J.R. James (Heartless Hustler) was born James McCullum Jr. and was raised on the west side of Chicago, Illinois and due to his behavior and all the street violence his parents moved the family to Hopkins Park, Illinois. It was in Hopkins Park that James discovered his love for music. He had duffle bags of notepads filled up by the age of 13 with lyrics and full length records no one knew about.
After his short stay in Hopkins Park his family settled in Joilet where he took his gift of songwriting to another level by recording his first three mixtapes: Summertime Heat; Money, Hoes and Bangas; and Heartless Hustler. James started making beats but the love for it wasn’t the same as writing about the struggle, hardship, and problems at home and in the streets.