December 5, 2006 Be sure to check out J Xavier new album YOUNG PRINCE OF THE SOUTH in stores today. The album features Houston heavyweights Mike Jones and Lil KeKe. It also features funk legend George Clinton.
J Xavier will also be promoting his album all week with apperances on Good Morning America, which is scheduled to air before Christmas (Date TBA). FOX26 HOUSTON Morning Show performance on December 8th.
Occasionally, a kid comes along who wows us with an insanely mature grasp on music, and an almost shocking confidence and cool. J Xavier isn’t that kid. He sort of blows that kid out of the water.
At just 14, the Houston native’s become a prodigal son of hip hop and is poised to be the next under-20 superstar, having racked up a list of accomplishments that take most people an entire lifetime to accumulate.
J Xavier has performed live more than 350 times, he has developed his own TV show and has conducted more than 75 television interviews with everyone from Chris Brown and Juvenile to Nick Cannon and Kobe Bryant. J recorded a tribute to Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, scored a track on the recent Pink Panther Wal Mart sampler, collaborated with funk icon George Clinton and in 2004, at the age of 12, J Xavier won PAX-TV’s America’s Most Talented Kids Show contest.
Further proof of his rising star: At the recent BET awards, he sat in the front row, making an appearance on the red carpet, and he was recently tapped (for the second time!) by Chris Brown to open the chart-topping R&B star’s summer tour. What’s more, J Xavier has got mad love for the church! The son of a pastor, he preaches positivity, is anti-drugs and anti-violence and urges young adults to get out and vote! J Xavier has big plans to not only make himself stand out from his music industry peers, but also to become a voice for his generation. Advocating fans to stay focused, stay in school, listen to their parents and say no to sex, drugs and violence.
The latest in that slackjawing list of accomplishments is the completion of his debut album, Young Prince of tha South, being released by Noo Day Entertainment through Mathew Knowles’ Music World Music. Says J, “With this album, I want everybody to say, ‘This kid is hot, he’s clean and positive, he has the lyrics and he is truly the Young Prince of the South!’”
J Xavier comes from a family of musical children. One of five, his older brother plays trumpet and one of his sister’s wrote a song on Whitney Houston’s last album. His father, Samuel Harris Jr., founder and pastor of The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Houston, raised J Xavier in the church, which the young star calls “his foundation.” His father served time in prison and wrestled with drug addiction as a young man, and was determined to not only have a big, loving family, but to raise his kids right, and make up for lost time.
“I always wanted to have a family that would be the opposite of what I experienced as a kid, growing up in a broken home,” Harris says, noting that at his church, he helps the homeless, as well as those inflicted with HIV, and J Xavier has been a part of that. “He knows the value of helping people.”
The seeds of J Xavier’s career were planted at the age of seven when he delivered a powerful version of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” during a school talent show. “When he sang the song, I couldn’t stop crying. It really broke me down,” says his dad. At age nine, J Xavier caught the ear of a member of his father’s congregation while playing drums at church. He was invited to cut some demos, and while doing so, he not only fell in love with it, but garnered some serious recognition.
A local hit in Houston in 2003 and 2004, his track “I’m a Rider” earned him the Best Song of the Year in 2003 while his charismatic stage performance and talent earned him Best Stage Performer of the Year in 2004 and Rap Artist of the Year in 2005 at the Houston Holy Hip-Hop Awards. Lil J Xavier also received the Texas Gospel Excellence Award, which was followed by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston saluting not only his talent, but his positive outlook on life; in early 2004, she appointed J Xavier a National Black Caucus Youth spokesperson. (He’s also since become a spokesperson for the World Youth Foundation Anti-Tobacco Campaign and Youth AIDs / 8th Wonder of the World.)
Of his positive message, J says, “I’m raised that way, and I want to come in the game and have people say J Xavier is not just talking loud and saying nothing but he’s backing it up.”
On Feb. 18th, 2004, the mayor of Houston presented the newcomer with a proclamation marking the day J Xavier Day. As he’s racked up awards and recognition, his songs have run the gamut: He wrote a track encouraging people 18 and older to get out and vote—a track that was used as a vehicle to teach youth the voting process—and penned an anthem for Houston Rocket Yao Ming, “Yao Ming Wants the Dunk” (which Lil J translated himself into Mandarin Chinese, Ming’s native language).
He recorded a remix of “Yao Ming Wants the Dunk” with the legendary funk hero George Clinton, and he’s also honored fellow NBA stars Steve Francis and Tracey McGrady with their own theme music by J Xavier, as well as penning rhymes for the Houston Comets, the Houston Texans and the Houston Astros.
After winning America’s Most Talented Kids Show contest in August of 2004—at the age of 12—J Xavier started working with a Music World Music producer, and, by coincidence, found himself giving an impromptu performance at a party the company held in Houston a few years ago. “When J started performing, he caught everybody’s eye, and [CEO/founder] Mathew [Knowles] comes up to me and says, ‘I need to talk to you. This kid has talent,’” Sam recalls.
In 2005, Knowles signed the young rapper to a co- management deal. “When I first saw him,” says Knowles, “I saw a twinkle in his eye that I haven’t seen in any other performer besides Beyonce—J Xavier is a star.”
J Xavier made his debut on the Pink Panther CD sampler, a CD that was bundled with the movie’s DVD release at Wal-Mart stores. He was the only artist on the sampler not signed to Sony Records. He then popped up on the Bring It On: All or Nothing Wal Mart sampler. Wal Mart is such a strong supporter of Lil J Xavier’s that he is featured in their back to school commercial campaign.
He has since made the leap to the small screen. His upcoming television show, YGTV (Young Generation TV), features J Xavier interviewing some of his favorite celebrities and personalities. Everyone from actor Nick Cannon and actress Kimberly Elise to New Orleans rapper Juvenile have been enamored with the young star.
While cutting the tracks for Young Prince of tha South, J Xavier utilized aspiring Houston producers. The disc also features guest appearances by hometown heroes Mike Jones and Lil KeKe, a track featuring Houston rap history icon Hawk and a hot collaboration with the legendary George Clinton. The album’s first single, “I Love My Music” hits radio at the end of July.
“All of my music is clean and positive, but it’s still hittin’ on the level with artists like T.I. and Kanye West,” says J Xavier. “When I get onstage, the energy from the crowd is crazy and I have that energy, and together it’s like, ‘Wow! This is what I was born to do!’
“You can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do,” he says. “Go with what you feel is right for you and keep God first, because without him we’re nothing.”
While not even old enough to drive, J Xavier is already looking five years down the line in his career. By then, he wants to have a few films under his belt, in addition to musical and television accolades. “I just want to make a difference in the music industry,” he says. “I just want to stand out and be different.”