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La Habra, Los Angeles CA, United States

Jonwayne is an incredibly prolific up-and-coming producer and emcee from La Habra, California associated with the Low End Theory, the Wedidit Collective and Stones Throw Records.

Meet Jonwayne, a baby-faced white kid from the LA suburb of La Habra, who’s been a fixture at Low End Theory long before he was old enough to drink. The 21 year-old rapper/producer got his start early, writing his first raps and recording his first beats while still in high school. Back then, he was a football-playing poetry-writing theater geek. The football part made sense; both his older brothers were varsity players, and their coaches knew him since he was a kid. But by the end of his sophomore year, the allure of jockstraps and pushups had waned, and Jonwayne (then still known as Jon Wayne) removed himself from the roster.

Fearful that they had a slacker son on their hands, his parents presented Jon with two options: find a job, or get some kind of productive hobby. The choice was easy—he got involved with the theater program at his school and attended the Young Artists Workshop, where he discovered a love of spoken word performance. Around the same time, he found his poetic muse; a girl he had a crush on was into poetry, and he wanted to impress her. “I was having all kinds of frustrating problems with raging hormones and trying to express myself. I was a mess,” he says. “So was really helpful. It wasn’t necessarily a ruse—it just started as this half-assed thing and then it turned into something that I did really heavily for the next few years.”


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