Me and Zone go back a little bit. Right around 1999, when I started getting serious as a writer, J-Zone had just dropped his debut “Music for Tu Madre.” I caught him at a show in NYC (pre fur coat) where I picked up a vinyl copy off of him on his way out the club. I’ve been a fan ever since and have interviewed the Jaimaica, Queens resident a number of times. So when he hit me off with a copy I delved in knowing that some ignant shit was going to be in between those pages.
I was mostly right. “Root for the Villain” has gotten lots of press and resonated with diverse audiences for its rags to $ick of being rich back to rags story of the guy who had success but never ultimately “made it.” The book is half auto biography and half rants and complaints but serves as the quintessential answer to the question, “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”
However, what stood out for me was the refreshing look at how music can shape your life. My favorite line of the book was when Zone admitted “[songs by] rappers like Audio Two, Grand Daddy I.U, The Afros and No Face defined a good chunk of my personal development, for better or worse.” Any true hip hop head can relate and look at our own musical journey to adulthood and how it influences us along the way. While enjoying reading about Zone’s path it kept bringing me back to my own.
Pick up Root for the Villain at your favorite reading establishment