"Mind your fucking business!" - Jay Cousteau by Maxwell Young

Jay Cousteau  shot by Maxwell Young.

Jay Cousteau shot by Maxwell Young.

At 18-years old, Jason Goolsby was wrongfully restrained by Washington, D.C. Metro Police officers. They responded to a call alleging suspicious activity outside of a Citibank in the Southeast quadrant of the city. If you check the transcript of the pre-emptive 9-1-1 call, you can understand the lack of probable cause and the absurdity of detaining three adolescent boys, who at the time of the incident, were “waiting at the door to let people in…”

This was over three years ago in 2015. Protests followed with the trending hashtag, “#JusticeForJason.” Law suits were filed. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reneged on a promise to sit face-to-face with Goolsby. And since then, 2,946 American citizens have been shot and killed by police.

“I feel like life has always been fairy tales. Now when I talk to kids, I don’t try to scare them, I just try to let them know that shit is real,” Goolsby told me.

Polaroid by Maxwell Young

Polaroid by Maxwell Young

Goolsby is more commonly known as Jay, or Jay Cousteau, at least in D.C.’s creative community. That’s how I met the rapper/streetwear designer/party-thrower in November—unaware of his past.

Cousteau is the name of the artist collective in which Jay belongs. Founded in 2015, it is a band of multi-faceted creators spanning music, fashion, graphic design, and photography. They are a rambunctious group of youth as seen during their brother and founder El Cousteau’s set at U Street Music Hall the day after Christmas, but they also support the community hosting annual holiday toy drives.

“We’re on the same team. Everybody has their own thing, but we all fall under one family tree,” he said regarding Cousteau.

Approaching 22-years old, the Northeast, D.C. native spent the better part of 2018 curating and releasing content. Maketto, a multi-purpose, boutique restaurant and retail spot on H Street, Northeast, has become a central creative outlet for the rapper, hosting pop-ups and music events at the venue. We’re sick we missed his summer extravaganza featuring rising talents including Odd Mojo, Lil’ Dream, and El Cousteau as well as established DJs Filet Mignon, Koleco, and Manesqueeze.

“When people say D.C. is crabs in a barrel that’s excuses,” he said. “We can eliminate the crabs in a barrel.”

Collage, ransom note-style letters accentuate Jay’s most recent musical offering, Chuck Brown Cousteau. It is a nod to D.C.’s most famous Go-go musician while also positioning the Cousteau collective as the next torchbearers of District culture. “I always pay homage to my city,” he said.

Perhaps the biggest statement Jay made last year, though, was the release of his “Cousteau” sweatshirts. Black hoodies emblazoned with a red “Cousteau” across the chest hid a message only visible from the back of the garments with their hood raised, reading “Mind Your Fucking Business.” It is a powerful statement when you consider the racial symbolism of black sweatshirts alone, but also as you understand Jay’s racial context in Washington, D.C. Yet to be honest, just as the hoodies allude, I don’t think Jay is concerned with people knowing his past. The fact that I gathered pertinent details about his incident with police from old news reels, and not Goolsby himself, reiterates the sentiment that Jay is not defined by his past nor does he want his past to define his work today.

Peruse Jay Cousteau’s SoundCloud and listen to some of our favorites below.

DMV Music Check-In by Maxwell Young

Perhaps you were at Trillectro this past weekend or maybe the after party hosted by Jungle Fever. April + Vista sold out Union Stage for their first headlining show last Friday, and Tech Yes has found a new home at Saint Ex on 14th Street. There’s a lot happening in the DMV music scene, we’re checking in.

April + Vista were joined by percussionist Foots of FootsxColes during their sold out show at Union Stage last Friday. Photograph by  @africanist

April + Vista were joined by percussionist Foots of FootsxColes during their sold out show at Union Stage last Friday. Photograph by @africanist

“Playin With Me” by Hipster Woods and Sir E.U

In a now deleted Instagram post, DJ/producer/founder of art collective TrashPass, Hipster Woods, proclaimed his punk-ness for all of the D.C. music community, and the world, to receive. A message so transparent should only be quoted, but his blunt feelings of wanting to convey his own punk experience was received loudly. The message made good promo for a track equally as loud. “Playin With Me” is produced by Woods featuring the turbulent vocals of Sir E.U. Clocking in at around seven and a half minutes, the song is more of a mix, as it was Woods’ intention to manipulate E.U’s voice like an instrument for a beat rather than have him flow in traditional song format.

This Wednesday: What a Night Presented by Jay Cousteau and Filet Mignon

Flyer via Jay Cousteau’s  Instagram

Flyer via Jay Cousteau’s Instagram

If you’re not going to Converge at U Street Music Hall on Wednesday, you should make sure to stop by Velvet Lounge for Jay Cousteau and photographer Filet Mignon’s ‘What a Night.’ The youth will be well represented as Northwest rapper Lul Big Brother, producer Supa Statiq, and fellow member of the Cousteau clan, El Cousteau, are slated to perform.

915 U St NW


$15 online; $20 at the door

OG Lullabies’ Red Bull Music Academy Residency

As part of her work with the Red Bull Music Academy, multi-instrumentalist OG Lullabies gives music heads an insight to her music compositions as well as a live tutorial demonstrating the Granular Convolver. Unless you’ve seen OG Lullabies live, it’s hard to discern every instrument she includes in her music because of how well she blends them together. You’ll see how she builds a texture of sounds and ambiance in this Facebook video.

Thursday: Urban Outfitters Live

Flyer via Odd Mojo’s  Instagram

Flyer via Odd Mojo’s Instagram

The Urban Outfitters in Chinatown is continuing their installment of live performances, and Thursday’s lineup looks to be one for the books. Odd Mojo, who we mentioned is working with Chris Allen, is also collaborating with Jenna Camille—admitting that their music is reminiscent of Janet Jackson. Maybe Mojo debuts new sounds. She is joined by host ArykahB, Babeo Baggins, FootsxColes, along with accompanying DJ sets by Tomiyeyo and Exaktly.

737 7th St. NW

4 - 7pm

“Water Walk” by Tedy Brewski

In his music video for “Water Walk,” Tedy Brewski continues to integrate movie, video game, anime, and internet subcultures into catchy blends of contemporary hip hop that are twinged with glitches and special effects. Did you know Tedy is a painter now, too?

Listen to Trae the Drummer’s New Instrumental Album Off the 6 With Band UnRehearsed

There might not ever be a time when Warren G. Crudup III aka Trae, is not at least 20 feet away from a drum kit. Trae is constantly working whether it be playing regularly with Jenna Camille and The Free Radicals, or at his residency at Bin 1301 on U St, or my favorite, with his partner, bassist Luke Stewart of Blacks’ Myths, a neo-punk-funk-rock band. Thanks to a chance encounter on U Street, ITR learned of Trae’s newest endeavor, an instrumental album with four-piece band UnRehearsed. Off the 6, available on all streaming platforms, is something you turn on to feel good, groovy. If you want to start your day on an uplifting note, Off the 6 will get you there with Trae’s frenetically varied drum rhythms and the band’s funky guitar riffs.

Paid/Job by Chris Allen Premieres Friday

New music from Chris Allen drops Friday. Image courtesy of  Allen ’s Instagram page.

New music from Chris Allen drops Friday. Image courtesy of Allen’s Instagram page.

Washington, D.C. native and Pittsburgh frequenter, Chris Allen, is spreading his wings in both local communities. Those in Pittsburgh will welcome him back to his home away from home at Hounds’ installation/showcase event at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh on Friday. Meanwhile, flicks of the rapper have surfaced on Odd Mojo’s Instagram page, confirming the two have been working on music with fellow DMV rapper, Kassim. We’ll wait patiently to hear what such a collaboration sounds like, but new music is coming from Allen this Friday with the release of “Paid/Job.”

Thraxx King’s Project 79 Merchandise Featuring Words by InTheRough

Thraxx King put an ITR article on a t-shirt.

Thraxx King put an ITR article on a t-shirt.

Offering t-shirts and hoodies, Thraxx King surmises the consumption of his latest album Project 72 through literal moments of engagement. Neon green hoodies are time-stamped at nine seconds with the Apple Music layout of Thraxx’s song “7+2.” We’re honored he chose to print our article, amplifying his album on a short sleeve, mint green t-shirt. Stay tuned to his Instagram for the drop.