JIMMY shares a two bedroom house in Los Angeles, California with his fiancée Eve and her family. The couple works on his projects together, with Eve executive producing all of JIMMY's albums. Just two years ago, they lived in their own apartment in Orange County, CA but was forced to terminate their lease when they couldn't keep up with the bills anymore. On a cold Spring day in April, an Art The Clown-themed set of Mickey Mouse ears greet you at the door, bags of McDonald's and Popeyes lay scattered around the workstation they've set up near the door and various pieces of film and audio production equipment lay hidden around the corners of the bedroom behind piles of clothes.
JIMMY spent the previous whole day filming and editing footage for the visual of a new song SUPERSTAR. The song appears on Poindexter's 2023 album, DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY, released via his imprint THEDUALITY on Distrokid and partially Roc Nation's Equity Distribution. Following a melancholic intro song that sets the tone and subject matter for SUPERSTAR, in just under two minutes, JIMMY fires off two animated fast-paced verses showcasing the side of fame most people don't think of over grand suspenseful marching band-esque production. A song that could easily fill the dense air of an arena concert. The video will be the third installation of his current album rollout in which he's already shared LOVED ONES and SAVE THE CHILDREN. All three tracks, like most of his discography, showcase an honesty and versatility he possesses that's almost unbelievable and polarizing at times to some. With some people in the comments of his videos admitting originally writing him off as an industry plant because he was "too good and unknown" and others citing that he's "doing too much too soon," JIMMY has managed to challenge what it looks like to be the next big thing as an independent artist in the TikTok-dominated era. Dropping almost fifteen solo projects and three collaborative projects with now defunct collective PRISM TRIBE, JIMMY weaves together saturated packaging around raw and serious topics in a novel way while also finding the time to have fun in between. "Growing up I looked at Dave Chappelle and watched Family Guy and Robot Chicken and The Boondocks. Even if I didn't understand a lot of it at the the time, I just liked how raw and crass and genuinely hilarious all of those things were while also sometimes making a statement. It inspired me to bring that sort of energy with me in whatever I ended up doing."
Jimmy Poindexter became Jimmy Luna (eventually dropping "Luna" in 2021) in the Summer of 2013 when he was transitioning from a freshman to a sophomore in high school. This new life chose him after moving from his father's apartment in North Long Beach, CA to his mother's townhouse in East Las Vegas, NV. Previously more protective over the details of his private life outside his lyrics, he's shared more details of his genesis and latest goals in his newest music, autobiographical videos and self-produced interviews. Leaving home at the age of 18 to go to college in Denver, returning almost a year later, then couch surfing for almost two years before landing back in Los Angeles, JIMMY had to find his voice through these experiences.
Early on, using the internet and pairing it with his genuine desire to master a rolodex of skills and his growing knowledge of culture, JIMMY began paving his own unique lane and made a name for himself as early as high school. Getting his start in the bedroom of his mother's townhouse by attempting to recreate beats he'd find on YouTube, writing songs and screenplays for albums, drawing merch, practicing graphic design and mixing other people's mixtapes, he was able to gain his first small but loyal fanbase. With the branding of PRISM TRIBE becoming recognizable, JIMMY was able to sell enough merchandise at school to have "Tribe Tuesdays" where fans would wear their PT tee shirts on the same day. Inspired by Odd Future and mainly de facto leader Tyler, The Creator, he used their growing empire as a blueprint for his own career.
"I remember sitting in the living room with my friend Chris one day and we looked up at the TV— It was on MTV and this black dude who couldn't have been that much older than us was wearing fuckin' gold chains and eatin' a roach and dissing Jesus and shit, we were like "Whooaa. Nigga what?" Our fucking heads exploded, we'd never seen anything like it. I was hooked, I wanted to know more about this world I had no clue about."
JIMMY / A DWMYH Exclusive
Fast forward to late-2020, JIMMY just wrapped up the album cycle for PRISM TRIBE's DOG DAYS album in which he was responsible for producing, mixing and mastering the entirety of the project. As well as directing, editing and styling the majority of the music videos and a live performance; and managing, promoting and marketing for the group. Running the collective more like a record label, that same year he was able to acquire them over 10 billboards in downtown Los Angeles, a meeting with COR/TAN Records (an independent label operated by Golf Wang affiliate Brad Scoffern and producer Nick Audino that houses artists like Payday, AG Club and Daniyel) and a meeting with Vic Wainstein, Tyler, The Creator's right-hand studio engineer. Unfortunately, the result of these interactions and promotional efforts bore no fruit as the group was still widely unknown following the release of the album.
Following the end of the rollout, JIMMY began focusing on a solo effort in early-2021 that became GNARLY, a full length LP that embodied his originality. After receiving a $15k grant from a COVID-19 business relief fund, JIMMY spent the entirety of the funds on the creation and promotion of the album. Even after acquiring more billboards in Los Angeles and his hometown North Long Beach, a plane banner to fly over Melrose and Fairfax Ave, hosting a prerecorded live performance in LA, social media ads and sporting a knight armor for the duration of the rollout, he still found himself relatively unknown. The music and visuals from this era were some of JIMMY's most original, creative and high quality work. In the visual for firecracker, he can be found wearing a Cat in the Hat costume cartoonishly battling with Eve who is also in the same costume over a hyperpunk-inspired score. In bubble gum, we find him and Eve again in 70s disco clothes dancing with a crowd of people cheering them on. Unfortunately, these did not attract enough attention online and ultimately resulted in being a part of JIMMY's back catalogue.
JIMMY / A DWMYH Exclusive
Enter the *GHETTOLAND era, after failing to achieve his goal with GNARLY, JIMMY began crafting the plan that would change his life. At the top of 2022, Poindexter began releasing more one-off singles and projects, including two "unofficial" mixtapes DONDA 2 and BULLY. DONDA 2 being his take on what the, at the time, upcoming album would sound like if he made it and BULLY being his take on what a collaborative project between Tyler, The Creator and XXXTENTACION would sound like. Attaching other more popular artists' names to fanfic-inspired new music wasn't a journey JIMMY was fond of embarking on. However, scrambling to learn on the fly what needed to be done to break through the noise in the TikTok era, he saw the idea through to experiment, get more people in the door and showcase his versatility. Fortunately, these projects became his most popular in the first half of 2022.
Transitioning into creating his own press content, JIMMY began uploading self-produced videos and articles inspired by other media outlets' formats. Among these were a Jimmy Fallon interview, a Genius interview for his single "ghetto savior," an Apple Music with Zane Lowe interview and more. Although they were not his most popular pieces of content before being taken down, they served to be a realization of taking his narrative into his own hands. After gaining more traction on TikTok and YouTube with each video release, in the second half of 2022 JIMMY produced, wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered *GHETTOLAND in two weeks. Documenting the whole process from the beginning of the year to the release, he announced the album would be accompanied by a docu-series of the same name. This marked a turning point in JIMMY's career as this was what helped draw his current audience in.
"I recreated scenes and cover arts from some of my favorite artists and albums and paired it with a song where I challenged the average Hip Hop fan's beliefs in how they form relationships with the artists they love."
In just under 2-3 months of releasing *GHETTOLAND, JIMMY grew his accounts from just under 1500 followers on Instagram, 100 monthly listeners on Spotify and 300 subscribers on YouTube to 19k followers, 60k monthly listeners and over 10k subscribers. He also managed to catch the attention of Roc Nation's Equity Distribution and American music critic Anthony Fantano receiving a review of the album. This is all mostly thanked to the rampant circulation of his most popular song and visual *UNCULTURED, track three from the album. "I just posted it online and it took off. It's been crazy for me because up until now i've been struggling, i'm still broke as f**k I have a negative balance in the hundreds as we speak. I just want to get me and my family out of poverty and make as much cool stuff as I can before my time is up," JIMMY said. Fueled by nostalgia and a mostly positive and challenging message, JIMMY created a moment where Hip Hop fans were excited to see someone like them who was into all the same things represented in media.
"I recreated scenes and cover arts from some of my favorite artists and albums and paired it with a song where I challenged the average Hip Hop fan's beliefs in how they form relationships with the artists they love. The song and video was like "alright, I have somethin' to say, but they won't listen to me because I'm nobody, I'm not lit, I'm not affiliated with anyone who's lit so here, let me put on this mask and maybe you'll listen to this guy and that guy instead."
JIMMY / A DWMYH Exclusive
Now we find JIMMY returning for the release of his latest album DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. Announcing the album through a game of charades with Eve in a Wes Anderson-inspired video, after he shared an interview he did on the Zane Berry Podcast and a website of the same name where fans could tell him their dreams and what makes them happy. JIMMY has something special in mind for those who participate in the sign up as he tweets "keep submitting your responses to the website, it'll be worth it trust."
In the first visual for the lead single LOVED ONES, he reports on his relationship with his family members alive and deceased, showing clips and photos of them throughout the video as he longs for the power to help change their lives over Neo-Soul inspired production. In SAVE THE CHILDREN, we find JIMMY exclaiming his empathy for mankind and disdain for greedy and apathetic attitudes in America over a fusion jazz sample. The album cover looks like a bright orange spin-off of the Uncle Sam character portrayed in old U.S propaganda posters with the alternate cover straight up being an African American Uncle Sam character over a constitutional document.
Judging from the influences he cited on his Twitter, the lyrical subject matter of the singles, the visuals and trajectory of the numbers, so far this album has all the workings of a mainstream artist releasing a classic record they can disappear on for a few years. JIMMY included another mission statement on the latest album's website that outlines his end goal.
"[The mission is] to encourage the youth (and the boomers) worldwide to do what makes them happy, unapologetically. The more people we have focused on attracting their own happiness, the less assholes with nothing else better do to but talk shit and spread hate we'll have." You can read the rest of this mission statement here.
JIMMY / A DWMYH Exclusive
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY will appear on streaming services April 14th at 12:00AM EST / 9:00PM PST.
JIMMY's video for SUPERSTAR premieres April 27th on his YouTube channel.
Check out the *GHETTOLAND interview from last year here.