Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
Rjd2's music is a collage of cut-and-paste hip-hop that combines disparate elements to make for soulful, moody portraits of the world. Born Ramble John Krohn in Eugene, OR, on May 27, 1976, he moved to Columbus, OH, a few years later and was raised there. He first busted out onto the hip-hop scene in 1998 -- a time when producers were emerging from the shadows to seize the spotlight -- as the DJ/producer for the Columbus-based group Megahertz. MHz had two 12" singles released on Bobbito Garcia's Fondle 'Em Records and the group was mentioned in Vibe Magazine's History of Hip Hop.
In 2000, Rjd2 produced Copywrite's debut single, "Holier Than Thou," on Rawkus Records. In the spring of 2001, he made his first formal appearance as a solo artist on the Def Jux Presents... compilation, proving he could hold his own alongside such luminaries as Company Flow, El-P, Cannibal Ox, and Aesop Rock. Rjd2's debut album, Dead Ringer, followed on Def Jux in 2002. One of the best underground hip-hop releases of the year, it melded dirty samples and a classic approach to song structure for an end result that gave DJ Shadow, DJ Spooky, and Moby a run for their money. Aside from his top-billed recordings, he also provided productions for Cage's Hell's Winter and Aceyalone's Magnificent City (the latter also spawned an instrumentals album, Magnificent City Instrumentals).
Rjd2 returned in 2004 with Since We Last Spoke, which blended hip-hop with elements of pop. He then moved to XL to fully indulge his passion for pop, releasing The Third Hand in early 2007. In early 2010, he dropped The Colossus. It was the first album to be released on his own label, RJs Electrical Connections. Months later, he released Inversions of the Colossus, containing instrumental versions of The Colossus' vocal tracks and several additional cuts.
RJD2 (born Ramble John "RJ" Krohn on May 27, 1976) is an American music producer and musician. RJD2 was born in Eugene, Oregon and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was signed to the Definitive Jux label where he released two largely instrumental hip hop albums and has produced tracks for many prominent rappers. However, he has now left Def Jux and has signed with XL Recordings. His 2007 album, The Third Hand, is a striking departure from his usual style and features RJD2 singing and playing instruments on nearly every track.
In 2009, RJD2 established his own label, RJ’s Electrical Connections and reissued three early records as well as a box set. Rjd2’s new full length The Colossus was released on January 19, 2010 on his new label, which is distributed by The Orchard.
RJD2's work has been used heavily in media and advertisement, particularly the singles "The Horror" and "Ghostwriter". Since 2007, Rjd2's "A Beautiful Mine" has been the opening theme for AMC's Mad Men.
Ramble originally began his career in Columbus, Ohio, DJing in 1993 with a pair of turntables bought from a friend. He went to high school at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, where his mother taught dance, and graduated in 1994. He claims his name originates from another friend who referred to him as "Rjd2" (a play on R2-D2) in his raps, and the name stuck. Originally working the role of DJ in the Columbus rap group MHz, he later signed to Bobbito Garcia's Fondle 'Em label, releasing the self-proclaimed "mix CD" Your Face or Your Kneecaps. A year later he signed to El-P's record label Definitive Jux and released his solo debut album Deadringer to much acclaim. Rjd2 later collaborated with Columbus rapper Blueprint under the name Soul Position, releasing Unlimited EP in 2002 and 8 Million Stories in 2003. He released his second solo album Since We Last Spoke on Definitive Jux in 2004 and released Soul Position's second album Things Go Better with RJ and AL in 2006 under Rhymesayers Entertainment label. He still continues to produce tracks, working with many independent rappers, such as Copywrite, Cunninlynguists, Cage, DOOM, Diverse and Aceyalone. He contributed a cover of "Airbag" by Radiohead for the 2006 album "Exit Music". 2006 also saw the release of the collaborative record "Magnificent City" with Aceyalone. Magnificent City includes A Beautiful Mine, which samples Enoch Light's rendition of Autumn Leaves, and has been used in the titles of Mad Men. In 2007, he released the solo album The Third Hand on XL Recordings, which he toured for extensively in '07 and '08.
In 2009, RJD2 established his own label, RJ's Electrical Connections, and reissued Your Face Or Your Knee Caps, The Horror, and Since We Last Spoke as well as a box set entitled “2002-2010”. RJD2’s new full length The Colossus was released on January 19, 2010 on his own label, which is distributed by The Orchard. On January 7, 2010 a music video for "Let There Be Horns" premiered on Pitchfork followed by a video for "A Spaceship For Now" on March 3, 2010, directed by Michael Ebner, via SPIN Magazine. In 2010, RJD2 remixed indie rockers Yo La Tengo's single, Here To Fall for the Here To Fall Remixes EP which included remixes by De La Soul and Pete Rock.
On February 1, 2011, RJD2 released the album We Are The Doorways under the pseudonym The Insane Warrior, on RJ's Electrical Connections.
His latest project is Icebird, a collaboration with Aaron Livingston, one of the leaders of a Philadelphia-based band called "The Mean". Their album Abandoned Lullaby was released October 11, 2011. Livingston previously appeared on "Guns Are Drawn" from The Roots album The Tipping Point and appeared on "Sleep" from The Roots recent album, Undun.