About J. Stalin
Veteran Oakland rapper J. Stalin has been holding it down for the Bay Area with streetwise tales since debuting in the early ’00s.
• J. Stalin grew up in West Oakland’s Cypress Village housing project. As a teen he followed in his mother’s footsteps and started selling drugs. He didn’t stop until 2009, years into his rap career.
• He was a protégé of producer DJ Daryl, the man behind 2Pac’s 1993 smash “Keep Ya Head Up.” Daryl introduced Stalin to Richie Rich, who introduced J. as a guest on 2002’s Nixon Pryor Roundtree.
• The rapper chose the name “Stalin” as a deliberate nod to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. “He was short like me,” J. Stalin says, “but he was always smashin’ on everybody.”
• J. Stalin released his 2006 debut, On Behalf of the Streets, on late rapper Mac Dre’s Thizz Entertainment imprint.
• Although he’s never been a mainstream star, J. Stalin has released more than 20 albums and mixtapes, and many of his songs have streamed in the millions.