Juggling boastful gun raps with mature, introspective lyrics, Durham, NC, rapper Jozeemo, aka Joe Murda, traveled from place to place, because his family tried, unsuccessfully, to deter him from living the dangerous street life. Born Joseph Murdock III in Texas, Jozeemo relocated to southside Chicago, but then was moved to North Carolina. In Durham, NC, he found a clique of friends that shared his affinity for making hip-hop music and formed a local crew named Living on Barnes. Gaining a local following became fairly easy for Jozeemo as he kept on defeating several opponents in various freestyle battles and contests held on local radio or in clubs. Raleigh, NC-based 21st Records was the first to come looking for the rapper, but an encounter with North Carolina underground rap darlings Little Brother and Hall of Justus CEO Mischa "Big Dho" Burgess at an MC contest in 2003 would prove to be helpful in the following years. Teamed with 21st, he put out several gangsta rap street releases, namely his Blockhuggerz mixtapes, and issued his debut album, Greazy, in 2004. However, that summer he was arrested for firearm possession, which violated the terms of his probation and sent him off to federal prison in West Virginia for almost two years. Upon his release in 2006, Big Dho signed the hardcore MC to the Hall of Justus imprint. Joining the alt-rap roster of the Little Brother-affiliated crew prompted a few question marks in people's minds, but Jozeemo eventually felt at ease recording with Justus League producers 9th Wonder and Khrysis for his HOJ debut, Cry Now L.A.F. Later (2007). ~ Cyril Cordor

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