Noa James was born on December 31, 1984 to Haitian parents in Queens, New York. He grew up on the South side of Jamaica Queens, eventually finding his way to Pasadena, CA and San Bernardino, CA. As a young man, Noa experienced more struggles than most people experience in their entire lives at a very young age ranging from his mother’s incarceration after abandoning him, living in an orphanage, the deportation of his father, to the most prolific moment in his life; the passing of his grandfather.
Rapping since the age of 13, Noa James began his musical journey as a successful battle rapper who quickly became known for his brutal punch lines and sharp tongue. After 5 years in the battle circuit, Noa realized that he wanted success as an artist and although he was young he knew he had a big story to tell.
Over the years James’ autobiographical rhymes have made him a pioneer in the art of storytelling and although his powerful stage presence and large stature has made him a force to be reckoned with, it is the size of his heart, that has remained most imminent. Not only making a name for himself as an artist, Noa is also widely known as a leading force in Southern California’s Inland Empire underground hip hop movement.
Under Black Cloud Music, Noa, along with 6 other likeminded and passionate artists have been breaking the mold and starting a musical movement that is undeniable and worthy of its growing success. After the release of several independent mixtapes before his Black Cloud affiliation in May 2010, Noa released his first official album on the label entitled Beautiful Darkness, which was well received and respectably noted by both his fans and peers. It was a project of love and labor and showed both sides of James’ personality and elaborate mind. Beautiful Darkness is now available in several record stores throughout Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas.
In May 2011, James released Intelligent, Elegant, Elephant: Humble Power, a project that generated quite a larger buzz digitally following his anticipated debut performance at a major hip hop music festival, Paid Dues in San Bernardino, California. During this time, James also was featured on the front cover of IE Weekly, a weekly magazine sister to LA Weekly, followed by his feature on XXL Magazine’s The Break, in early July.
In 2012, James continued his relationship with Paid Dues by hosting the Dues Paid stage of the 2012 Paid Dues Festival. Also continuing his relationship at the Glasshouse, James’ 2nd annual D.I.Y Fest was held there in early September & the first annual Grimey Dankmas show was held there in late December. The Common Ground continues to be the weekly stage for artist to showcase their talents.
James starts 2013 with the announcement of Curtiss King & himself hitting the road with Murs for the Road to Paid Dues tour & he will be releasing his project “The Adventures of Young Orca” in March, while on the road. For the third year in a row, James, makes an appearance on the Paid Dues line up along with his fellow label mates, Black Cloud Music as they were the host of the Monster Stage.