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J-Zone in Hamburg, Germany in 2001.
Background information
Jay Mumford
Born (1977-02-26) February 26, 1977 (age 41)[1]
Origin Queens, New York City
Genres Alternative hip hop
Rapper, producer, writer
Labels Old Maid Entertainment, Fat Beats, Redefinition Records
Prince Po, Cage, Celph Titled
Website www.govillaingo.com

Jay Mumford (born February 26, 1977[1]), better known by his stage name J-Zone,[2] is an American record producer, rapper, multi-instrumentalist and writer from New York City.[3][4]


Known for his quirky lyrics and trash talk style of rapping, J-Zone released a string of idiosyncratic and critically acclaimed albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s that acquired a cult following.[5][6] Of these, the 2001 release Pimps Don't Pay Taxes, was particularly noted; it featured rappers Huggy Bear and Al-Shid,[3] for whom he would subsequently produce a number of 12" releases.[7] In 2003, The New York Times cited his J-Zone, S.A. Smash concert in Brooklyn, New York as a noteworthy pop and jazz concert in the New York metropolitan region.[8]

Not finding commercial success, J-Zone eventually walked away from rap, and in 2011 published the book Root for the Villain: Rap, Bullshit and a Celebration of Failure.[3][6] The book has been well received; the Los Angeles Times Music Blog stated that "Like his albums, it's equal parts hilarious, self-effacing and sharp. He's the sarcastic older brother putting you up on game. It's a love letter to rap laced with sulfur, the flip side of Dan Charnas' similarly excellent The Big Payback."[2]The Washington Post Going Out Gurus blog called it "a must for every curmudgeonly grown-up hip-hop head",[6] while Nathan Rabin writing for The A.V. Club called it "one of the funniest and most honest books ever written about the modern music industry and its luckless casualties."[3]

In 2013, J-Zone returned to music with the release of the album, Peter Pan Syndrome,[9] which was listed as the 17th best album of 2013 by Spin.[10] After learning to play drums seriously during his hiatus from music, J-Zone released the drum break album, Lunch Breaks, in 2014.[11]



  • Music for Tu Madre (1998)
  • Pimps Don't Pay Taxes (2001)
  • $ick of Bein' Rich (2003)
  • A Job Ain't Nuthin but Work (2004)
  • Gimme Dat Beat Fool: The J-Zone Remix Project (2005)
  • Every Hog Has Its Day (2006) (with Celph Titled, as The Boss Hog Barbarians)
  • Experienced! (2006)
  • To Love a Hooker: The Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007)
  • The Analog Catalog: 2001-2007 (2007)
  • Live at the Liqua Sto (2008)
  • Peter Pan Syndrome (2013)
  • Lunch Breaks (2014)
  • Backyard Breaks (2015)
  • Fish N' Grits (2016)
  • J-Zone and Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites (2016) (with Pablo Martin, as The Du-Rites)
  • Greasy Listening (2017) (with Pablo Martin, as The Du-Rites)
  • Guerrilla Drums (2018)


  • A Bottle of Whup Ass (2000)
  • The Hogs Sing the Hits: Pig Parodies (2006) (with Celph Titled, as The Boss Hog Barbarians)
  • The 1993 Demos EP (2013)


  • "No Consequences" (2000)
  • "Zone for President" (2000)
  • "Q&A" (2002)
  • "5 Star Hooptie" (2003)
  • "Choir Practice" (2003)
  • "A Friendly Game of Basketball" (2004)
  • "Greater Later Remix" (2005)
  • "Steady Smobbin'" b/w "Celph Destruction" (2006) (with Celph Titled, as The Boss Hog Barbarians)
  • "The Drug Song (Remix)" b/w "The Fox Hunt" (2012)
  • "Zonestitution" (2013)
  • "Stick Up" b/w "Mad Rap" (2014)
  • "I Smell Smoke" b/w "Time for a Crime Wave" (2015)
  • "Seoul Power" b/w "I'm Sick of Rap" (2015)
  • "Funky" b/w "Go Back to Sellin' Weed" (2016)
  • "Bug Juice" b/w "Hustle" (2016) (with Pablo Martin, as The Du-Rites)
  • "Bite It" b/w "Bocho's Groove" (2017) (with Pablo Martin, as The Du-Rites)
  • "Gamma Ray Funk" b/w "Fish Sammich" (2018) (with Pablo Martin, as The Du-Rites)

Guest appearances



  • Root for the Villain: Rap, Bullshit, and a Celebration of Failure. Cambria Heights, NY, Old Maid Entertainment, 2011. ISBN 978-0-615-53227-1


  1. ^ a b "I turn 41 today but pops turns 70, so it's all about the OG today". Twitter. February 26, 2018. Retrieved 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Weiss, Jeff. "Rap & Books: Underground iconoclast J-Zone 'Roots for the Villain'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Rabin, Nathan. "J-Zone lost his popflock.com resource page--and his interest in being a rapper". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^ Breihan, Tom (October 21, 2016). "Stream The Du-Rites J-Zone & Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites". Stereogum. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ Rabin, Nathan (January 3, 2013). "J-Zone lost his popflock.com resource page--and his interest in being a rapper". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c Hahn, Fritz. "Nightlife Agenda: Holiday cocktails, rare beers and Nerd Nite". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ "J-Zone * New Music And Songs * MTV". MTV. 2012. Retrieved 2013. 
  8. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa. "Pop and Jazz Guide". The New York Times. p. E23. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ Soderberg, Brandon (September 11, 2013). "J-Zone's 'Peter Pan Syndrome': The Grumpy-Old-Man Rap You Need in Your Life". Spin. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ "J-Zone, Peter Pan Syndrome (Old Maid)". Spin. November 22, 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  11. ^ "J-Zone learns the drums and drops Lunch Breaks". Wax Poetics. November 10, 2014. Retrieved 2016. 

Further reading

External links

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Music Scenes