Jules YJ$ is empowered by Buffalo hip-hop. Whether he’s modeling for Hoolyboi, collaborating with on-the-rise artists like 3lie, or supporting notable acts like Money Set, Spacebound, or Freak The Miighty, the 20-year-old artist is involved. With a strong identity aligned with hip-hop music, Jules is also looking to strengthen his identity as a trans-man in this space. With today, March 31st being Trans Visibility Day, it’s important to recognize how important trans voices are a part of our world and how we might overlook their significance and contributions to our communities.
“I just want to tell the world I’m trans because I want to be an example for nonbinary and trans artists,” Jules explained.
On the cusp of adulthood and beginning to dive deeper into his artistry, this is a significant moment for Jules. Building his confidence by celebrating the holiday every year since 2017, the young artist understands the importance of representation. It was during watching the TLC series about a transgender teenager I Am Jazz, that Jules could put vocabulary to how he felt as a person.
“I related so much to being born in the wrong body and feeling disconnected from myself. I did not feel like a woman at all,” Jules recalled.
Interestingly enough, around the same time Jules began to identify as a transgender person, he also found Buffalo hip-hop. His discovery started with AP YCM and Dripstarr (formerly known as Kid Kev). Then it progressed to following more local artists like King Loot, Kid Sparxx, and Way2WavyBaby– Now an all-around fan to a plethora of artists in the town, Jules is a major supporter who consistently shows love to the hip-hop community. Also, experiencing the grandeur of the SoundCloud era and discovering many Buffalo gems at the same time inspired Jules to pursue music as well.
First spitting on a 21-Savage sample to dropping his first EP last summer titled Take Two and most recently releasing his single “5 am in Buffalo,” Jules is finding his footing as a trans-hip-hop artist who is also on the spectrum. Understanding how unique his position is as an autistic, trans rapper and producer, Jules wants to be visible and this time it’ll be a celebration.
“For the past 4 years, I’ve kept it on the low…It’s hard for me to come out again but this time I’m making poster boards, I’m taking pictures of myself, and re-coming out again so people know. I’m a trans man…I’m not gonna hide myself anymore to satisfy others,” concluded Jules.
As we mentioned earlier, Jules has been a fan of Buffalo Hip-Hop since 2016, With that said, we asked him to gather his top ten favorite songs from local artists! Check it out below!
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