As if making a televised announcement on the college of his choice wasn't big enough news for the week,
Paramus Catholic (N.J.)
star Jabrill Peppers
released his first music video on YouTube The video, directed by Digital Demand, has grabbed more than 2,000 views on its first day online. You can watch the video at the bottom of the story.
The video based off of the single "Don't Take It Personal" features Peppers singing and Vernell Bryant, Peppers' cousin who goes by the name Knew Era, rapping on the track. The video was filmed in downtown Newark and Peppers' hometown of East Orange.
"I think the video makes the song a whole lot better," Peppers said via text message on Monday.
Peppers, who goes by the stage name J Reall, sings about his upbringing, adversity, family dynamics, life and those that didn't believe in his dream.
"I had a lot of people turn their backs on me and doubt that I would even make it this far," Peppers said.See five rap/hip-hop stars who played high school sports
The concept behind the video came from legendary locations that inspired both Peppers and his cousin while growing up in Essex County. The video pays homage to those who paved the way and put the area on the map like notable East Orange natives Naughty by Nature.
"One view we had in particular was under the tunnel which Naughty by Nature used," said Peppers.
The tunnel look is seen in both Naughty by Nature's OPP
and Hip Hop Hooray
"We wanted to give the people a hip-hop feel using street backdrops and showcasing our team members DOP3 KRU Inc. as well," said Knew Era.
"We wanted to bring the viewer back to the essence of when it all started with music that actually meant something," added Peppers.
With Peppers ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the Class of 2014 by
, he recognizes that he's viewed differently with his national recognition rapidly growing.
"I can't fault them for what they don't know," said Peppers.
Knew Era agrees: "We don't blame anyone for not believing in us, but don't expect us to play you close now that you do."Read about a prep star who gave up a scholarship chance to pursue a rap career
As a result, the group keeps a tight circle. According to Peppers, the song is one that a lot of people who deal with issues of trust can relate to, or people who don't just give trust out freely without loyalty being proven first.
"I keep my circle small and full of the ones who believe in me the most and never gave up on me," Peppers said.Brandon
Robinson is freelance writer for MaxPreps. He may be reached at ContactScoopB@gmail.com.
Follow him on Twitter @ScoopB