Jinsu Opens Up About Mortician Dreams, Rap Stardom and ‘The Triumph’
At 19, Rhode Island native Jinsu has his career aspirations set on commanding crowds with his lyrics. However, before he scored a collaboration with Ne-Yo on his track "Let 'Em Be Mad," the rising rapper had early dreams of working with dead people.
"I still have plans to go to college and study to be a mortician," he tells The BoomBox. "It's weird but I've been like that since I was little. I have this thrill to see stuff like that."
The music industry and the business of the deceased are vastly different enterprises, yet Jinsu finds both alarmingly interesting. The rhymer was exposed to the odd career field at 7 years old, when his father's friend, Craig, who was a mortician, gave him a pep talk at a car show.
"I asked him, 'How do you get this car? It's nice,'" Jinsu explains. "It was a Cadillac Escalade truck when they first came out. He was like, 'I work with dead people.' My dad's like, 'Don't tell him that.' [Craig] said, 'If this is what you want to grow up and do, this is it. One thing about it, you'll never go out of business.'"
During that same time, Jinsu was on the come-up as a fledgling MC. He began spitting lyrics at 6 and started performing onstage in his hometown at 8.
"I used to go to cafes and battle," he shares. "My dad used to always keep me around music. As I got older I was recording more. I got a big buzz in Rhode Island. Every artist that came out to Rhode island, whether it was Fabolous, Nate Dogg, I'd make sure I'd go there and meet them. At 9, I had a production deal with Nate Dogg, signed to his label Love & Happiness Productions."
These days, Jinsu finds himself rubbing elbows with rappers nearer his age bracket. He's one of the opening acts on the Closer to Our Dreams tour featuring Tyga, Iggy Azalea and Kirko Bangz. Plus, he's got a new mixtape under his belt, The Triumph, hosted by Jahlil Beats. Jinsu tapped Jahlil, who made a name for himself handling the beat on Meek Mill's smash "I'ma Boss," to handle production on five of the effort's 12 tracks.
One song on The Triumph that Jinsu is particularly proud of is "Coulda Had It All," which features a sample from Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." "When I first heard the track I was like I need this," says Jinsu, who's an avid Jay-Z fan. "I went stupid on there." Some of the subject matter on the track includes failed friendships and romances.
While he may have been signed as a youngster, Jinsu is currently in talks with major labels to land a record deal. The road to success isn't an easy one, but he's taking it in stride and revealing his honesty along the way. "You don't have to fake it 'til you make it," Jinsu admits. "You can be real and say how you feel. I'm not afraid to be myself."