Young Houston rapper J Xavier had already achieved an impressive number of accomplishments in the entertainment industry while barely into his teens (or preteens for that matter), receiving recognition high and wide from Beyoncé's father and manager Mathew Knowles to the national Congressional Black Caucus. He even created and starred in his own TV show, Young Generation Television, where he interviewed many A-list celebrities, music performers, and sports figures. Born Justin Xavier Harris in April 1992, Xavier came from a litter of musical children, whose father was a singer and bass player as well as a socially active pastor. Harris' musical talent was nurtured by his strong upbringing in the church, where he learned to sing and play drums. He released his first album, I Gotta Be Me!, as Lil' J Xavier in 2003 at the age of 11. The teen rapper's songs were entirely good-natured and positive, sometimes advocating for young people to vote or bragging about his favorite sports teams.
Soon, Xavier's talent and star power made him a local sensation in Houston. In 2004, the mayor even deemed February 18 in Houston as "J Xavier Day." His wholesome approach also completely enamored the city's gospel and Christian rap circuit, earning him a Texas Gospel Excellence Award and many Houston Holy Hip-Hop Awards. In August 2004, he was one of the winners for the brief reality/competition series America's Most Talented Kid. It garnered the budding star some national fans and helped set up his signing with Knowles' Music World Entertainment the following year. Around Christmastime in 2006, Music World released his second LP, Young Prince of tha South. Peaking at 52 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, the album featured Houston rappers Mike Jones and Lil' Keke as well as funk patriarch George Clinton for a remake of Parliament's "Flashlight." ~ Cyril Cordor