Havana, Florida rapper J.R. Bricks, who made national headlines last summer with his Block Starz Music, www.blockstarzmusic.com, single “Waffle House”, has released his much-delayed solo debut, F.A.M.U., which is now available for free download at DatPiff.com.
F.A.M.U., an acronym which means “For All My Underdogs”, features 13 original tracks, including “Waffle House”, and production from platinum producers Jimi Kendrix (Jay-Z, 50 Cent), DJ Pain 1 (Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane), and J Staffz (Wiz Khalifa). The first single and music video from “F.A.M.U.” is titled “Play Play”, which is produced by King Turo (“Waffle House”) and directed by Alex Acosta. As part of the album's promotion, J.R. Bricks is also giving away a free 32G iPod Touch to fans that follow him on Twitter @JRBricks and answer a series of questions tweeted by the rapper over a seven-day period. Official rules for the contest are available at the rapper's website.
JR Bricks, born Earl Harrison, Jr., became one 2011's most buzzworthy independent artists after legal counsel for WH Capital, LLC and Waffle House, Inc., owner and licensee of the Waffle House® trademarks respectively, issued a cease and desist letter to his label claiming improper and unauthorized usage. In response, the song's title was changed to “After the Club”, which sparked cries of racism by some in the online Hip-Hop community who saw the southern restaurant chain's move as an effort to distance itself from its, predominately black and Latino, early morning weekend customers.
The controversy landed J.R. Bricks, a veteran of the United States Air Force, in various leading entertainment and trade publications, including AllHipHop.com, Billboard, XXL, and The Source magazines and he would go on to win the "Buzz Factor" award at the 2011 Underground Music Awards in New York. In a statement to Billboard, a Waffle House spokesperson denied claims of racial or cultural discrimination saying, "We embrace all cultures within Waffle House. All you have to do is come eat with us and you see that."
The remix to “After The Club”, which features Block Starz Music affiliates Cin'atra Da Mobsta and AG, is available on the “Down South Block Starz” compilation (now on iTunes).