Wiser, grounded and more mature the artist formally known as J. Dundas has transitioned into FishXGrits, a moniker that’s the essence of his persona. Since his 2016 debut that put him on the map, he has been quietly grinding and self reflecting. His newest release titled “I Don’t Like You In Real Life,” suggest that the Lafayette, LA native has endured the growing pains of the industry and emerged with a clear understanding of where reality ends and entertainment begins. As a result, he crafted a musical film series comprised of nine unreleased videos that coincide with a soundtrack produced exclusively by Southside of 808 Mafia.
“I Don’t Like You In Real Life” documents the life of an Atlanta pimp hustling to fund his musical ambitions while remaining independent. After a failed robbery attempt, Fish decides its time to lay low and become a master of manipulation by commissioning his professional ladies of leisure. With his freedom on the line, Fish is faced with the decision of continuing to pursue music independently or using the money from a record deal to help fight his case.
The unrelenting street takes are rhymed in cinematic detail that shock, alarm, and excite alongside beats that slap and soothe. This entrepreneurial effort builds exposure beyond the music with dramatic visuals that bring the lyrics to life. The bold yet authentic mogul move demonstrates FishXGrits independent spirit and self-made mindset. Not since Jay-Z’s Streets Is Watching has another indie rapper composed a series of theatrical videos that accompany every track. Coming into the game 100% independent, FishXGrits stands on the promise of never sacrificing the authenticity of his brand for financial gain.
As a kid the ATL-transplant repeatedly turned tragedy into triumph and losses into lessons, finding solace in his music. Raised in a musical household, at 14 he began expressing his pain by penning poems and soon thereafter began rhyming his words with beats. Influenced by Tupac (“I liked how he used his music to express himself”), UGK (“They put their stories out there through music and it made me feel like I knew them”), and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (“They brought a melodic sound to the game before I even knew how to describe it”), these were the figures that defined his coming-of-age years, as well as served as his career blueprint.
Despite the setbacks, both professional and personal, FishXGrits has remained true to his art and heart, never wavering on quality or integrity. The excellence can be experienced throughout "I Don’t Like You In Real Life" which includes guest heavyweights Peewee Longway, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Desi Banks, and Reese LaFlare. The charismatic young hustler’s growth is palpable and his vision is transparent. From stepping from behind the mic to behind the lens to make a movement that celebrates creative freedom, his universality has been cleverly documented.
FishXGrits is straddling the fence between underground legend and mainstream breakthrough. While his revolutionary ego offers intellectually stimulating and conscious content, the fiery and visceral street material is ever presented. It’s this dichotomy of personalities that keeps audiences on their toes, as well as ten toes down.