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Meet Grant Johnson: Producer and Rapper

“I have to tell my boys my producer is a better rapper than me.”

Grant Johnson — or Emmett B. in the studio — is a James Madison University student with a passion for producing and rapping. It got started around five years ago when he was messing around in his friends’ basement. He then fell in love with the process of producing and decided to take it seriously. 

“Originally I started off rapping, but I never really felt too comfortable with my own voice so I decided to start making beats,” he says. “I love them both in a different way: For one, there’s no feeling quite like playing a beat for a room full of people and see everyone scatter to start writing bars immediately. But on the other hand, one of the dudes who spits over my beats told me, ‘it’s crazy dog cause I end up having to tell my boys that my producer is a better rapper than me.'”

Emmett B.’s unique sound is what he believes defines his style and producing abilities. This process could take anywhere from 45 minutes to nine hours of mixing and mastering. 

“I don’t make type beats, you won’t find my samples on other songs, I add a splash of Emmett to every beat I make. I don’t make beats to just throw beats on, people usually tailor their lyrics to my instrumentals.”

This passion for music was instilled in him at a very young age, with his two main influences being his parents. Whether this was listening to Michael Jackson, Jimmy Buffett or Duran Duran, this shaped his style of music and started his passion for music. 

More recently, some of the rappers in the industry helped shape his style and get involved in the industry. Some of these being mainstream artists and underground rappers. 

“My top three favorite artists? Trick question. But if I had to pick, in no particular order: K. Dot, Mac Miller, and J Dilla. My three top albums: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City by Kendrick, and The Diary by J Dilla.”

Emmett B., a humble student with a passion for hip-hop and production, is always open to working with new people and collaborating with new artists. Find him on Soundcloud at Emmett B.

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