VSU Senior Joycelynn Okezie goes by the stage name JXXIII (J23). What started out as poetry, developed into rap. She’s been rapping for 7 years now. She wants to spread the message that we should all be ourselves, pursue happiness, find our passion, follow our hearts and live life to the fullest.
JXXIII doesn’t like to generalize her music. “I usually don’t label my music simply because I don’t like being marginalized or placed in a box. I see it as it’s whatever the listener interprets it to be for themselves. If I had to though I would say my style is Progressive/Alternative Hip-hop.” She also works for a management company out of Atlanta called ThirtyFour Talent Agency that professionally signs and develops upcoming artists. JXXIII has aspirations of one day developing and immersing herself in the rapidly growing indie artist market and culture.
She is particulary inspired by “rags to riches” stories of other artists during their breakthrough stages. “For instance, J. Cole left his small hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina shortly after he graduated high school and moved to New York City to attend college in a city where he knew no one, all to truly pursue a career in music. He had trouble paying rent, was in over his head in debt, his mom lost their home while he was away in college and he couldn’t do anything about it, his grandma died but he still persevered through. He graduated college at the top of his class and still landed a record deal with Jay-Z of all people. That’s what inspires me.” JXXIII believes this shows that anything is possible when one has determination, along with faith in their visions and dreams.
JXXIII has been working on her third and final free project titled Street Poetry Vol. 2 since October 2014. Street Poetry Vol. 2 is a continuation of Street Poetry: 0612 which she released in 2013. JXXIII has also been doing extensive work with Deep Release Poetry Society on campus, where she often performs at their open mic nights. She was also a featured artist in their annual showcase Diskreshion last November. “Shout out to Deep Release President Maya Newsome and follow @deeprelease_vsu on Twitter and Instagram. They have a lot of cool things planned for the rest of the semester.”
She appreciates the support she has gotten from fellow VSU students. “The feedback and reaction to my releases/performances have been very touching and motivational. I’ve met a plethora of great people and artists here.” The positivity she has received has helped in motivating and encouraging her artistry.
Make sure to be on the lookout for Street Poetry Vol. 2 coming this Spring!