A Talk with Justice Samari
A self-described “serial creator,” Justice Samari is a rapper, father, cook, fashion designer, and overall creative. He released his latest single ‘It’s Me’ this past June, an introspective song reflecting the down-to-earth nature and authenticity of all the rapper’s work.
Before getting into the music, Samari touched on his style as an artist. “I’m rarely aiming to make something of the times or trying to keep up with what the average consumer thinks is hot. I’m speaking to the listener, the artist, the hustler, the businessman, the creative, who’s constantly working on themselves and being true to their process. These are progressive raps. That’s my lane.”
Hip hop has almost always been a part of the rapper’s life. “I wrote my first rap at the foot of my father’s bed, when I was eight or nine years old. But I’ve been surrounded by talented rappers and writers my entire life. My journey started in 8th Grade – my older cousin had me have a conversation with Steez (Capital Steez) about my approach to writing a verse or a song. Steelo put me in contact with Trev from Lost Studios to start recording.”
Samari went on to discuss his latest single, ‘It’s Me’. While the song isn’t confirmed for any album, he said that “I’m always working, so a project could come at any moment. I suggest everyone just stay tuned … I just wanna continue to grow and work with people on the same time as me.”
He described his creative motivations behind the track as “self-reflection, intention, and execution. The first thing I wrote was the hook. The first verse came about a day later and I wrote a second verse after a long walk late at night; it was a bit more introspective and less reflective of my life at that point, so I scrapped it. A few months later, I took three bars from a song that never got finished, and I freestyled the rest of it right in the booth at Get’Em Studios.”
The new run of singles come after Samari's 2020 EP, In Us We Trust. The EP arrived after a years long hiatus following 2016's Free Lunch. Regarding his time away, Samari said:
“The hiatus came because I just had more living to do. I was 18 or 19, caught between working dead-end jobs and doing my own thing. I needed to experience a life outside of the one given to me, if that makes sense. But there was another project in 2017-2018 called GAWD JUICE Vol. 1. I recorded with my homies – we never dropped it on platforms, just made some CDs and sold them for like $5 a pop.
“But in 2020, I realised my purpose. I fully embraced the man that I had become, and I trusted myself to lead who was following me.”
The MC also recently released ‘Shots’, another single in collaboration with R&B singer Nanii Acosta. Samari touched on how the collab came to be. He said: “We met at a Taste of Sounds event, and I heard her tone and liked the way she wrote her hooks. I knew, immediately, I wanted to work with her. When I started writing ‘Shots’, she was the first person that came to mind for a feature. Nanii’s work ethic is undeniable. She’s dedicated to the goal and gets it done. Mad love for my Virgo sistren.”
Aside from ‘It’s Me’ and ‘Shots’, Samari has kept busy with plenty of other creative ventures. “Currently, I’m working with a few dope producers. Shoutout to Lotto and Dizz of Get’Em Studios. And Mo Stank, better known as Mostafa Zaghloul. We just dropped a single called ‘BAD BAD BAD’, available on all streaming platforms! I’m also working on many more designs for my brand, SWM TEAM, or ‘S.W.M.’ for short. I will drop the pieces via my Instagram until I get the site up and running. But follow @swmteambrand on Instagram too!”
Looking to future collaborations, Samari said “I want a hook from 50 Cent one day. That’s my favourite rapper of all time. Maybe do a song with Syd from The Internet, Dej Loaf, Kodak, and Vince Staples. I love what all of them do.”
Aside from music, Justice Samari has become the face of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Crack, a cooking show available via YouTube and Instagram. Samari gave some insight into the show’s creation. He said:
“I love cooking. Sometimes I lack the time to dedicate myself to do it. The show started when I was on a vegan diet, but since I’ve transitioned with my eating, I will continue to have fun with it and do different things. But expect a lot of new and old recipes, some fire restaurants, some great guests, and great eats for sure … Most of the men in my family can do it up in the kitchen, so it’s second nature.”
The show is available on the YouTube channel, A Ridiculous Network, and on the Instagram account, @cantbelieveitsnotcrack. With new food content, music, videos, projects, and plenty of collabs on the way, the future is looking exciting for Justice Samari.
Find Justice Samari here: