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Jha Jha: Light It Up

Jha Jha has dipped from the Dipset, and she’s speaking her mind. In 2003, the Harlem Diplomats had the Hip-Hop world on smash. With the hold they had on the streets and their strong presence in mainstream media it seemed like success was guaranteed for anyone who got down with the ‘Set. But, as Dipset’s now former first lady Jha Jha would find out, nothing in life is guaranteed. After the Florida native joined Dipset she made her debut on Jim Jones’ “What You Been Drankin’ On.” The song got people’s attention and after noteworthy features on numerous Diplomat projects such as Jim Jones’ “We Fly High” and “Get From Round Me” with Juelz Santana and Cam’ron, she and fans both began to wonder, what’s really good? Jha Jha speaks ons on the creation of her own record label, Git It Girl Entertainment, Foxy Brown allegedly biting her music, leaving Dipset and on her intentions of bringing all the images of female wealth and power that are associated with her name to life. AllHipHop.com: I recently found out that you’ve separated from the Diplomats. What made you want to leave and why now?Jha Jha: I was never signed to Diplomats. I never had a binding contract. I was with them for like four years. I thought we could work something out but no contracts were ever put on the table. I wrote a record for Diddy, I had a record on MTV Jams countdown, I was writing and producing records and at the end of the day…I guess you can say it came down to creative differences. I wish the Diplomats the best of luck. The good thing about this situation is I don’t owe anybody any money. No money was ever spent on me. I bought my own cars I bought my own houses, I paid for my own studio time, anything that you’ve seen that had to do with Jha Jha I did myself. Because nobody spent any money I can walk away from this scot free. I appreciate everything that we did together but, at the end of the day, business is business. AllHipHop.com: Some people say you never quit a job unless you have a new one. With that being said, do you have a new deal lined up?Jha Jha: I started my own company, Git It Girl Entertainment. A lot of labels are showing interest in signing me right now but it’s not just about getting a deal, I’m looking for a joint venture. The money is in ownership and branding yourself. As an artist you’re not really making any money. I’m signing myself to my own company and now you have to go through Git it Girl Entertainment to get Jha Jha. A lot of artists don’t know what happens when you sign to these regular deals. You’re getting like $0.06 off an album and then are left wondering why you’re selling 300,000 and still in debt. You’re getting $0.06 and they’re getting like $10 off of you at least. With that deal you’ll have to sell well over a million records just to see a hundred stacks. I think females in the industry are getting the sh*tty end of the stick. AllHipHop.com: Why do you suppose that is?Jha Jha: They say it’s because we’re not selling records and I really don’t think that’s the case. Like look at the ratio of men to women. What I mean by that is there’s like 100 dudes rapping but there are only like seven you can say are really successful. There are only five females in the game who have had success or some type of success. That’s Foxy, Lil’ Kim, Missy, Trina, and Remy. Kim and them came out when I was in middle school, like 10 years ago. No disrespect but, you can’t label the whole female genre on that. Like, they’re always going to have their fanbase but they’ve already sold their records. They’re not going to come out and sell four million records anymore. Their fanbase has grown up.  Missy, Kim, they broke all types of barriers but their fans have grown up. Even Redman and Method Man, they can’t come out and sell three million units anymore. Not saying any of them are wack but, their original fanbase has grown up and moved on to different things. They can still come out and sell like 200,000 or 300,000 but a T.I., or a Jeezy, or someone else who is fresher to the scene can come out and sell 700,000 or 800,000 units because their fanbase is still young. My point is this, if you had more female artists in the game there’d be a greater chance for us to sell records. It’s all about marketing. You can’t keep putting out the same five females every year or three years and think they’re going to sell the same amount of records as when they first came out 10 years ago. AllHipHop.com: So as a female artist, do you feel women are recognized as equals in the business side of Hip-Hop?Jha Jha: You got women out there like me that write and produce for dudes. People want to give me publishing deals to write for R&B artists. I’m that female that works harder than the dudes. Like if a studio session is 12 hours I’m in there from 9p.m. to 9 a.m. working, writing records making beats. I can get six records out in a day. A lot of people don’t expect that. A lot of people expect me to be a certain way because I come form a certain environment. I’ve spoken to people and they say, We thought you were going to be a hoodrat.” That’s not the case but women have this stigma about them being difficult and hard to work with and some are. But, I’ve seen a lot of men who can be drama queens. But at the end of the day it just makes you work harder.AllHipHop.com: You mentioned you’re a songwriter and producer but it’s fairly rare to see female beatmakers. How’d you get your start?Jha Jha: My producer, Hannon, who is signed to Timbaland’s company showed me a lot. I hear beats in my head so I’d get an idea for a beat and call him and we’d do the beat over the phone. So after a while he was like, “You need to get into producing because doing sh*t this way is hard.” So I went out and bought equipment and learned it. I had him teaching me and I’ve been producing tracks on my own for like three years now. I’ve always wanted to write and produce. I’m an entertainer; I’m not just a rapper. I want to be a superstar. I want to do everything like Jermaine Dupri, Diddy, Swizz Beats, all of them.AllHipHop.com: And you’ve always written your own rhymes?Jha Jha: I’ve been writing since I was like eight. That’s what really drew the Diplomats to me because I had records they wanted to get on. It’s usually the other way around when you’re a female. But I had different song concepts and choruses that was ill to them so they took me in and I definitely appreciate all that. AllHipHop.com: Did not being respected as a self contained writer/producer play a part in the decision to leave Diplomats?  Jha Jha: I just think the Diplomats weren’t used to dealing with someone like me. They weren’t used to a female like me who knew exactly what she wanted to do. I know what I want to do and don’t want to sit around and wait. Like, Puffy don’t co-sign a lot of people so the fact that he picked one of my tracks…he wasn’t even supposed to hear the record. The engineer played him the record and he was like, “Who’s this chick she’s hot. You need to put her out.” I don’t think they were ready for someone like me. For example, even though I grew up in the hood I was on some, let’s tell kids how to get out the hood. Go to school and all that. Just because you come from the hood doesn’t mean you have to stay there. You can still keep it real with the hood but you don’t have to be all extra with it. Let’s be real, once you sell a certain amount of records ni**as is not living in the hood like how they talk about. Ni**as is living in Jersey. Let’s be real. So I probably wasn’t what they were used to dealing with in a female. I was on a whole different level. I had my whole plan done. All I needed was for someone to push the button. They didn’t have to write my records, they didn’t have to pick my beats and I think when they saw that they were like, Whoa. AllHipHop.com: The Diplomats have relationships with Asylum and Koch. Will you be looking to work something out with one of them?Jha Jha: I’m not a Koch artist. No disrespect but that’s not me. I know what I can do and what kind of deal I can get. I’ve learned from them. I’ve seen the mistakes they’ve made and I know what to do and what not to do. I’m not a disgruntled artist, I have no hard feelings but, at the end of the day, it’s business. AllHipHop.com: There is currently a dispute with Koch, over a record of yours that ended up on Foxy Brown’s new album. Can you elaborate on that situation?Jha Jha: This guy, Bob Perry, was calling me, blowing my phone up to do this record. Mind you, this guy owes me all types of money for other records I’ve done. I did a record for AZ and some songs for Disney and never got paid. So I was keeping my distance because he already had a bad reputation anyway. So he’s calling me saying “Jha Jha, I need you to come to the studio and do this record, please come through and do this record.” I was doing some other stuff with Hell Rell. Duke Da God, 40 Cal and Rell were all in the studio that day. We all happened to be in his studio. So I’m already like, Damn, why I got to be at this dudes studio? So he comes up to me and is like, “Yo, I got this record. I want you to write it. Just listen to the beat see if something happens.” So I hear the beat and I’m like, Oh, that’s dope. It sounds a little like Diddy’s “Last Night” record. That was a big record. So I came up with a concept and wrote the record in like 30 minutes. I write records like that all the time so I didn’t think nothing of it. So he’s going crazy for it. I couldn’t stay because I had a show to do so I did one verse and I was out. So after, he’s calling my phone all crazy saying, “This is the one, I feel it. You need to come back and finish the record. Koch has a meeting with Capitol and I want to play the record for them.” So I finished the record. After it was finished I never heard anything else from him. Where he messed up is that I have a copy of the song in ProTools on my hardrive also. I think from jump Bob wanted me to reference it for Foxy. But I think he felt that women have a cattiness about them so it’d be a lot of problems getting it done. But I write records. That’s what I do so all he had to do was come at me in a business manner and he could’ve got it. But he didn’t do that. He did some real underhanded stuff. I found out because someone sent me an e-mail with Foxy Brown-“Lights Go Out” [Ed. Note: Jha’s Jha’s version is below] from Koch Records. Automatically I knew something was up. So I listen and I’m like this is just like my sh*t. So her record was on Digiwaxx so I put my record on Digiwaxx. I did the record. You should’ve been a real man and a businessman and [approached] the situation for what it is. You want to steal my lyrics, my whole swag, I don’t appreciate that. So I put my record out there so now when they play her record, play mines. Good looking. Jha Jha “Lights Go Out”

AllHipHop.com: Do you think he went about things this way to prevent friction between you and Foxy?Jha Jha: I’m not really on it like that. I’ll work with her. Long as she don’t come out of her mouth wrong we don’t have no problems. And anyway, she already know how Miami girls give it up from the whole situation with Jackie-O last year. So she wouldn’t even want to do all that type of stuff but she could’ve just reached out. She could’ve had it. I make those all day. I’m a superstar. I make those records all day. That’s nothing to me and Bob knew that. But he tried to sacrifice me to make his little couple dollars over at Koch. That’s something I can’t appreciate. Alan [Grunblatt] and them all know what it is, I write records. Business is business. I have no hard feelings toward Foxy but, what her team and Bob did was kind of grimy. AllHipHop.com: How close are you to resolving the situation?Jha Jha: My attorney is on the case. I’m a businesswoman. I make records like that. I have records better than that. That wouldn’t even have been something I’d put out. I’m not stressing the record. It’s them trying to play me. It’s the principalities of things. AllHipHop.com: After you get that settled, what’s next for Jha Jha?Jha Jha: I got my company, I’m sitting down with a few labels but, at the end of the day, it’s about getting the right deal. You can just go get a deal but if it’s not the right one you’re going to flop like everyone else and still owe. I’m not trying to do that. I’m trying to win and really do it for the women to show that we can sell records. My story is impeccable. I have all the necessary components. I’m sexy, I’ve been through a lot, and I have a story that people need to know about. AllHipHop.com: Anything else you’d like to mention?Jha Jha: Yes, R.I.P. Stack Bundles. Always remembered, never forgotten.

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