Jay Mumford ("J-Zone")

j zone.JPGBefore Jay Mumford aka J-Zone made records that made you laugh and blew out your speakers at the same time, he walked around with a hi-top fade and a walkman that he never took off, even in school. After a short summer internship at Power Play Studios in Queens, NY (where he watched Large Professor work on albums for Akinyele and Roxanne Shante) and listening to the sounds of producers like 45 King, Bomb Squad, DJ Pooh, DJ Muggs, Ultramagnetic, DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Mr. Mixx and Pete Rock, he was convinced he wanted to be a hip-hop producer. His childhood dream of playing bass in a funk band died when he couldn't find a band and the jheri curl went out of style. He bought an SP-1200 and some other equipment with summer job money and started making home demos at the age of 15.

Two years later, in 1994, Jay met Vance Wright (legendary rapper Slick Rick's DJ) who had a studio in New Rochelle, NY. Jay started interning/ engineering there at age 17. He learned the basics of engineering and brushed up on his production techniques...all while running gofer errands to get Greg Nice's turkey sandwiches while he worked on Nice-N-Smooth's Jewel of the Nile LP. Grand Puba of Brand Nubian was there working on his 2000 LP as well. Jay's first production was released in 1995. He produced a song for Preacher Earl (an affiliate of Nice-N-Smooth) called "Fool I Got Your Back".

After that, Jay finished high school and came to Purchase College to major in music and minor in creative writing and the life experiences that turned him into the poster child for crassness that he was during his career. During his Purchase Panther days, Jay was head engineer of the 16 track studio and was part of the first graduating class for the Studio Production program (1999). Rather than go the mandatory senior recital route, Jay obtained permission to record a full length album called Music For Tu Madre for his graduation requirement. The album featured Jay's production, vocal, DJ and engineering skills and eventually became his debut independent release on his Old Maid Entertainment label in 1999...and his official entry into the music business. 

Jay's career took off shortly after and he followed up with critically acclaimed independent releases A Bottle Of Whup Ass-The EP (2000) and Pimps Dont Pay Taxes (2001). Shortly after, he obtained major distribution through BMG and released $ick Of Bein Rich (2003) and A Job Ain't Nuthin But Work (2004)

Over the course of these 5 albums, he's worked with everybody from longtime sidekick (and Purchase alum) Al-Shid to legendary artists like King T, J-Ro (of tha Alkaholiks), Masta Ace and Devin the Dude. Jay released the Gimme Dat Beat Fool remix project in 2005 and a few other limited edition concept based side projects over years. 2006 saw the release of The Bo$$ Hog Barbarian$...Every Hog Has Its Day,
a group project with longtime collaborator Celph Titled on our own Hog Cabin Ent. label. Later in 2006 he released To Love A Hooker: The Motion Picture Soundtrack, an instrumental soundtrack to a movie he conceived that doesn't really exist (Jay doesn't play with a full deck). Sort of a make-your-own concept album, it went over people's heads anyway . Since then, Jay has put his solo career on the back burner to focus on DJing, producing, teaching and his side hobby of sportswriting (he's a basketball fanatic).

Jay is best known as a producer and all of his albums were self-produced. He's done beats for artists like Biz Markie, Sadat X, Lil Fame (M.O.P.), Akinyele, Tha Alkaholiks, Casual, Apathy, Louis Logic, Prince Po (Organized Konfusion), Vast Aire, RA the Rugged Man, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Tame One, MF Grimm, The Juggaknots and many more. Jay has also collaborated with Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Danger Mouse & Cee-Lo (Gnarls Barkley), Large Professor, Da Beatminerz, MC Serch, DJ Miz, Greg Nice, Grand Puba and many more as a rapper, DJ and studio engineer.

His latest endeavors have been his monthly Gator$-n-Fur$ mixshows (available for free download on his myspace page and website), each with a theme, one hour of great music and Jay's trademark humorous commentary. He's also done corporate work in the form of scoring music for a Sprint Commercial for Superbowl XL (2006) and his music being placed on shows like The Shield, Yo Momma and the NBA Celebrity All-Star basketball game.

Jay has performed as an artist and DJ all over the world including The US, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, The UK, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. Love him or hate him, his left field funk production, off the wall subject matter and brazen humor have catapulted him into his own niche. Equally praised and detracted in high places, Jay's wildcard status in the hip-hop world holds up over time.