To make great music is as vague a goal as any for an up-and-coming musician, but for rapper born Jonathan Killingsworth, it’s as clear as any. “I’ve been spending a lot of time learning and perfecting my own craft” says the 22 year old known as VO Marley. Rapping since 14, VO has always had his mind set on standing out from the crowd.
Born in Chicago, IL to a single mother of three, VO and his family relocated to Iowa City, IA when he was 12 years old, where he discovered an interest in music. By junior high VO was penning rhymes with his child hood friend, Ceasar Y for fun. It wasn’t until VO met Kane, who was also pursuing music, that VO considered music a career. There the two emcees formed GME.
In 2005, GME hit the studio and recorded several tracks, music that was accepted almost immediately by the local scene, VO being the main attraction. By 2006, GME was on the rise locally, performing with Yung Joc and Huey; the group was headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, the relationship between VO and GME had experienced turmoil, and in 2008 they disbanded. For the first time, VO found himself as an independent artist.
VO refused to let the break-up slow down his already promising career, it only motivated the 20 year old emcee to work much harder. Collaborating with local rappers and producers, VO hit the ground running. As a solo artist, VO was as focused as ever on establishing his own sound and style. After being featured on James the Barber’s “That Loud Pak” in 2010, it wasn’t a question that VO was a young star in the making. In the months that followed, VO’s momentum grew, performing with Young Dro, Young Buck, Lil Will and Yung Joc.
With a fan base that is constantly growing and his anticipation growing daily, VO feels it’s the perfect time for his first official release which is appropriately titled, the “Man of the Hour”, as he defines as “owning the moment”. There’s no question that it’s his moment, but will he own it? The world is all ears.