“Bullied in recess, A plus’ on each test. They played sports, I played instruments.” Jecorey “1200” Arthur is a mid-twenties Hip Hop artist, Hite Elementary School Teacher, Volunteer, and Graduate born and raised on the west side of Louisville, Kentucky.
What first attracted me to Twelve Hunna was that, this previous year (2016), the artist was invited to perform first at Louisville’s annual Forecastle Music+Arts+Activism Festival on Waterfront Park. I, personally, saw that as a privilege reserved for someone that the festival thinks very highly of. It didn’t take long to discover what excites the Forecastle team enough to schedule Jecorey first. I stumbled upon this video of Mr. Arthur speaking during a CreativeMornings talk in August 2015.
This video made me realize that Mr. Arthur was much more than a musician. Also, as a Native Kentuckian myself, I was pleased to see a representative of the state performing first on the schedule at the “Home” Festival. I had to learn more about him. I was definitely going to his show.
Born in not only one of the poorest cities in America, but the poorest neighborhood in said city, Jecorey had the odds stacked against him from the very beginning. However, his hard-working and optimistic Mother and Grandmother instilled in him at a very young age that passion and determination can exist in unfortunate circumstances. Good grades were a must.
Arthur has stated numerous times the positive influences of cartoons and television shows early in life, as well. He would watch good-guys Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers at a young age and looked up to them, opposed to gang members and drug dealers, as role models. Legos played an important role in teaching the young artist how to modify and mold the world around him. Once he realized that music was his calling, the application of these influences came naturally.
By the age of 12 he had set back enough money to purchase the Korg D-1200 recorder/mixer and began recording music. When the 2002 movie “Drumline” was released, Arthur became obsessed with joining the school band. He has been creating, performing, and producing music ever since.
Jecorey has since received his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Louisville, helped as Program Director for AMPED (Academy of Music of Production Education and Development) in Louisville, Taught percussion with the Junkyard Hawks of Hite Elementary, performed internationally, and opened one of AC Entertainment’s biggest festivals in his hometown.
At Forecastle Arthur left the stage to join the audience for a song titled “Oz”. He incited the crowd to mosh together, calling it an “Oz Pit”. In true Elementary School Teacher fashion he led us in reciting the rules together. “Rule #1. Don’t punch nobody. Rule #2. Don’t kick nobody. Rule #3. If somebody fall you pick ’em up.” He also invited a choir of boys and girls to join him in backup vocals for “Rambo”. He knew each child by first and last name and introduced them to us individually.
Now, less than one week before the pivotal inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, Mr. Arthur takes the stage at Louisville, Kentucky’s Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Entitled 1200 Live, the event is scheduled for Saturday, January 14th at 8PM. It is the release of 1200’s Debut album, a double disc release, Seance and Spirit. In the event details it notes that it will be “a multi-sense production where the audience not only hears the music, but also sees, feels, smells, and tastes it.” We at Dead Audio are very much looking forward to what this multi-talented artist will bring to the table in early 2017 and are rooting for this guy to achieve any goals he sets forth for himself, as so far they have been nothing but positive actions for his community. You can listen to 1200’s Symphony 1 (2014) below.