work. This moment was the catalyst that made the artist you know today.
Growing up in Madison Heights in the late 90's was more or less a poor environment for a child. Living in impoverished conditions, his mother began to abuse drugs to cope with the loss of her husband Tristan. Unable to bare the pressures of single motherhood, Lisa broke and turned to the streets of Detroit as an escape. Late night drug runs to Detroit in the backseat of his mom's car were some of his earliest memories. Lisa worked as a janitor for an historic church in downtown Detroit for several years, which is where he spend many days walking the halls. His oldest sibling, Amanda, would watch over him and his older brother Anthony while their mother was out for sometimes days at a time. Starvation was a feeling he knew all to well by the age of 8, as In school, Jolo and his brother were caught several times eating the scraps from the lunchroom garbage cans.
Naturally this raised awareness of their living conditions with fellow classmates, and word eventually reached the ears of the school staff. The teachers had also noticed the large black and blue bruises on him and his brother Anthony which launched a CPS investigation that proved to be unfruitful. Jolo and his siblings were beaten, abused, neglected, and malnourished for the first 10 years of his life. Eventually CPS were successful in rescuing Jolo and his siblings, and they were thrown shortly into Foster Care.
Thankfully Jolo's grandparents, Tony and Josephine Capizzi, agreed to take them in and foster them until their daughter Lisa could get clean. After 3 years of sobriety, and a list of requirements for living conditions and legal standards, their mother Lisa was finally given visitation rights back. With a renewed relationship with their mother, Jolo was able to see and learn that people are capable of rising above their challenges and hardships to become stronger. Eventually Lisa would regain custody of her children, but the resentment for the past was a hard feeling for Jolo to process. Turning to art, poetry and music was his only escape.
Growing up without a father had a profound effect on Jolo as he transitioned into manhood. As mentioned in several of his songs, it was very difficult to trust a father figure after the abuse he experienced at the hands of his mom's ex boyfriends. Jolo relied heavily on his older brother for advice and guidance, and in a way they taught one another how to be man. This is mentioned throughout his music and is still something that resonates with him today.
Writing silly poems eventually turned into writing funny rap songs with his friend Kevin, which to Jolo's surprise was not so different from his poetry. Upon hearing of this unrecognized talent of his, Jolo's brother Anthony came up with the idea to make a funny music video. The "Reckless Music Video" was an atrocious piece of work, that was shot on an old 360p webcam. The first of it's kind, was instantly disliked by Jolo, but Anthony insisted on filming another. Rinse and repeat, Jolo enjoyed writing music, but had not really poured his soul into any of his work. This would change in 2012 when he wrote his first story teller called "Go Back", which focused heavily on the pain of his childhood.
After years of writing songs just for fun and performing at talent shows with his friend J-Cloud, Jolo had begun crafting his sound and style around the artists that inspired him. Growing up in Metro Detroit naturally meant Eminem would be his biggest influence at the time. This however was the reason he was not chosen to be on the X-Factor show, as the judge said that "nobody wants another Eminem from a Detroit trailer park, we already have one". In 2014, his music was recognized by the local music scene, and he was offered to perform his first show at a hookah lounge. This moment changed everything for Jolo, as the stage called to him, spurring him onwards. After that, he perfected his flow, becoming the fast spitting rapper you saw at TeamBackPack's MULA 2015.
With the buzz following his battle with Token depleted, Jolo eventually fell into irrelevance. This deeply wounded him and his pride, leading to a severe depression that lasted several years. After a while, Jolo began to lose hope of ever making it as an artist, which only served to deepen his relationship with music. As the years flew by, Jolo focused more on his craft and recording music behind the scenes. Hoping to only release music with professional music videos, which never truly came, he was left with an enormous catalog of unreleased music consisting of over 40+ finished songs!
The Covid-19 epidemic of 2020 delayed his return, as he had plans to release his new music and perform cross country. However, in the typical Jolo fashion he continued to hone his craft and write new songs. Most his releases up to that point were his least favorite tracks, deemed not worthy enough to wait for a professional music video. The average time between finishing a song a releasing it was 3-4 years. So most songs that have been dropped between 2018-2021 were already years old. Having enough of this never ending cycle, Jolo is finally ready to throw his reserves to the wind and release his catalog to the masses.
He is currently putting together a new project that will be released in the spring of 2022 that focuses on his absence and mental health awareness. Although details have not been provided as of yet, rumors have been circulating that Jolo will be a huge contender this year as an artist on the rise. With his new skills, and knowledge in the music industry, the experts are keeping a close eye on him.
You can learn more about Jolo Reeves or his merchandise by visiting his site www.JoloReeves.com