rjd2 originally began his career in Columbus, Ohio, DJing in 1993 with a pair of turntables bought from a friend. He went to high school at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center and graduated in 1994. He claims his name originates from another friend who referenced him as “rjd2” in his raps, and the name stuck.
Originally working the role of DJ in the Columbus rap group MHz, he later signed to Bobbito Garcia’s Fondle ‘Em label, releasing the self-proclaimed “mix CD” Your Face Or Your Kneecaps. A year later he signed to El-P’s record label Definitive Jux and released his solo debut album Deadringer to much acclaim.
rjd2 later collaborated with Columbus rapper Blueprint under the name Soul Position, releasing Unlimited EP in 2002 and 8 Million Stories in 2003. He released his second solo album Since We Last Spoke on Definitive Jux in 2004, which blended hip-hop with elements of pop and was lauded as one of the year’s Top 40 Albums by SPIN.
He later contributed a cover of “Airbag” by Radiohead for the 2006 album Exit Music – the same year that saw the release of the collaborative record, Magnificent City, with Aceyalone. Fully indulging his passion for pop, rjd2 released another solo album, The Third Hand, on XL Recordings and toured extensively through 2008.
The innovative producer’s 10-year career reached a marked turning point in 2009 after he scored “A Beautiful Mine,” the popular theme to the hit AMC television series, Mad Men. In early 2010, he dropped The Colossus – the first album to be released on his own label, RJ’s Electrical Connections. He has since reissued Your Face Or Your Knee Caps, The Horror, and Since We Last Spoke as well as a vinyl LP deluxe box set entitled 2002-2010 via his label.