Johnny Reed McKinzie Jr. (born March 31, 1985), better known by his stage name Jay Rock, is an American rapper and songwriter from Watts, California. Rock ultimately chose to pursue a career as a rapper over a life of street crime. Anthony Tiffith, the founder and CEO of the independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), found Rock in 2005 and signed him to the label. In 2007, alongside TDE, Rock secured a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records and later Asylum Records, but mergers fell through Rock left the label. He then signed with Tech N9ne's Strange Music, in a joint-venture record deal.