Jarrett Lee Johnson, aka The Jaguar, is a North Carolinian rapper and songwriter born February 27, 1994 in Albemarle, North Carolina. He was raised in Norwood, a small town in southern North Carolina. The Jaguar graduated from South Stanly High School, and later attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he received his Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies with a minor in African-American and the African Diaspora Studies. At age 23, in the humble beginnings of his rap career, he worked numerous part-time jobs in order to bring his dream into fruition. Jarrett has been rapping and performing since 2016.
On April 12, 2016, The Jaguar released his first independent mixtape, The Periodic Table. The mixtape was a collection of rhymes written and compiled since 2014. With samples from an array of artists including Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne and more, Jarrett’s influences meshed well with his own personal style and delivery. On Christmas Day, 2017, The Jaguar released another mixtape, The Periodic Table II: Redemption, much similar to its predecessor. Although his mixtapes received quite the positive reviews, The Jaguar soon realized that he lacked connection with the music he was producing. With lyrics that glorify gun violence, sex, and misogyny, his music back then was not a reflection of who Jarrett was.
On July 8, 2016, just three months after releasing his first mixtape, Jarrett was diagnosed with Covert Depression. He spent most of his days heavily drinking, in isolation. With the help, love and support of close family and friends, Jarrett finally defeated his biggest enemy: fear.
On February 27, 2019, his 25th birthday, The Jaguar returned to the stage after a long, overdue hiatus. Later that night, Jarrett returned to Instagram and posted a photo captioned, “I will no longer deny who I am. This is me. Take it or leave it.” Today, The Jaguar creates music with a message and a purpose. Jarrett’s goal is to provide a shift in thought, attitude and behavior among all people. His main focus is to shed light on fragile Black masculinities, family-hood, and other political, cultural and social issues.
“You have three strikes in this world. Black. Male. But, if you are Black, and you are male, and you are gay, then you are going to have a hard fucking time. But, if you are going to do this, you have to be stronger than you ever imagined. You have to open that door. You all have to open that door, too…”