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Akon’s Rap Artist, Money Jay, Enjoys Life Beyond Hustlin’ on the Streets

Money Jay

It’s seems unlikely that a Southern-bred rapper would pay homage to the West Coast dynasty that ruled rap during the early ’90’s. But that’s exactly what Money Jay, né Tysen Bolden, has done with his latest hit single that’s banging speakers throughout clubs in the South, the Midwest and, next up, the West Coast.

“We’ve been working the new single ‘Death Row,’ ” offers the Decatur, Ga., native. “It’s a salute to the California movement. I came up with the single after watching an old Tupac video for the single, ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’ I smoked a blunt, and it came together.”

Jay has been putting in work with super producer Akon whom he met while hustlin’ his CD on a common thoroughfare in Decatur. “I am signed to Kon Live and have been with the label for about four years. I was always in the streets because music wasn’t paying the bills,” he explains. “Then I had a few partnas [sic] who were getting locked up. That’s when it hit me that I had to get serious about the music.”

Serious is exactly what Money Jay has been. He’s currently hitting clubs throughout the Southeast, including South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida, and blowing up on popular websites. “We are going to a lot of clubs in Atlanta. We are taking this gutter music nationwide. I have been on World Star every week and post two to three videos on YouTube regularly. Music has changed, especially rap. Instead of one single, fans want a quantity of music … You keep feeding the people, they keep eating, and they’re happy,” he explains.

Jay, who writes all of his music, says it’s reassuring to have a talented mentor like Akon to add his expertise. “He’s amazing and talented. Akon will come in to the studio and add something here and there, and the beat will sound so much better,” says the young man who once idolized street-level drug dealers.

Jay plans to drop his next single, “Whoa!,” in the next few weeks, and his album, Gas Chamber, at the top of 2012. “We are taking this tour out to California [and are] planning to throw a few parties during the BET Awards. Then, we’re off to the U.K.,” he finishes. –yvette caslin

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