Dr. Dre is back to discovering new talent and he’s found one to possibly take the place of eminem, he goes by the name of Justin Mohrle from Texas. He was summoned by Dr. Dre to come to L.A. because he heard a demo the young rapper made with the help of Dallas hip-hop legend The D.O.C. Now Mohrle is in a spot previously occupied by Snoop, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar: under Dre’s wing. This is basically a white Drake in the making…
Justin talks about arriving in LA to work with Dr. Dre and everyone went on lock down, he doesn’t divulge to much information because his management keeping his project a big secret until the big reveal. But he’s already working with some big names in the studio, there is a photo on his Instagram page (@officiallovejt) of him with Gwen Stefani—captioned “Working with Gwen Stefani. Amen. #nodoubt”—but he can’t tell me any more. He can tell me that he’s spent nearly every waking minute since he touched down at LAX two months ago writing lyrics in the studio. But he can’t tell me whether it’s for a project with his name on it, or anyone else’s, for that matter.
According to DMagazine.comIn a video that accompanied Pappademas’ widely read Playboy profile, The D.O.C. said he was seeking new talent in the Dallas area. Independent artist development scout Tony Hall read that and did what any music industry entrepreneur in the city would do: he took to Twitter to push one of his artists—Justin Mohrle. He messaged The D.O.C., telling him that he had to hear “the best white kid in Dallas.” The D.O.C. passed initially, but Hall didn’t give up. After a Q&A following the premiere of the Dallas hip-hop documentary We From Dallas, when The D.O.C. again said he was looking for Dallas talent, Hall hit him up again, with links to Mohrle’s “Selfish” and “Come Together.” The D.O.C. listened and was impressed, but he responded with a curt and cryptic, “All in God’s time.” He thought that with his direction, this might just be the kind of untapped talent and potential he wanted to bring to the table, back to Cali and Dr. Dre.
“I don’t want to rap as bad as I used to,” he says. “I’m perfectly fine being onstage next to JT, or next to Dre, when they doin’ they thing.”
Within six months, The D.O.C. and his business partner at Silverback, John Huffman IV—along with Hall and his silent partner at Deep Ellum Music Group—struck a deal to produce a demo EP, with the intention of pitching Mohrle to Dr. Dre. The D.O.C. coached and polished the young rapper until he had a finished product to present.(All evidence of any of Mohrle’s solo efforts was pulled from the internet.) Dr. Dre decided, after spending some time with the demo, to move the kid to L.A. and get him working in the studio.
By August, Mohrle was on a plane to California, signed to a 360 deal (which covers recording, performance, and merchandise) with Silverback. In November, Michael I. Malowanczyk, a Dallas native and senior designer at Nike Football, flew to L.A. from Portland to work on the conceptual end. Mohrle took the opportunity to give himself a new stage name, since most people a$sociate JT with Justin Timberlake.
Justin Night—that’s what he’ll be billed as the next time you hear any of his music, which likely won’t be until Christmas. The real work is only beginning. But he’s already made his mother proud.
“When the opportunity came for him to work with Dr. Dre, we viewed it as his college graduation,” his mother says. “A job well done is really all a parent really wants for their child.”
From the mall in Sherman Oaks, we meet up with Bryan Blue, brother to Blue, The Misfit and an up-and-coming L.A.-based painter. Bryan gives us a late-night studio tour of his space on Fairfax Avenue, a national hub for streetwear and urban art. Mohrle is particularly taken with a large canvas depicting a reimagining of an iconic Kirk McKoy photograph from the 1992 Rodney King riots.