CJ Ross: Grind Hard Sleep Less
CJ Ross (known as Young Dirt), CEO of Grind Hard Sleep Less Records and a Hip Hop artist out of Reidsville, has been professionally rapping since 2010. Today he works with Demetrius Williams, the senior designer for their clothing line, and engineer Brian Staples.
Ross has become who he is today by just enjoying the art of song as an extracurricular activity. Steadily the open mics and events became a profession for him.
“I actually wanted to draw for Disney when I was a kid and then I went to school for graphic design and everything,” he said. “I graduated early from high school, I went to East Carolina. I was on the fast track to getting this art degree and then Pixar came out and nobody is drawing cartoons anymore.
“I started getting into some extracurricular activities. That brought me into the rap world. I rapped before that, but I didn’t take it serious.”
Ross said his career highlights are when he gets one-on-one conversations with his fans and supporters.
“I had a girl that hit me on Facebook and said she had a problem with opiates. She was like ‘I see how you’re always going after your dream and chasing music. I really like your music. It helped me kind of get clean because like you always say, it’s 24 hours a day and you decide what do you with it.’
“So she took it upon herself to take three months to get clean. I was like ‘That’s dope.’ If my music can inspire that, that’s more important to me than making the money. Giving other people hope and inspiration, that’s like the most important part to me.”
While inspiring others, Ross is inspired by his two daughters.
“They are a huge inspiration on what I do. Something got to shake so they can have their Playstation 4’s and Peppa Pig toys and all that good stuff.”
The most challenging part of Ross’s work is dealing with the industry.
“Pretty much anything you’ve ever heard about the industry is true. It’s a cutthroat business. There is a lot of not-legitimate love.
People play a role to get what they want out of you and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, you learn how to maneuver and you learn how to just keep to yourself and do your own thing and stay in your own lane.
“It’s part of something you love. It’s kind of like dating somebody with a bad attitude, but a really good heart.”
Ross’s future plans are to further GHSL’s clothing line and roll out a complete album of his work.
GHSL wear can be found at www.ghslwear.com
Learn more about CJ Ross’s work by following the Facebook page.