Justo StClare, Hasn’t Been Easy


San Francisco Bay Area, native and independent recording artist, Justo StClare comes from less than humble beginnings performing music that describes his struggle, hard work, and philosophies in which he lives his life by.

Justo was born on October 21 in Barstow, CA. as Justin Dean Ratliff. He was born to Billy Edward Ratliff and Dina Lynn Munoz Ratliff. Though his parents permanently resided in San Jose at the time of his birth, Justo’s father was on the run from the law which led to his birth to take place in Barstow, CA. At three-years-old, Justo’s San Jose home was raided by law enforcement. This resulted in Justo and his older siblings to be placed in foster care. They stayed there for a little over a year until their mother was able to get custody of them.

At this time Justo, a five-year-old child, moved with his siblings and mother to an apartment in Santa Clara. Justo, who is Mexican and Native American, moved into a neighborhood which consisted of mostly Hispanic and Middle Eastern ethnicities. “If you’re a part of my family, you’re more than likely to fall in one or more of these categories: drug dealer, addict, criminal, a musician, an athlete, or God fearing church loving All-American,” Justo said about his family culture.

He is the second youngest of 8 children. There are many facets to Justo’s life story. Running among the streets in his youth along with being a star athlete all throughout his school, he has seen many different sides to life. Until the age of 16, Justo received three MVP awards for football. His future looked promising until he was arrested at 16-years-old for armed robbery. He then spent a year in juvenile hall and the Boys Ranch.

After his time was served, he then enrolled at Wilcox High School for his senior year and received the Most Valuable Backer award, once again. Justo’s athletic career ended the summer after his senior year of high school during the Central Coast Section All-Star game that July. During that game he tore his ACL and ruptured his meniscus. Even though this obstacle closed one door in his life, it revealed his true passion and life path.

Justo finally took seriously his passion of making music. Justo always had a knack for spitting rhymes and making music, but it was not until after high school that he finally allowed himself to delve completely into this part of his life. He started working at Ruff Ryders Record Label doing events and training with the label. In 2006 he received a chance to perform in the Battle of the Bay, which marked his first performance in front of that large of a crowd. “The feeling it brought was unexplainable,” Justo said of the performance

From there, his independent music career took off. That same year, Justo released his first independent street album titled “Bridge to Bridge.” Due to his ambitious work ethic, he has released an independent album every year since his first one in 2006. In 2007, he released his second album entitled “Bayground Bullies,” followed in 2008 by “The Fast Life” EP album. In 2009, “The Get Rich Quick Show” album was released and in 2010 “Concrete Angels.” In 2011, “The Paper Route Mixtape,” and in 2012 “The Son of a Biker,” album was released.

His newest single “That’s Right” came out in 2013 and will be followed by a mixtape entitled “STREET DREAMS” which will feature rap icons such as Meek Mill and Bun B., it will be available October 2013

Even though Justo has consistently set out albums, it does not mean it has been easy. If anything, the last three years of albums he has released should be a testament to how committed he is to his music. Since 2010, he has faced some of the biggest tragedies of his life. He lost one of his best friends from an overdose March 14th, 2010, two months later proved perhaps the most devastating of any loss Justo has experienced. His girlfriend, Jennifer Juanez, lost her battle to leukemia and passed away May 19th 2010, then 7 months later another good friend of his was murdered in Antioch, CA.

Justo credits his tough skin to his parents who were always “hard” teaching him how to survive by all means. His tough upbringing has given him the tools to handle many of the obstacles that life has handed him.

Throughout his career thus far, Justo has had the opportunity to work with many big-name artists in the industry. He has worked with artists such as DMX, Jadakiss, Anthony Hamilton, Twista, Meek Mill, and Bun B. Some of the top Bay Area artists include Andre Nikatina, The Jacka, Joe Blow, Stevie Joe, Lil Rue, Mistah Fab, and the list goes on.

He has performed at concerts and events featuring artists like R Kelly, Tyga, French Montana, Twista, Jim Jones, The Dog Pound, Ice Tea and Coco, and KRS1. Justo just finished up a west coast tour with rapper Twista and is currently waiting to start a 25 plus city tour with Twista soon. As well as a 10 city West Coast tour with Young Money recording artist.Cory Guns.

Learn more about Justo StClare on his Official Artist Website.

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