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J.R. didn’t know his song “Best Friend” featuring Trey Songz would blow up quite like it has, but now he’s capitalizing off that success.

“I didn’t know the reaction time would be that fast. I sent it to Trey and it was on the radio two days later,” he revealed.

“Best Friend” also caused a bit of a stir by causing a school teacher to lose her job because she appeared in the video.

‘I spoke to her, she’s a great lady. She was in the video and telling me not to mess up the house in the video,” JR recalled. “People got it messed up, like we used her actual house saying we had drugs and all types of crazy things going on, but it wasn’t none of that. We had a great time. She shouldn’t have lost her job, but last time we spoke to her she said she was alright.’

The St. Louis emcee blessed us with his presence down at SXSW and talked about his rise to fame, as well as juggling his work as a rapper alongside his work as father, and helping to change the stigma behind the word “gangsta.”

Check out our interview on the roof in Austin, Tex. to find out more about J.R.

His newest tape Gang Season is available on iTunes now.

J.R. Talks “Best Friend” Video, Nelly Taking Him Under His Wing, & “Gang Season” Tape  was originally published on