J. Rawls is a man of many talents, functions and accolades. He is an internationally revered hip hop producer. Rawls is a formidable deejay who hosts a monthly at Double Happiness. J Rawls is a label owner (POLAR Entertainment). He is also involved with the Hip Hop Ed movement that was spearheaded by Columbia professor Dr. Christopher Edmin that utilizes hip hop aesthetics in education as an instructor at Tiffin University. Rawls is a proud father, and husband.

 The Columbus-based producer is celebrating his new album, “The Legacy,” with a release party June 7th at Double Happiness. Rawls explained that turning 40 early this year, and working on his PHD prompted him to make a reflective album as a follow-up to 2011’s “The Hip Hop Affect.” “It’s about my life, my career, things I’ve done musically. My kids. My philosophy and different things that I just want to be my legacy.”

 If you have heard the Bombeardo produced single, “Bills” that features Masta Ace, then you know that Rawls is stepping into the booth and rapping about real life subjects. Rawls is normally known for his efforts behind the boards but this album features outside production from Kev Brown, Rashad. Lakim, The Mighty DR and DJ O-Sharp among others.

 In fact, from the track-listing, it appears the only song Rawls produced was the aptly titled, “Best Producer on the Mic II” which guests revered producer-rappers Oddisee, Nottz Raw, and Blueprint.

 Rawls explained his motivation for stepping off the boards and onto the mic, “I started out as a rapper. I just kinda wanted to go full circle and rap and see if I can hold down a whole album because I never had. I just went and got some of my favorite producers and that’s really what it was about.”

 Although Rawls is master producer he gave the beat-makers full rein. “I have to be a writer. I have to write to what they give me.” You can’t discuss J Rawls’ legacy without bringing up the song he produced “Brown Skin Lady” off Blackstar’s 1997 classic debut album, “Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star.”

 I asked Rawls what he made of his friend, Mos Def not being allowed back into America earlier this month to tour.

 Rawls was perplexed, “To be real honest. I don’t know what to make of that. I really don’t understand why they won’t let him the country. I’m not quit getting it. I need more information. He was born in America so it doesn’t really make sense.”

 Fans of Rawls' work with Mos Def/Kweli, and the Lone Catalysts will love “The Legacy” album cut “One Time.” with Lyricist Lounge Vet Wordsworth.

 This song addressees that golden era of indie rap said Rawls.

 “We talk about the old Rawkus days. Things like Sandbox Automatic. Hip Hop The old school. The way it used to be.”

 Other rappers, and singers featured on the Legacy are John Robinson, Ceezar, Lea Anderson, Keisha Soleil, Rashad, Ms. Sara D, P.Blackk, Jean P, Driskill, and Illa J.

 As you can see, the Legacy displays a good cross section of various generations of hip hop.

 Whether teaching or making music, Rawls’ Legacy is as one of the nicest guys in hip hop. I asked Rawls what his life philosphy is. “Positive outlook links active reality. My whole thing is being positive and humble. Be good to people. Be only good to people. And what will eventually happen is that it will become your reality.

People will be good to you in return. Good things will happen to you in return. You put positivity out in the world then you will get back positivity. It links to your reality. It becomes your reality.”

J. Rawls “The Legacy” Release Party will be at Double Happiness located at 482 South Front Street,

Columbus, Ohio 43215. It will feature beat sets by Rashad, Kev Brown, Bombeardo, DJ DR, DJ O-Sharp and Rob Riley. Admission is Free.