OU Student Finds Musical Success In Athens

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Hip-hop artist Jéan P had one of the biggest performances of his career over the weekend, but he isn’t just a rapper: He's also an Ohio University student.

Junior Jean Johnson, AKA "Jéan P," won the Black Student Cultural Programming Board's (BSCPB) Battle of the Emcees contest on Jan. 28. His prize was an opening slot for Dom Kennedy and Big K.R.I.T. at BSCPB's Sibs Weekend concert last Saturday.

Akil Houston, Assistant Professor of African American Studies, serves as Jéan P’s mentor.

According to Houston, performing in Athens is a way for Jéan P. to break out, and Saturday's show allowed a broad audience to hear his music.

"As you start to meet a couple people, you find out that this person knows this person," he said. "The more you can break that barrier from being on the far outside to getting to know people, the easier it will be to sort of navigate and develop your own career."

Houston says that Jéan P is following a similar path of another OU student and musical artist, Justy Beats.

"It would be nice to see another success story for someone who started off what I consider the right way: You learn how to perform doing local gigs, you build your stage presence, and then you slowly build," said Houston.

Jéan P. says he sees performing with Dom Kennedy and Big K.R.I.T. as a life-changing event.

"It means a lot because I really worked hard for four years to open for anybody and luckily the BSCPB, through the Battle of the Emcees contest, gave me the chance to do something I always wanted to do," he said. "Hopefully…[it] is not only a performance, but it could open up a lot of doors for me."