YPSILANTI, Mich. – His hometown pride is all over his music, with an Ypsilanti area code in one rap and the name of a Detroit Lions legend in another. Ypsilanti is what made rapper Kid Jay who he is today.
"Growing up, it was hard. We lived in the projects. My mom worked two to three jobs, Wendy's, McDonald's. My dad had a factory job. We had to do anything to get by," Kid Jay, whose real name is Jason Obanner Jr., said.
He's only 19, but he said he started putting pen to paper at an early age.
"Rap became part of my life when I was 10, 11. I fell in love with Lil Wayne and J. Cole. I fell in love with poetry," he said.
"My message is, you don't have to use cuss words and violence that rap has the name for. I don't feel the need to do that," he said.
Kid Jay is all about positivity. On top of writing and rapping, he takes classes at Eastern Michigan University and is trying to share his message.
Kid Jay has been invited to open for some big names.
"I performed in Detroit, the Fox Theatre with 5,000 people with Jermain Dupri. I opened for T.I. I opened for XXX," he said.
Kid Jay said he'll continue to create as long as he's loving the journey.