JT Money Gets Serious On Upcoming Blood, Sweat And Years

Miami rapper's second album mixes advice to young fathers, festive dance tunes.

Now that the hip-hop community knows "Who Dat" is, JT Money is gearing up for his second album, Blood, Sweat and Years, scheduled for a May 1 release.

The follow-up to 1999's Pimpin' on Wax features the former Poison Clan frontman rapping in an authoritative, elder statesman-like tone on the collection's 14 songs, which range from optimistic to confrontational.

"The title is about the struggle and time I put in this game," said JT, whose new set features production from Dallas Austin, C. "Tricky" Stewart and Sam Sneed. "Pimpin' on Wax, that's something I do, but this album is what I'm going through, with no tears."

Although the Miami rapper showcases a serious slant on his forthcoming album, there's no shortage of his signature festive dance tunes, as evidenced by the potential smash "Lil' Charlie," which has Nelly-like potential, and the lead single, "Hi Lo," which some feel could be another "Who Dat," the song that introduced the sultry Sole to the hip-hop community and earned JT Money his first platinum plaque.

"My manager picked that to be the first single because he said it felt like 'Who Dat,'" JT said of "Hi Lo." "He said it's got the same vibe, coming out strong and crunk. It's all good, though, because 'Hi-Lo' is tight. I kill some busters on there."

But JT makes a point to balance the mayhem on Blood, Sweat and Years with messages. The album's most poignant moment comes on "Father to Son," where JT urges his child to become educated and avoid falling into a life of crime.

"I went through the bull for him," JT said. "I hope I can influence the young brothers to evaluate their situations with their kids."

Even though JT Money hopes to inspire his listeners to live earnest lives, some of his work with the Poison Clan explored criminal activities. On the Florida group's debut album, 1990's stunning 2 Low Life Muthas, JT included a potent mix of titillating crime capers, arousing sexual interludes, irresistible dance cuts and a dash of social commentary.

As the JT Money-fronted group continued recording and rotating members in the '90s, JT emerged as a cold-hearted player willing to call out a trifling female.

"We brought truth to the game," JT said. "Before I was making records, I felt like cats were begging them hos. They made the women harder on us on the street. It took a player like myself to come out on wax and make cats players again."

JT hopes to do just that and more with Blood, Sweat and Years, which should mark a triumphant return for the pioneering southern rapper.

"It's a new time and I grow with the time," he said. "That's survival. I don't think I could fall off. When I'm missing in action, I'm just holding out."