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Born in Watts, CA, hardcore rapper Jay Rock was raised in the city's Nickerson Gardens Projects. With most neighborhood teens joining a gang, it was a no-win situation for Rock since hanging with any of his childhood friends meant he has engaging in "anti-social behavior" according to the law. Two such incidents found Rock violating the area's gang injunction and landing in jail. These hard times influenced the rapper's lyrics and soon appearances on local mixtapes found him rapping in a hard style reminiscent of local hero the Game. With the help of Top Dawg Entertainment, he shopped his demos and mixtapes, eventually landing a deal with Warner Bros. The major label released his single "All My Life" with guest star Lil Wayne in 2008, and then partnered him with the Game for the West Coast anthem "Follow Me Home"." A year later, the latter cut would become the title track to his debut album.
Johnny Reed McKinzie, Jr. (born March 31, 1986), better known by his stage name Jay Rock, is an American rapper. Rock is a member of hip hop supergroup Black Hippy along with fellow West Coast rappers and label mates Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. In 2010 Rock signed to Strange Music and released his debut studio album Follow Me Home on July 26, 2011.
1986-2007: Early life and career beginnings 
Jay Rock was born and raised in Watts, Los Angeles, California in the Nickerson Gardens Projects. He's a member of the Bounty Hunter Bloods gang. He released several mixtapes in his neighborhood and the internet which led to his signing to Warner Bros. Records and Top Dawg Entertainment. Jay attended Locke High School.
2008–2011: Follow Me Home and move to Strange Music 
Rock released his debut single, "All My Life" in late 2008, which featured artists Lil Wayne and will.i.am and was one of iTunes's Free Downloads in early 2009. He was featured on the cover of XXL's annual Top 10 Freshmen issue. He was also named one of MTV's 2010 breakthrough MC's. Jay Rock was featured on Omarion's single "Hoodie" and was supposed to be featured on Flo Rida's third studio album Only One Flo but was left off the final tracklisting. His mixtape "From the Hood to the Cover of XXL" was released to iTunes on July 24, 2010 and his mixtape Tales From the Hood 2 went to iTunes on March 28, 2010. He toured with 50 Cent, Game and other various artists on The Invitation Tour. Jay Rock signed with indie record label Strange Music in the Fall of 2010 on a multi-album deal after leaving from Warner Bros. Jay Rock then went on tour with Tech N9ne, E-40, Glasses Malone, Kutt Calhoun and Kendrick Lamar on the "Independent Grind National Tour". His mixtape Black Friday was released December 7, 2010 to iTunes. His debut album Follow Me Home was released on July 26, 2011 under Strange Music.
In March 2012, MTV announced that Top Dawg Entertainment, the independent record label Jay Rock is signed to, closed a joint venture deal with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment. Under the new deal, Black Hippy cohort, Kendrick Lamar's debut studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city was jointly released via Top Dawg/Interscope/Aftermath while releases from the group Black Hippy will be distributed via Top Dawg/Interscope. He featured on the track "Money Trees" on Good kid, m.A.A.d city. During 2012 Rock toured with the rest of Black Hippy (except Schoolboy Q) and Stalley on the BET Music Matters Tour during 2012.