West Coast hip-hop producer and rapper J.Wells founded Bonzi Records. By way of Los Angeles, J. Wells became a protÃ©gÃ© of J-Ro (of Tha Alkaholiks), quickly learning the value of crafting melodies and creating compelling songs. Encouraged early on by J-Ro, J. Wells was invited to join the legendary Likwit Crew which includes Tha Alkaholiks (E-Swift, J Ro and Tash), King Tee, LootPack, Phil Da Agony, Defari as well as the extended Likwit family of Xzibit, Dilated Peoples, Planet Asia, Madlib and Evidence.
While on tour with Tha Alkaholiks on Snoop Doggâ€™s Puff Puff Pass Tour, J.Wellsâ€™ talents caught the attention of West Coastâ€™s premiere rapper, Kurupt. Recording while on tour, the pair began to make incredible music together and the rest as they say was history.
Some of J.Wellsâ€™ notable production credits include Tha Alkaholiks, Kurupt, Keyshia Cole, Ne-Yo, Rakim, Snoop Dogg, Goodie Mob, Bigg Gipp, Estelle, and others.
Bonzi Recordsâ€™ first release in 2007 was Kurupt & J.Wells collaboration album titled Digital Smoke. Which garnished massive reviews in the LA Times, Source, and XXL.
The marketing company Mac Media Promo and associates behind records such as 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Keri Hilson, Eminem, Soulja Boi, Latoya Lucket, and others will be handling Bonzi Recordsâ€™ marketing.
Wanita Woodgett, better known as “D. Woods,” grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts where she discovered her love for performing at an early age and went on to attend Tri-Cities Magnet High School for Visual and Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia and graduate from the prestigious NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York City in Musical Theatre.
She became a familiar face on television as one of MTV’s reality stars for two intense seasons on Diddy’s “Making the Band 3″ which was one of MTV’s most highly rated shows with over 63 million viewers in the tween and young adult demographics. Winning a spot in the pop/R&B girl group Danity Kane (Bad Boy/Atlantic Records), D.Woods went on to achieve chart-topping and certified Platinum status, selling 1.3 million albums, with Danity Kane’s #1 album debut on the Billboard charts and their hit single “Showstopper.” D.Woods also made a cameo in 2007 box office smash “Stomp the Yard” and hosted “New on Flow” for Time Warner Video-On-Demand urban lifestyle channel FLOW TV. She is back on MTV in 2008 with Danity Kane for a new season of “Making the Band 4″ which follows the recording and promotion of their highly anticipated sophomore album.
D.Woods has also appeared with Danity Kane on many television shows including MTV TRL, The Tyra Banks Show, Regis & Kelly, The Today Show, and was a presenter with Danity Kane at the 2006 Billboard Awards. They toured with the Black Eyed Peas in the US and with Christina Aguilera and The Pussycat Dolls on a sold-out 40 city tour in 2007.
Prior to Making the Band and Danity Kane, D. Woods trained extensively in voice, acting, and all genres of dance including modern, ballet, hip-hop, and West African and performed in off-Broadway stage and theater productions, commercials, and on tour as a dancer with major recording artists. Also a talented songwriter, D. Woods has written for and collaborated with other major pop/R&B and hip-hop artists including Danity Kane.
Kurupt & J. Wells Bio
In order for any art form to progress, its leaders have to encourage, cultivate and showcase emerging talent. Super OG lyrical great Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound fame has just done that on Digital Smoke, his debut collaborative album with J. Wells, a producer and rapper primed for superstardom.
J. Wells, a member of the Likwit Crew (King Tee, Tha Alkaholiks, others), toured with Tha Alkaholiks in 2001. While on the road, he and Kurupt bonded over J. Wellsâ€™ diverse production. The friendship and mutual respect resulted in what would become Digital Smoke (released on J. Wellsâ€™ Bonzi Records, through Fontana), a well-rounded project that displays J. Wellsâ€™ stellar production and vivid rhymes, as well as Kuruptâ€™s always potent rhymes.
â€œThis is a different flavor,â€ Kurupt says. â€œThis is along the lines of what J. Wells is doing and weâ€™re letting people know that this generation of West Coast is coming with that fire. Heâ€™s an up-and-coming producer, so Iâ€™ve got to show my support as well. This is his time to shine, his light for him to do what heâ€™s got to do.â€
Kurupt and J. Wells deliver autobiographical rhymes over the horn-propelled thump of â€œAll We Smoke.â€ J. Wells, in particular, uses the song as a way to explain his rap heritage. â€œIâ€™m talking about how I came in the game and about cats that influenced me, like DJ Quik, like Battlecat, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and N.W.A,â€ J. Wells explains. â€œI talk about my addition to the West Coast and to hip-hop, period. Kurupt is on there spitting, killing it.â€
Even though these two pay homage to their region throughout Digital Smoke, that doesnâ€™t make the album a one-dimensional affair. Case in point: â€œGet It,â€ a hypnotic cut that features Atlantaâ€™s Goodie Mob and showcases J. Wellsâ€™ sonic range. â€œWe feel like spreading our wings and creating a broader sound for the West Coast is the thing to do,â€ reveals J. Wells, who produced the Goodie Mobâ€™s â€œPlay Yo Flutesâ€ single a few years ago. â€œItâ€™s still a West Coast track. Itâ€™s just got more bass in it so the Southern cats can play it in their cars. Thatâ€™s one thing that Kurupt was always telling me to do anyway.â€
Kurupt is also a die-hard Rakim fan, so when Kurupt and J. Wellsâ€™ cohort Kokane came up with the idea to revisit Rakim on the funk-drenched â€œI Came In The Door,â€ they jumped at the chance. â€œI am totally Rakim,â€ Kurupt says. â€œI was all in with that. He was one of the greatest, so when Koka had that cracking, I just fell directly in pocket. I was really already there.â€
Kurupt and J. Wells then team with guests Gail Gotti and Styliztik Jones to deliver the bone-crushing slugfest â€œIâ€™m Too Gangsta,â€ while Y.A. & James DeBarge join the duo for â€œSmokin,â€ a classic laid-back West Coast, keyboard-driven cut that salutes one of the crewâ€™s favorite pastimes.
The pairâ€™s relationship comes full circle on â€œLet Em Know,â€ a lyrical free-for-all featuring Tha Alkaholiks. Working with Tha Liks on this project makes perfect sense for J. Wells, who was mentored in the music industry by Tha Liksâ€™ J-Ro. J-Ro gave J. Wells pointers on how to construct songs and the importance of having memorable melodies in his compositions.
Impressed with J. Wellsâ€™ sonic output and his work ethic, J-Ro offered him a place in the highly regarded Likwit Crew. J-Ro then enlisted J. Wells to compile a mixtape for his Wolfpac Records. That release, J. Wells Presents: The Wolfpac Mixtape, became one of the West Coastâ€™s most revered mixtapes of all time thanks to its fiery performance from Tha Liks, Kurupt, Roscoe and others.
By this time, Kurupt had long been established as one of the most important and respected rappers. His work with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg helped usher in Death Rowâ€™s music industry dominance in the early 1990s, and Tha Dogg Pound, his group with partner-in-rhyme Daz Dillinger, is regarded as one of the best groups in rap history.
So when J. Wells and Kurupt toured together, game recognized game and the two became quick friends and collaborators. In 2005, J. Wells enlisted Kurupt to appear on his highly regarded Digital Master album, a collection released on J. Wellsâ€™ Bonzi Records that also featured Method Man, Aftermath Entertainmentâ€™s Bishop Lamont and Tha Liks, among others. The albumâ€™s street acclaim and retail buzz set the stage for J. Wellsâ€™ deal with Fontana, Universal Music Groupâ€™s independent distribution arm that has also distributed tremendously successful albums from DJ Muggs and the GZA/Genius, DJ Quik and Tech N9ne.
>Through his work with J-Ro and Wolfpac, J. Wells quickly learned how to put an album together. He also realized that he wanted to be more than a producer putting out compilations. He wanted to be an artist respected as both a rapper and a producer. â€œA lot of people got beats,â€ J. Wells says, â€œbut itâ€™s about being able to put together full albums and full songs and full projects.â€
J. Wells provides an intimate look at his burgeoning career on Digital Smoke standout â€œLos Angeles.â€ The song stands as affirmation of J. Wells emergence as a star in the making, as well as his relationship with Kurupt. â€œWhen we make music, itâ€™s a fellowship because weâ€™ve been working on music for so long,â€ J. Wells explains. â€œItâ€™s a natural experience to get in there and make records.â€
And now, with Digital Smoke, Kurupt and J. Wells have instantly established themselves as rapâ€™s next great one-two punch. â€œItâ€™s just a chemistry,â€ Kurupt says. â€œJ. Wells is my lil homie and Iâ€™ve been messing with him. Heâ€™s got those hammer beats. He had an idea to do this album and I supported him. We made some good West Coast music.â€
Now thatâ€™s an understatement.