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Turning the spotlight on musicians making a commercial breakthrough.

October 28, 2006|CASEY DOLAN

"Jibbs Featuring Jibbs"



Artist info: Jibbs, only 16, emerged from the freestyle battleground of St. Louis five years ago as a wunderkind with a rap that incorporated humor into references to bling ("I got charms so heavy that my neck don't like me"), pop-culture icons (King Kong) and shout-outs to rap figures (Timbaland).

His debut album demonstrates energy and cleverness, and some notable guest appearances from J Valentine, Chamillionaire and Melody Thornton (the Pussycat Dolls) give the album surprising shifts in dynamics.

Back story: It's a story of brotherly love. DJ Beats (of Da Beatstaz), co-producer for Nelly and Chingy, is Jibbs' older brother and couldn't help but notice how many contests his younger brother was winning. Opening slots for visiting artists such as Chris Brown, Bow Wow and Young Jeezy attracted interest, as did a demo recording that DJ Beats produced.

When Geffen Records signed Jibbs, he left a potentially successful career in boxing; he defeated Golden Gloves boxers before he was old enough to compete in the Golden Gloves.

"Chain Hang Low," the first single that had been independently released, became a smash and helped boost the debut album into a position in which industry observers are predicting big sales. Of course, his brother is one of the producers.

Influences: Nelly, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G.

Trivia: Jibbs' real name is Javon Campbell, and he acquired his moniker from his mother. She "gave it to me when I was a baby. It's an old slang word for a mouthpiece, like, 'Keep on talking, and I'm going to hit you in the jibbs.' "

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