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Terrence J: World Tour

There is no

denying that 106 & Park hosts Terrence J and Rocsi have made their mark.

While some doubted the duo’s ability to live up to AJ and Free before them,

they proved the naysayers wrong by giving the staple BET show a fresh new vibe.

 

While his

demeanor is often happy-go-lucky, North Carolina native Terrence J is very

serious about his career and his legacy. As he expands his professional resume’

with acting and radio hosting, he is simultaneously doing charitable work and

community outreach. Does he know that people have doubted his ability? Absolutely.

Does he let negativity affect his moves? Never.

 

We sat down

with Terrence J to discuss his recent projects in radio and film, the 106 & Park global phenomenon, and the

importance of education in his life as he shares his experiences with others.

 

AllHipHop.com: You

have this McDonald’s charity thing that you’re working on right now. Tell us

about that.

Terrence J: We just got signed by the Ronald McDonald House charities as the

head of the African American Future Achiever scholarships. They’ve given out

over $29 million in high school scholarships, over the years they were using

people and they weren’t getting as many people as they should to fill out the

applications so they tapped into me to try to see if I could get more people to

apply and it’s been crazy.

 

I’ve been doing

these high school takeovers where I’ll go with the executives from McDonald’s

to a high school auditorium, I’ll sit down and talk with the kids for a half

hour to 45 minutes and tell them my whole life story, everything they want to

know about college and get them to apply. The rates of their applications have

just been coming in ridiculous, so it’s been really working out for both of us.

AllHipHop.com: [Is it true that] you’re getting into acting now?

Terrence J: We just re-signed with BET, so this will be my bread and butter,

and we’re expanding the show so it is taking up more of my time. We expanded to

Japan last year and within the next couple of months we’ll be in Germany, we’re

going to London, South Africa and I think the Caribbean. The show is getting

bigger, we do a separate 106

International show which is a weekly show which counts down for them the

top 10 videos across the world.

 

It’s been

really a blessing for me and Rocsi to be a part of the global expansion of

Hip-Hop and getting out artists into those regions that they’ve never been in.

So now when I shout out AllHipHop, it ain’t just hitting people in New York and

L.A., now it’s hitting people in the U.K., South Africa, and all over the

place. That’s been huge for us, our radio show has been growing, we do the 106 & Park weekly countdown show

which is our radio deal through WestWood One. That’s in five of the top 10

markets across the country, and we plan on getting those other five markets by

the end of ’08. We’re all over the place with that, it’s a syndicated weekly

countdown show as well on the radio side of things.

 

I just did my

first movie with my man Russ Parr, he had a movie called Love For Sale. Jackie Long’s in the movie, Mya, Essence Atkins,

Jason Weaver, Melyssa Ford… it was a cool ensemble cast and I was a part of

that. So I got my acting chops off, and I’m working on some new movies. A lot

of scripts that I had handed to me kind of got pulled back because [of the

writer’s strike].

 

I’m really just

working on the TV and radio side of things and endorsement side, we signed the

deal with McDonald’s, a deal with Disney and Steve Harvey and I [partnered]

with them over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Steve is just an incredible guy

and a mentor, and Disney’s an incredible company and they’re taking over 100

kids and 100 chaperones, 200 people in total down to Disney World over a three

day span.

 

I’m really

gonna get to talk with the kids, and not just preach to them but I also get to

ride with them and just try to be as down to earth as possible and help them

realize their dreams. That’s been a real big deal with me. I’ve [also] been

working real close with [Diddy], we’ll have a real big announcement real soon.

I’ll also be in the Sean John fashion show which is coming up on February 8th,

so be out on the lookout for me doing some real big things with Sean John in

’08. Puff is incredible and a great dude, Sean John is real hot so I’m working

with them real closely.

 

We’re in the

process of solidifying this deal with Boost Mobile – they got the Stomp The Yard tour for the Greek

fraternities and sororities across colleges coming up, and I’ll be hosting most

of their tourdates throughout the spring. That’ll also be a good way for me to

get out there and talk to the college kids as well, and try to give them as

much positive energy as possible.

AllHipHop.com: Out of everything that you’re doing, what would you say is the

most fun for you from day to day?

Terrence J: I still never got over 106,

I still love it and I still love being with the people. But right now I’m

really passionate about this McDonald’s thing, because when we go to these high

schools I [get to] tell my story. I had it tough growing up, I’m a first

generation college student and a lot of people don’t know that. I was able to

come from that type of background and graduate at the top of my class and be

student body president and do a lot of other things.

 

So when I’m

able to tell my story, it’s not even like I’m preaching my story – it’s just

I’m letting kids know that if a loser like me can do it [then] anybody can do

it. It’s really exciting to see the look on kids’ faces when they realize that

they can accomplish their dreams as well. That’s been the biggest blessing for

me. I’ve been so blessed these first two years that I’ve been at BET that my

whole ’08 is dedicated to helping others, and trying to use the little

celebrity that I have to benefit others. I’m really trying to give back and

just be a positive Black role model, because I don’t feel like we have enough

positive Black role models.

AllHipHop.com: How do you get up every morning and say “I’m gonna be

positive all day”? Do you ever have [bad] days?

Terrence J: Yeah, I definitely have those days. For me, it’s a couple of

things, God has really been a big part of my life, especially recently I’ve really

been getting into it, and He’s been a part of my life. I have a small family,

but I have a strong, small family that’s really been my support system. I’m in

a fraternity and my frat brothers of Omega Psi Phi and my whole family at BET

has really been supportive of things that are going on in my life.

 

I’m going on my

25th birthday this year, for a Black man… they don’t make it to 25. Like Biggie

said “Either you’re slanging crack

rock or you got a wicked jumpshot” and that happens in the hood so

much. A lot of times I wake up like, “I’m able to make a living for myself and

I don’t have to do either one of those things, I’m just really blessed.” I hope

the blessings last forever, but in case they don’t I want everyone around me

that’s a part of my life to experience those blessings as well.

 

I don’t really

play into none of the negative energy, when people say negative stuff I don’t

really care. When I look on the blog sites and they say “He’s corny, he’s

wack” I love it, because people are talking, and if people are talking

then hopefully they can see some of the good stuff I’m doing and that’ll rub

off on them as well. All I try to do is stay positive, and people like you and

AllHipHop keep me motivated. [laughs]

AllHipHop.com: You’ve had a chance to grow with 106 & Park the last couple of years. Do you feel like you’ve

become an institution for the show, and along that line, do you want people to

remember you with some of the greats?

Terrence J: Yeah, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be remembered as one

of the greats, but it’s not as important to me to be remembered for what I do

on camera as it is for the things that I do off camera and the lives that I

affect, and the people that I’m able to touch, influence and reach off camera.

That’s what’s really important to me. As far as any comparisons to anybody that

came before me, me and Rocsi are establishing ourselves as an institution for a

totally new generation and you can’t get it twisted.

 

You can’t

compare Usher to Luther Vandross, it’s two different time frames and societies.

I look up to AJ & Free and Big Tigger because when I was in high school and

middle school those was the people I looked up to. I looked up to Puffy and

Jay-Z, these kids nowadays look up to Lil’ Wayne and Chris Brown. If I’m lucky

and blessed, maybe one day these kids will look up when me and Rocsi are gone

and they’ll say “I used to watch Terrence and Rocsi and they had a

positive influence on me”. That’s all I try to do. I take it one day at a

time, but I’m trying to get remembered for having more kids go to college

because I gave them some words of wisdom that they can live by. Those are the

things that I wanna get remembered by.

AllHipHop.com: 106 & Park

initially started out a lot more R&B oriented with celebrities [without] as much Hip-Hop incorporated, because Rap City was so strong. [Now] 106 & Park has picked up a lot of

slack where Hip-Hop is concerned. Do you feel that that’s been a good move for

the show, or do you feel that it’s convoluted what the show was about

initially?

Terrence J: First of all big ups to Rap

City, Rap City is an institution.

On BET that was our first Hip-Hop dedicated show, so big ups to them, because

they’ve done an outstanding job. As far as what you said today, time changes

and pop culture changes. The difference between 106 & Rap City or any

other show is 106 is truly a people’s

show. 106 is a Top 10 video countdown

show, and because we say it so much it gets diluted – but it is voted on, it is

what the people vote on. So if R&B is the movement at the time, then that’s

what’s gonna be on the countdown. If crunk comes back strong, all 10 videos

might be crunk two months from now.

 

We roll along

with the wave, and I think that’s why 106

remains on top of its game – because we are what the people vote for. I took a

step away during the holidays, but I just came back and started listening to

the music, I think right now as much as people want to scrutinize the industry

we got some real talented people out right now. When the artists slip up,

that’s when our shows slip up. Right now the industry is in a good space. Jay-Z

had a nice run, we got some great albums coming out, Fat Joe got a nice record,

it’s a lot of good records that are on the way and out right now. I think we’re

gonna be great, and that 106 is gonna

continue to maintain on top.

AllHipHop.com: Where do you see yourself in 10 to 20 years, and what’s your [personal]

goal?

Terrence J: You’re supposed to always be better than your father was, and your

father was supposed to be better than your grandfather was. Before Puffy there

was no Puffy, before Jay there was no Jay-Z, even the younger guys like Nick

Cannon, who’s in a space by himself. There’s really no spaces that existed

before they put themselves in the spaces that they’re in now. So for somebody

like me who has all of those people as mentors in the game, I definitely plan

on elevating myself to a whole ‘nother level, and I don’t think there are any

boundaries.

 

I’m a college

educated businessman, and I’m going to continue to do the business aspect of

things. I’ve been blessed with at least a smidgen of talent on the

entertainment side. I’m gonna continue to have fun and do the acting thing,

hopefully put out and produce some more TV shows. I found so much talent on

Wild Out Wednesdays and Freestyle Fridays, so hopefully I can be in a postion

where I can put out talent and make other people stars. I can see myself as a

hybrid between Puffy, Ryan Seacrest and Will Smith. [laughs] I don’t know what

that means, but I’m gonna be all of the above, and who knows… maybe Barack one

day too.

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