They say the third times a charm. For Yonkers bred rapper Jadakiss the third time is the last the chapter. After
delivering the streets two well received solo albums, Kiss The Game Goodbye (2001) and Kiss of Death (2004), Jada is dropping The Last
Kiss in just four short weeks.
With his Ne-Yo assisted single,
“By Your Side” already in regular rotation across the country, Kiss
hasn’t let up one bit and continues his media-friendly onslaught with a new
music video, a second single [“Can’t Stop Me”] which is already climbing up the charts, and a new
mixtape on the way. “I hooked back up with Green
Lantern and DJ Clue for my mixtape called Kiss My
Ass,” says Jadakiss from the 29th floor of
his Def Jam label home. “Me and Green ironed everything out, and I always loved
Green Lantern’s energy. I just need to finish a few more freestyles and it’ll
It’s way past dinner time on a much delayed and relentless
press day for Mr. Raspy, yet Jada’s spirits are on
high and he has much to let the world know about, “The D-Block compilation
album, No Security, comes out at the
end of April right after my album,” he reveals of his gameplan
for ‘09. “Then we coming with the LOX album and you know what to expect; no
f**kin’ audio-tune [Yes, that’s what he
calls it.], no funny money, none of that. Just hard music, we don’t care if
it ever gets played on radio.”
last spoke with Kiss, a tremendous amount of progress has been made in his re-entrance
into the mainstream Hip-Hop circuit. After a little reminiscing about old Source covers and debating who will take
the Super Bowl (Kiss predicted the Cardinals winning), Jadakiss
let his thoughts go on his new endeavors, Obama being inaugurated, rocking with
Paris Hilton and much more.
lot of artists have come and left this building disgruntled, how are things
coming along with the new project?
Jadakiss: My new tagline is “the greatest
rapper of all time died on March 9th, the greatest rapper alive coming March
10th! Everything is f**kin’ beautiful over here! I’m about to go on a promo tour,
get back on the bus and hit all the markets again. See, I’m real hands on with the people, I’m still going to all the malls,
colleges, mix shows and keep it old school.
Your latest single “Can’t Stop Me” is almost like theme music for you
but content wise it’s still street. And there isn’t
that “forced” sound a lot artists fall victim to when trying to
record a single…
Jadakiss: “Cant Stop Me,” was actually my
choice. They picked the Ne-Yo joint [“By My Side”] for
my first single which is smart move for the radio and the ladies to let em’ know I’m coming back. But it wasn’t actually the joint
that I wanted to set off the new album with. So I took a meeting with LA Reid
and he said, “We gotta follow your audience Kiss.”
Then I gave him the “Can’t Stop Me” song, and he loved it. He brought the whole
staff in and let them know we going with this. You gotta be able to manipulate the program directors and
just slip a few things in here and there.
You just shot the “Letter to B.I.G.” directed by Vashtie
which turned out crazy. You’ve also recently worked with Rik Cordero, how is it
shooting videos now on way lower budgets with up and coming directors?
Jadakiss: First of all, let me say Vashtie is an amazing director. “Letter to B.I.G.” might
have been the best video I’ve ever shot, and I’ve worked with everybody from
Paul Hunter, Hype Williams…all the best. The key is you got to be able to get
the energy from the artist. It’s a new day and age,
it’s about delivering a high quality video with a smaller budget. Vashtie gets five thumbs up though, when I saw the finished
video I said “HOLY S**T!”
Jadakiss f/ Faith Evans
“Letter to B.I.G.” Video
did you think of the Notorious movie, was it accurate in your opinion?
Jadakiss: I loved the Notorious
movie, and for the parts when I was around Big it was pretty accurate. Some of
scenes in the movie looked just like the actual places I was at with Big, so
I’d say it was about 75-85% accurate. Of course they had to make it into a
movie, and add little s**ts here and there. But
overall I loved the flick.
though you partnered with Def Jam this time around, you still have your own
label, D-Block, and your own artists like Bully, Bucky, and AP. Was it
important for you to put on artists from Yonkers?
Jadakiss: There’s a whole a lot of artists in
Y.O., and it’s like you want to put everybody from Yonkers on, but you really
pick the select few ones that you have the best chemistry with. It’s really the
well rounded ones that have good work ethics, know how
to talk to business people, and not act ignorant when you take them on the
road. The thing I say to new artists the most is don’t get discouraged because
timing is everything in this business. Sometimes it takes longer than you
think, as long as the people are still embracing you and your music has
integrity, keep working and pushing your music.
Jadakiss “Who Run This”
who you came into the game with is currently
incarcerated. Have you spoken to X in a while?
Jadakiss: I ain’t speak to big homie in
a minute, but he going to be alright. X makes the best out of
any situation, they can’t break him. People got
to understand the Dog is built for this, he’ll be good
no matter what, so there’s no need to worry.
mentioned being content with your status in the rap game, is it just about the
Jadakiss: It’s about the money every time with
everybody. Don’t let anyone say that it ain’t
about the money, but also there’s the passion. You got to keep that same hunger
and intensity from where you started. That’s the hard part, and there ain’t too many rappers who can
keep that same passion for the music. I feel like the LOX are one of the only
do all your features and guest appearances come about, and do you ever turn
songs down? Honestly, how did that Paris Hilton collabo
Jadakiss: People just hit me and once I start
heating up the songs come out naturally. I just feel like I shouldn’t turn down
too many songs, if you ain’t got s**t else to do… (laughs). It’s like free money! (laughs)
And that Paris Hilton joint was a favor for Scott Storch.
You got to do favors, especially for the producers.
Made Men f/ The Lox “Tommy’s Theme” Video
also felt it was important to acknowledge Black History Month, and first off
how do you feel that now that Obama has been officially inaugurated?
Jadakiss: We been
doing a lot of partying, and everyone’s celebrating Obama being in office, but
they making him into a rock star quick. The big topics in the media are the
fashion designers that his wife and kids had on. Really, we need to put all
that s**t to the side and know that Bush left us with a whole bunch of s**t to
clean up. There’s definitely new hope though, this election reached the youth
and minorities more than any other in history. We all got to make a conscious
effort to live right.
you have any special performances or events coming up to celebrate Black
Jadakiss: I just do whatever they call me for,
I ain’t going to do nothing extra crazy, but I’m just
going to live righteous for the whole month of February (laughs) I might let my
beard grow or something. I’m all for it though, I’m with Black History month
even when it ain’t February.
Who are your top five conscious emcees?
Jadakiss: I f### with M-1, Mos
can Kanye be in there?
if you consider him a conscious artist…
Jadakiss: Aight then,
put Chuck D in there and Brother J, that’s it man. Nah, we might have to make
it six and put KRS in there too.