Its been a bit of time now since Jha Jha joined the fold of Dipset as their official first lady, yet, we still havent heard a great deal for her. That is all soon to change. She recently contributed So Gangsta, which is featured on More Than Music, the solo debut album from Dipsets Duke Da God, and now shes plotting her strike on the industry with her solo debut! Tentatively titled Bright Lights & Big Cities, Jha Jha is set to let her own personality to show. AllHipHop.com recently sat down to talk with Jha Jha, and not only did we get a chance to see how big shes going to hit with her new album, but we also got a personal look into her life. Despite her surroundings throughout her childhood and adolescence, she still dreamed big, and managed to escape the many things that destroys the dreams of so many others. Now that she has made it, shes pimping the industry in so many ways its rediculous. So you think youre Dip-worthy? Read this.
AllHipHop.com: Growing up in Miami, did you always want to go to New York?
Jha Jha: I been rapping since I was eight years old, and Miami is not really a city where you can just break a new artist. I was with an independent label coming up, and I tried and tried until I was like 16 or 17. I graduated from high school and went to college. I was a third-year junior, and Im like a year ahead of all my classmates.
AllHipHop.com: Thats impressive
Jha Jha: Yeah, Im not a stupid individual. My thing also, and I dont want to get too far off the subject, but Im intelligent, and I encourage kids to go to school and do all of that. Im not one thats like Yeah, I was a stripper or drug dealer. And theres nothing wrong with it. If those are the cards that you were dealt, then thats your thing. But my thing I that I grew up in the hood too! I didnt grow up in no first class neighborhood. The crack head lived right next to me. The drug deals were right down the street from me. I could have took that route, but I chose to do better. The strip club was right down the street for me, and if I wanted to be a stripper, I could have been a stripper. I just chose not to go that route, so I encourage them to go to school, and become intelligent. If you want to rap, then rap, but you dont have to be dumb.
AllHipHop.com: Its good to show kids that you can be a product of a particular environment, but you dont have to become a victim of the environment.
Jha Jha: Oh yeah, because Im not no goodie goodie two shoes or nothing. Ill take you to where I grew up at. I had to sleep with my mother until I was like 16. I was never into fast money, because I feel like if it comes too fast, then its not going to last that long. So, I worked it out, and I encourage kids to do that. I know exactly whats going on with my contract. When my attorney tells me something, were going through it together. I know what mechanical rates is, and I know about royalties. I know that when I sign that contract, I know exactly what Im going to get. Some artists sign, and they dont have a clue whats going on.
AllHipHop.com: That is so great that you are paying attention to those things now, because just like you said, so many artist get into this business, and they dont know these things. Then they wonder why they dont get the money they thought was coming.
Jha Jha: Right, and theyre blaming it all on their management, but I feel like you cant blame nobody for your mistakes but you. You heard the Toni Braxton story, and you heard the TLC story, so dont come talking about they stole your money because you didnt take the time to learn it, or because it wasnt as important to you. I read a lot, and I watch how people like Diddy, they dont compromise. So I dont compromise. If I want it, I want it. So I tell kids if you want to rap, then rap, but know what you are getting into. You may actually be cut out to be behind the scenes. People behind the scenes make more money anyway. That why I produce, and thats why I write for other artists. I want to be an all around entertainer.
AllHipHop.com: How did you get into producing?
Jha Jha: Basically, I have these two wonderful producers. One of them is Lance, and he is my right arm. I met him in Miami when I was with the independent label. The other, I met in New York. Basically, I just picked up from what they were doing, and I figured hey, I can do this. Let me go get me an MP3 player. Shoe me how you do this. Thats how I got into it. You make a lot of money off of that, and people dont know, but you do.
AllHipHop.com: How did you end up getting down with Dipset?
Jha Jha: It was a coinky-dink! Im from Miami, so being with Dipset was the farthest thing from my mind, even though I have known and heard of them. It was just by luck that I ran into their manager Joe. What happened, was I had finished school, and I made this three-week trip to New York. I figured, something is going to happen within this time. I aint know nobody in New York at all. I already had an album done. I just knew I was going to make it, and couldnt nobody tell me nothing. My friends basically was like yea right, you better come go shopping with us and go to the beach. I was just like, Im going to New York. I went on the internet. I didnt know where any record labels were at, let alone how I would get inside if I found them. So I went on the net and pulled up the addresses to the major labels. So I went down there, and I went to Universal and Def Jam. It was raining so bad, and I was just standing so I would get wet. This dude named Big Joe came down like, What you do. I guess because I had this afro and my look was just distinct. My family had old me to look out for the pimps. So I thought he was trying to pimp me.
Jha Jha: Then he told me he managed Camron and the Diplomats, and he was with Roc-A-Fella Records. I told him I was an entertainer and showed him by bio and demo, and he invited me upstairs. He was going to play my album in his office, but it didnt work that way because it was during the time of Juelz Santanas album listening party, so Joe was running around for that. I lucked out because we had to go down and listen to it in his truck. As he got into it, Juelz pulled up with Jim Jones, and once they heard it, they were bouncing up and down saying Thats the s**t. So from there, I was invited to the listening party, and I got to hang out with them. Joe was just like, if I wanted to do this, I would need to move up there to New York. It was a lot to think about because I had just got a new apartment, and I didnt think my parents would go for it. In the end, I took the opportunity and moved to New York. It still didnt happen all that quick, because Cam is like the head honcho, and they are really hard on women. I can understand why, just because of the things that some women do. So they had to test me out. I just let them see that I carry my business like a lady, and I didnt have sex with nobody.
Jha Jha: Nobody has ever tried me like that, but I just let it be known that I am not up for all of that. I was just around them, writing for like a year. I used to be real timid though, just sitting in the corner writing. Every song I would do though came out hot around them. It made them respect my grind. I wasnt depending on nobody. I went and got my own attorney. At first my name was Styles, and then I changed it because there was already Styles P. I came up with Jha Jha. I paid for my own studio time, because I aint want them to think I was leaching or nothing. I had made this song called Get from Round Me, which was featured on Diplomatic Immunity 2. When Cam and them heard it, the first thing Cam said was Thats going on the album. From that point on, I was inducted as the first female of Dipset .
AllHipHop.com: Have you started picking songs for your album yet?
Jha Jha: Thats the thing. I got so many songs to choose from, and I will not stop writing. I just cant stop. Everyday, I write a song. What well probably do is gather all the hottest songs, and then pick from there for the first album. I want like twenty-something songs on there. As many as I can fit on a disc. Im from Miami, so I feel like I just got a whole lot of juices mixed up in my style. Theres a lot that I want to vocalize. I got a lot of stuff to talk about. Its not just one style. I want people to know the things that I went through.
AllHipHop.com: Did you work with anyone else besides Diddy & Paul Wall?
Jha Jha: Theres a lot of people I want to work with, but I cant disclose it right now. Of course Dipset will be all over it. I got a little R&B in me too. You know, I like to give what people call more cluck for the buck. I like to dance. When we were doing the video, they had to stop me. I cant help it though.
AllHipHop.com: You have your own style
Jha Jha: I have a Diplomatic attitude, but I have my own style. You dont want everybody to sound the same in the group. Everybody is not going to have the same character.
AllHipHop.com: What else is going on with you?
Jha Jha: Im in talks right now with a couple of companies for my own reality show. Im still writing for other artists, and basically, Im just getting ready for this album. We just did the video, and were about to go on tour with Jimmy for his album. Its going down.
AllHipHop.com: Do you spend a lot of time online?
Jha Jha: When Im free at home, I always online, talking with fans and whatnot
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any final comment for your online fans checking this out?
Jha Jha: I just say look out for me! Im coming. Bright Lights & Big Cities in the building. Gotta get that More Than Music too which is in stores now.