FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Justin Mende, also known by his stage name FJ OUTLAW, was born on Dec 24, 1986 in Tallahassee FL. FJ moved to the rural area of 'Port St John' at the age of 3. He spent his youth growing up in low income trailer parks and moving around from town to town until the age of 13. His mother always tried to provide the most she could, but FJ frequently found himself in trouble. Or as he recalls, “trouble found him.” He was kicked out of 4 schools between 7th-10th grade and had constant run-in's with local law enforcement. By the young age of 17, he found himself getting arrested for the first time.
FJ's father , John Mende, was never present in his life. His father played in a mid-level country band called 'Slim Sommerville and the Southlanders'. The band’s most notable accomplishment was in 1981, when they played at “The Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville Tennessee. From a very young age, FJ's mother would often speak of his father's musical talents. These stories helped to spark his interest in music. By age 7, his mother had bought him his first guitar. FJ proceeded to teach himself how to play and by age 13 had already been in member in several bands. It was during these early teen years that he begin listening to and growing a fond appreciation for hip hop music. Although it wasn't until his late teens that he actually began to experiment with rapping himself. He soon found a unique mix of his country music, rock and roll, and hip hop roots that brought together his unique style and flow.
In 2016, he released his debut EP "Shotguns N' Whiskey." This was followed by his first LP “More Trash Than Hick” released in early 2017. "I'm kinda finally at a point now where I'm beginning to feel more comfortable with myself as an artist. This just feels right. It feels like its meant to be. I've worked so hard and been so dedicated to my music. I spent 8-12 hrs/day in the studio for 6 weeks putting together this last album, and love sharing it with people."
FJ parted ways with his original record label in the summer of 2018. He shortly after released his next studio album “LIFE OF THE OUTLAW”. In 2019 he worked on and released two more albums. “Lyrical Narcan- The Mixtape”, and his throwback album “Phonetic Freshman”.
As we rolled into 2020, his long-anticipated album revolving around the split from Eleven86 Music, “Label Denounced” was released. As COVID struck, FJ continued to work in the studio. FJ signed with Mako Music Group in October of 2020. Since signing with Mako Music Group, FJ released his freshman album “Broken”, a Christmas album, and his sophomore album “Hopeless Emotions”.