Shar Jackson: Act Too

When the concept for Celebrity Rap Superstar was announced, it conjured up the same emotions as when a new season of Surreal Life would start. Take that as you will, but once the show actually began – in the midst of pink hair, booty shakes, and terrible rap impersonations stood one talented young woman who had just weathered quite the media storm.

Shar Jackson, most notably known as Niecy, the quirky pal on Moesha, might have slid under the radar all this time (despite her forced association to Britney by way of K-Fed), but she transformed into a person we all wanted to know.

With MC Lyte as a mentor, Shar J coasted into Celebrity Rap victory, not only making her kids proud, but living out the dream of her dear friend Lamont Bentley. The day following the Celebrity RapSuperstar finale, we dished with the surfing mommy of four about the show, her plans for an album, and how when the going gets tough: “let it blow.” Ok, well the obvious question is…are you doing an album?

Shar J: Yeah, I’m thinking about it. More than likely, it’s probably gonna go down. I feel like I’m having way too much fun to stop now. Have any labels approached you yet?

Shar J: Yeah, a couple of them have. I don’t know if I could say who they are, but three of them already have. Are we talking major labels?

Shar J: Two of them are. Wow that’s really good!

Shar J: Yeah, it’s so awesome. What did you feel your biggest disadvantage was coming into Celebrity Rap Superstar? Since it obviously wasn’t lyrical capability.

Shar J: You know it was just…people don’t take actors seriously when they’re trying to do music anyway. I figured that would probably be my biggest thing. I was like, “I have to take this seriously, and I have to bring it and give it everything that I have.” Was it disheartening for you at all, considering you had the judges on your side the whole time, but for a while the fan base seemed to be voting for the celebrity aspect more so than the Hip-Hop?

Shar J: Yeah it was definitely confusing like, “What exactly are we voting on here?” If we want to just vote on America’s favorite person period then okay fine cool, but I thought it was Celebrity Rap Superstar. [laughs] What was it like working with MC Lyte?

Shar J: She is absolutely awesome! I’m so happy I got a chance to work with her. All of the other mentors were great, but I don’t think anyone else I would’ve vibed with as well as I did with Lyte. She was just amazing. I’m happy that kids who didn’t know who she was got a chance to see how amazingly talented she is. You and Countess (Vaughn) seemed to be the two who took the show the most seriously.

Shar J: It was because Countess and I were both there for reasons that were different from everyone else’s. Countess and I – we actually had a mutual reason for being there. Our friend who was like our brother, Lamont Bentley, who played Hakeem on Moesha – he wanted to be a rapper more so than he wanted to act. That was his passion; that was his love. [Countess] and I both did the show in honor of him so that we could kind of let him live out his dream through us, even though he’s not here physically anymore. So it was more for his legacy.

Shar J: Yeah. That’s why I had my shirt [during the finale]. I had his picture on it, because if I won this I’m not doing it without him. Was it cool working with Countess again?

Shar J: Oh God yeah! That’s like my family anyway, so you put us two nuts in a room together and who knows what’s gonna happen. [laughs] Do you think you two will be working together musically?

Shar J: I would love to do something on Countess’ album. I know she’s making one, and I would love to bless that. That would be awesome. That girl’s super talented. You were able to bypass a great deal of the media garbage that surrounded you during the show. How were you able to do that?

Shar J: Because it’s really not surrounding me [laughs] so as long as I tell people that, honestly at the end of the day it has nothing to do with me. I think they finally get it. Plus they’re like, “Okay she’s not giving us the answers, so we’ll leave it alone.” [laughs] On the show, during the competition where you teamed with another opponent, you were really lucky to be placed with Sebastian Bach. I felt sorry for Countess [who was paired with Laguna Beach’s Jason Wahler].

Shar J: [laughs] You know what? I don’t feel bad for Countess, and let me tell you why. Her performance with Jason [Wahler] – everybody knew that he was going to be so bad; it would make Countess look like more of a star. She had to hold her own on that stage. She could’ve probably walked up to the mic, farted, and still would’ve been okay. [laughs] It would’ve still made her shine through that whole performance. With Sebastian [Bach], had I not brought my A-game, he would’ve murdered me. He would’ve murdered me! We were a team, but we still had to bring our A-game, because we were steppin’ on stage with each other. That’s real competition. Which Hip-Hop track do you wish that you did?

Shar J: I kinda wanted to do “One Minute Man” just because I’m in that video, and I feel like that’s how I actually connect with Hip-Hop. That’s my only Hip-Hop history. [laughs] I would’ve loved to do that song. I would’ve also loved to do a Krucial Konflict song, just because I think they’re badass. But I don’t think they would’ve let me get away with singing, “Hay in the middle of the barn. Smokin’ on…” yeah, no the whole thing would’ve been bleeped, and it just wouldn’t have been cool. Which of your performances was your favorite? Like which do you think you banged out the best?

Shar J: I think as far as which one I think I banged out the best, I’m gonna go with – it’s a tie, and I’m gonna go with “Ruffneck” and the Twista joint [“Overnight Celebrity”]. You killed “Overnight Celebrity.”

Shar J: Yeah, like that’s the one I went home and watched it and was jumping on my bed like, “Omg who is that girl?” I still watch that sh*t on You Tube.

Shar J: It’s on my My Space page! Like every time I go check my stuff I’m like, “Ahhh yeah!” My son walked in my room this morning and he was playing it on his little iPod and he was like, “Aiight mama, go!” [laughs] so I had to do it for him [while I’m] laying in bed. I’m like, “Alright now get out of my room, thanks.” [laughs] Your kids must think you’re such a badass.

Shar J: They love it. I’m tellin’ you last week, both of them wore their “Vote For My Mom, Shar J” shirts to school. I was like, “Awww you guys are killin’ me right now. I love it.” That’s what made me cry dude [during the finale] because I looked up and saw all four of my babies – because this was the first time my baby babies came – and I lost it, because they were so excited and so happy and the look on Kori’s face like, “Look at my mommy.” It was so great, like sh*t I’m gonna cry. That’s when I almost broke down.

[Celebrity Rap Superstar] was definitely an awesome thing, and I really hope they get to do a second season, because I want eight more people to have as much fun as I did. So what’s next for you?

Shar J: I’m doing TRL. After that – I just finished the original song that I wrote, “Let It Blow.” I went to Atlanta and finished that with [Mr.] Collipark, so… Uh oh!

Shar J: Yeah man! Whatever, you have an album coming…

Shar J: [laughs] Like I said, I think it’s goin’ down. I just have to have a good time. If I stop having a good time and stop having fun, then that’s when I won’t want to do it anymore, and I’ll just go back to what I know, which is acting. Right now I’m having a good time, and it’s like a rollercoaster seriously, and me, my friends, my team, we’re just gonna sit back, strap up and enjoy the ride. Years back while you were on the set of Moesha, if someone said down the road you’re gonna start rapping, what would you think?

Shar J: Yeah, I would’ve thought they were absolutely crazy. [laughs] I’m like dude, I’m a surfing mom from Orange County. No way. [laughs] But hey man, you never know. Whatever God has in store for you, no matter what, nothing can stop it. The only person that can stop what God has planned for you is yourself.

There were plenty of times where I could’ve thrown in the towel and just said, “Oh my God I don’t want people to look at me anymore. Everyone’s all in my business, everyone thinks they know me. Oh my God I got dumped in front of the whole wide world. Oh I should just go in a corner and cry.” I could’ve done that, but you know what? That’s not who I am. That’s not who my mom raised me to be, and I just kept going. I was like, “You know what? I’m gonna get through this. I’m gonna be alright. Not only am I gonna get through this, I don’t have a choice.”

I have these four little faces looking at me, so I have to get through this for them. And that brings me to where I am today…[laughs] playin’ my video games and smiling.