(AllHipHop Interviews) Jody Breeze broke onto the scene a decade ago as a member of the rap group Boyz N Da Hood on Diddy's Bad Boy South. The Georgia based rapper has been laying low as a public figure the last few years, but the award-winning songwriter is once again making moves in the music world.
After a highly publicized feud with former groupmate Young Jeezy and parting ways with the major label system, Jody is back with his new independent album Been Waiting It's My Time. The 17-track project features appearances by R&B sensation August Alsina and Atlanta rapper Roscoe Dash.
AllHipHop.com spoke with Jody about his new LP, his other upcoming projects, possibly reconnecting with Young Jeezy and BNDH, and how Diddy taught him the importance of music publishing.
I know you mentioned it on your album, but a question a lot of rap fans want to know is where have you been the last few years?
The last few years I’ve still been around. I always wrote music for a lot of different artists. What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I write music for others just as much as I do for myself. I’m always working. I always put out mixtapes. I never stopped doing shows. The only thing I did was fall back from the mainstream look.
I went through so much as a youngin with all the different deals and different people I had to deal with. I just had to step back and get my mind right, get my business together, and just get ready for the future.
What is the status of your label situation now?
I started my own label – Young Gunna Records. I just basically signed myself and started recording music.
How is the experience releasing an album independently different from working under a major label?
I would say the only difference is the exposure and the machine. But everything else is pretty much the same, because I always had a solid fan base. I always get love wherever I go. People check for me. People are always asking when I’m going to do this, when I’m going to do that. The love for the music is still there. The love from the people is still there. It’s just that I had to get my mind right as far as the industry.
It’s a lot of people that don’t understand my story. I was found by one of Hip Hop’s moguls - Noon Time. When he found me I was introduced to Jazze Pha. From Jazze Pha I was introduced to Dallas Austin. And from Dallas Austin I was introduced to Puff Daddy. So I’ve been around multimillionaires and Hip Hop moguls since the first day I started rapping. A lot of people just don’t understand and get what I’ve done and the stuff I’m responsible for. That’s because I don’t do a lot of talking, boasting, and bragging. I just keep it moving.
You used to write for Diddy. Do you guys have a working relationship now?
Yeah, I still have all my relationships that I ever came across. That’s a good thing about where I am today. I still have a solid relationship with everybody that I’ve ever done business with.
Are you cool with Jeezy now? Is that situation straight?
Nah, I don’t really think that’s going to be straight. I just am who I am. It is what it is with me. That s**t is really old news. For me I keep it moving. I’m staying in my own lane.
Do you think there could ever be a Boyz N Da Hood reunion? There have been a lot of Hip Hop acts coming back together like OutKast, Goodie Mob, and Mobb Deep. Do you think there could ever be a possibility of Boyz N Da Hood coming together again?
I won’t say never. As far as me, that ain’t nothing that I’m looking into. If the check’s right, they say the right amount of numbers then we can talk. Other than that, nah, not on my end.
You have a couple of tracks with August Alsina. How did you first connect with him?
The guy who’s managing August now - the label that he signed to before Death Jam which is Noon Time - that’s who signed me. August is in the same family I’m in, so we just got together and knocked out a couple of records.
You’ve been around and worked with a lot of people, but are there any artists that you haven’t worked with yet that you’d like to get into the studio with?
Since Andre’s back, I wouldn’t mind doing a record with 3000. I like people like Lauryn Hill, Trick Daddy. I like that old school real s**t.
Let’s talk about some of the newer acts. Atlanta always has a lot of young artists coming out of the city. What’s your opinion on Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, and Migos?
I f**k with Rich Homie. I think Rich Homie has a lot of versatility as far as lyrics and the way he does his music. The game has changed so much now. It’s like the younger cats have their own music. They have their own styles that they’re doing right now. I can respect that, but as far as the music goes I wouldn’t say that n***as is doing s**t that would surprise me, shock me, or blow me out the water. It sounds good in the club.
I saw an interview where you said you’re a big music fan, and you like music outside of Hip Hop. What are some of your favorite non-rap songs right now?
On the R&B tip, I like people like Musiq Soulchild and Tank. I like a little bit of Katy Perry. I’m f**king with Pharrell right now. I just like good, quality music.
You mentioned before that you write for a lot of different artists. Do you write R&B songs too?
I can do R&B songs too. I wrote R&B songs for Lloyd and Jacquees. I helped Jazze do a lot of R&B stuff. All the R&B records I record I write too. I wrote s**t for everybody including Keri Hilson.
You’re probably making a lot more money getting that writing credit for other artists.
Exactly. It’s been like that since day one. Honestly, Puff was the first one to show me that side. When I was writing for him I won an award for the “Come To Me” record he has with Nicole Scherzinger. I wrote like 6-7 songs on the Press Play album. Just that whole process of being with Diddy for two months straight, just writing and recording, he taught me how to manuever the publishing side. He showed me how much it has to do with getting money out of the industry.
A lot of rappers don’t really understand the rap money is cool, the show money is cool, but until you have your government name on some s**t, until you have your government name in credits, that’s where the money's at. I don’t give a damn what nobody tells you. If anybody in the industry tells you that publishing is not where the money's at, they don’t know what the hell they're talking about. Especially these days, because labels are not doing the same thing they were doing ten years ago.
You’re heading out on tour this summer. Can you give more details about that?
It’s called the T.I.M.E. Tour (Things I Must Endure). I’m promoting my CD Airplane Mode Part 2: Mile High Club. I have a real solid fan base all over the world. I’m able to go on tour in different states, and promote my music without even having anything out. I feel like what I do speaks for itself. I don’t really ask for accolades or standing ovations. You don’t have to give me an award. I just work hard, stay in my lane, and f**k with who f**ks with me.
A lot of Atlanta rap stars are jumping into reality TV. Are you interested in doing a show for yourself or joining another franchise?
They tried to get me on Love & Hip Hop with Shay, but that’s not my cup of tea. I don’t think I’ll be doing no type of reality shows.
What else do you have in the immediate future? Videos? Singles?
I’m going to be shooting like five songs off Airplane Mode 2: Mile High Club. After this project I have another project coming out. It’s more of an EP, so you’ll be hearing a lot about that. Right now I’m also going through situations of people trying to sign me.
Purchase Jody Breeze’s latest album Been Waiting It's My Time on iTunes.
Watch the video for Jody Breeze’s “All Night” featuring August Alsina below.