Being a boss like Birdman, Rick Ross or Jay-Z isn’t something that can be taught. There are no college courses to clarify the criteria for boss status. Bosses are born. It’s a certain quality within an individual that makes them climb up through the ranks to top dog status.
Much like the musical commanders in chief that came before him, such is the case for Gulf Coast rapper/ Jefe Music Group CEO Jay Jefe. Among many other attributes, his namesake (jefe meaning “boss” in Spanish) says so. His powerful position has awarded him features with Tito Lopez on debut EP Humble hosted by BWA Ron as well as 2 Pistols and Tory Lanez on runaway single “Bhad.” And Jay Jefe takes listeners on a riveting ride on his newest single “Rollercoaster.”
“My music is honest,” Jay Jefe explains. “My main goal is to make some music people can relate to. When people hear my music, they tell me how they can listen to it when they’re in different situations that life throws at them. Everything in my songs is relatable.”
The foundation for this relatable music can be found in the thriving Mississippi Gulf Coast city of Gulfport. Born Jereme Edwards to a loving, two-parent household, young Jereme came up the third of four children. Beating on his mother’s pots and pans as soon as he could walk, the little one always had music in his heart. By the time he had reached third grade, he was writing his own songs.
“I was always fascinated with how songs were created,” he thinks back. “My goal at the end of each year was to have a complete folder full of songs. I challenged myself every year.”
During his middle school years, Jay started recording his own music on the household computer. The desktop came with a microphone, and after downloading a voice recording program, he was in business. He never really put any of his music out or performed in front of crowds, however, because, “I was very shy,” he admits.
All of that shyness left when he started playing sports. “When I got used to the crowds with basketball,” he recalls, “it sparked from there.”
He wouldn’t get a chance to visit a real studio until after high school. His cousin was dating a guy from Memphis was also an aspiring artist, so Jay traveled to Tennessee to book some studio time and record his first song in a professional studio.
“I listened to that song maybe 100 times on the way home from Memphis,” says Jay.
Now officially bitten by the music bug, he began recording at various studios around town. Unfortunately, he had to put his music on the backburner after he got caught on the wrong side of the law with some marijuana plants and a half a pound of weed. So for the next four years, he was on drug court probation.
“It was the worst thing in the world,” he explains. “It’s very demanding. They knew I had a little bit more on my side and in my favor so they targeted me.”
Probation demanded that he check in several times a week, give urine samples and hold down a fulltime job. But with Jay not being the type to work for anybody, he started his own company J&M Contracting. He hired his own crew and landed jobs to work on hotels, businesses and private homes. One of his crew members, a Hispanic man, referred to Jay as “jefe,” and the title stuck.
“I got off with a clean record, and through the probation, I built a couple of businesses and established my own self-employment,” he expounds.
Further asserting his boss status, Jay Jefe took over his grandfather’s 40-year-old car dealership E&R Auto Sales.
“I always worked with cars growing up,” says Jay. “I took auto mechanics in high school, so I would buy cars, fix them up and sell them.”
As impressive as that just may be, that’s not all that this successful entrepreneur adds to his credit. As CEO of his own label Jefe Music Group, Jay Jefe released his effervescent debut EP Humble hosted by BWA Ron earlier this year and celebrating the success of his latest single “Rollercoaster.” His forthcoming EP 2 Humble is due by the end of the year and new mixtape coming spring 2019.
With a career guided by his own direction, a style that cannot be contained to any one sound and work ethic that cannot be denied, Jay Jefe is soon to be boss of all bosses in the music world.
“I’m just freelance. I work with a lot of stuff. I like to be versatile,” he says. “I work with a little hip hop, a little R&B and even a little pop. I don’t limit myself.”