John Anthony is an American independent rapper, songwriter, record producer and record executive from Dallas, Pennsylvania. He is the founder of his own independent hip hop label Villainous Records, which is parented by Chaos Music Group. He has currently released six studio albums, two EP’s and five mixtapes under his record label.

Where are you based?
Dallas, Pennsylvania

How long have you been making music?

What genre would you consider your music to be?
Hip-Hop/Rap, Boom-Bap, Alternative Rap, Old School, Trap, Underground Hip-Hop, Conscious Rap, R&B

What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
The art of creativity and idea of storytelling to entertain an audience while also stretching my personal and opinionated beliefs into a compact rhyme scheme is what inspires me to grab the pen. Hip-Hop generated with my creativity at a young age, only determining the passion and love I have for this genre.

What are your biggest musical influences?
Several musical artists, both past and present, helped shape my career to what it is today. It would be a dictionary-sized book to name every artists that influenced or inspired me, however, there are specific musicians I heavily studied from that constructed certain aspects of my game. Eminem, 50 Cent, Nas, Drake, J. Cole, LL Cool J, Dr. Dre and Logic were major overall influences that helped landscaped all aspects of my whole career. Big Daddy Kane, Mobb Deep, Big L, J. Cole and Eminem were key parts in developing my flow and cadences. Big Pun, Naughty By Nature, Black Thought and Eminem helped gain the skill of speed-rapping and annunciating rhymes, while also generating a story though it. MF Doom, Czarface, Ice Cube and MC Ren all helped inspired characteristic traits to my game, such as the development of “The Villain”. The list can go on and on with several rappers that I was influenced from.

Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I currently am independent, however, I do corporate my own label — “Villainous Records”, which is an independent hip-hop label founded by myself and parented by Chaos Music Group.

What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Over the last decade, there have been many obstacles and barriers that I’ve had to hurdle over to ensure the success of my career. Some of those barriers, or challenges, helped grow me into a better artist and have a more professional outtake on my career. One of the biggest challenges I faced since I first graced the pen and paper was being heard. Generating an audience has always been difficult for me and for many reasons. One reason being, for the first seven years of my career, I would constantly scrapped mixtape after mixtape weeks after I would release them. Call it a lack of confidence, production issues, or just not being satisfied with the music at the time, but this challenge didn’t help my career grow in it’s early stages. Another reason was the lack of promotion and/or set-marketing I would have with my music. In my early 2019 and ‘20 years, I never seemed to milk an album and try to create a fanbase based off that one certain album. I would constantly be releasing albums and mixtapes, overshadowing any previous project released, mainly due to the self-doubt I faced from the seven years I wasted scrapping all the older music I made. Of course, there are many other challenges I have faced such as self-doubt, comparisons, hatred, labeling, controversy, etc. However, no matter the challenge or barrier, I’ve always surpassed the failure eyeing me.

How many songs or albums have you released to date?
Since the development of Villainous Records in 2019, I have released six studio albums, two EP’s and five mixtapes, as of 2023. Over the span of my entire career, I have created seventeen projects since 2012.

Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
My latest album — “Success Story”, was released on March 24, 2023. The album was the first project I released that featured all boom-bap. The album’s identity was a retro, throwback-1950’s style theme with several songs sampled and produced by yours truly. I wanted this album to be as creative and unique as possible. I felt I wanted to journey my audience through a classical period of hip-hop and portray a unique theme, rather than just compile a bunch of songs and release them as just another stereotypical album. I first generated the idea theme for this project after watching several mob and gangster movies and TV shows. Films like “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather” were huge influences in the creation of this album. “Scarface” was the pinnacle film that was inspired, not only for the album, but also for the album’s lead single — “Montana”. I did a lot of the sampling in this album, which was the first time I done so. I remember months before the album was in post-production, I would go to local record shops and flea markets and purchase crates of jazz and classical orchestra vinyl’s without knowing anything about the artist or band I was buying. I would spend hours skimming through each record to find, at best, a five or ten second melody loop that I could sample on my drum machine. The process was long and exhausting but the overall sampling outcome on songs such “Montana”, “Dangerous” and “Past Time”, just to name a few, was well worth the dollar or two I spend on the record.

Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
Most of my fans already know this, but with me, it’s never been if I’m going to release another project… it’s when. These last few years, I haven’t had to release much music knowing the success my last three albums have achieved. Though I don’t have any plans for a new album as of summer ‘23, there’s still tons of music in my archives right now that I’m just dying to release to my fans. Patience is really the key. I will say though, when the creative juices are flowing, it’s only a matter of time when the masterpiece is shown.