J-Zone: All About the Cadillac

This question may not apply to you, but it’s something that I am interested in, so what the hell. Which do/will you own and why, PS2, GameCube, or Xbox? Or do video games not mean anything to you?

Man, fuck video games. I’m saving for a Cadillac. Besides, I’m mad they got rid of Atari 2600. You’d beat the first board and the game was over. That’s all I have patience for.

I’ve read where you said you only rhyme when you have something to talk about, do you mean personal experiences or just concepts that you created?

Both. I feel if I’m not entertaining you, or at least entertaining myself, then I shouldn’t rap. Rapping about hip hop (WACK MC’S, ETC.), rapping about freestyle ciphers…I’ve come to hate that. That’s like Stephen King writing a book about writing books.

And to go a little further into that question, do you enjoy performing at shows, or is that just the way to bring the money in?

Funny you say that, cause I have a show tomorrow, and I’m a little skeptical about it. I get up and have fun, and bug out. I do a lot of skits and antics, come on stage with girls escorting me…funny shit. But most crowds we rock for, like that typical “How many real hip hop heads we got here tonight, say Hoooo.” Booo. That’s boring. Sometimes it winds up being just for the money, cause people are lame ass backpackers that want the same old stiff shit. I don’t like being around a lot of people either, but I try to leave that on the backburner for 40 minutes and give a fun show.

Whether you enjoy them or they just bring you money, you do shows. What is the best venue, city, and/or crowd type to perform for?

Overseas! The UK, Australia…I loved those shows. They don’t get them as often as Americans, so they’re not spoiled and they appreciate it. They dig the humor, too. Plus, everybody in the U.S. is a fucking rapper, so they don’t come to your shows as fans, they come to battle you and stand there with their arms folded. Fuck analyzing my rhymes, just enjoy the vibe.

We’re in a time where most MC’s try to paint themselves as almost “superhuman.” You tend to paint yourself as a regular guy with a lot of problems. Is it a conscious effort to appear as just a regular guy, or do you think that makes for the funniest subject matter?

I rap for Joe Blow, just everyday shit. I don’t make records for just B-boys and Hip-hoppers. Those cats will relate to me, but it’s not just for them. I don’t care if you like U2, Juvenile, Kid Rock or Grand Puba, you’ll find something on my album to relate to.

What do you want to say to all those people with downloaded versions of Pimp’s Don’t Pay Taxes, or even your first 2 albums? It seems worse for artists who do a lot of selling over the Net. Because you have the jackasses who would have downloaded it in the first place, and then you have the people downloading it because they don’t want to pay shipping costs.

If you downloaded 2 songs, I don’t really care. But some kids download the whole album and that’s cheating me. Some cats might not be able to afford it, but some kids do it just because they’re too lazy to order it online. Just realize that I press the CD’s with my own money, so you’re cheating me, not some dude with a suit in Beverly Hills. When you buy my CD, you’re making a direct contribution to my Cadillac!!

Do you think some people take hip hop a little too seriously? You got some kids who would defend break-dancing to the death, even though they’ve probably never seen it done before. Are there too many expectations of what makes someone “hip hop”?

Oh hell yeah. Hip hop is whatever you want it to be. Ok, it started as rapping, graffiti, DJ’ing and breakdancing. But I don’t do graffiti and I’ll be damned if I do a fucking headspin to prove I’m “down”. Kiss my ass. I was a 6 year old kid playing Donkey Kong on Atari when “Planet Rock” came out. I respect the Pioneers, but I didn’t fully get into rap until 1988, and I don’t know shit about Park jams. So I just do what I know. Then some backpacker was born in 1984 and is gonna tell me about that shit?! Blow me!

Would you ever consider doing an exclusive instrumentals LP? Meaning all original instrumentals created for it, not just a collection of your best.

I’m doing one now. Gotta get that Cadillac man. Mo music, Mo Money.

What exactly is the beat-making process like for you? Can you bang out 10 in a day, or is it the complete opposite?

The opposite. I got a beat tape with 6 beats on it. I’m always working on albums, which sucks up a lot of beats. I also try to do a complete beat with changes and bridges, cause one beat all the way through gets boring. Plus, I’m real critical of all my stuff. The beat can be catchy, but if it doesn’t sound really Ill, I’ll trash it. I’ll make a beat a week, and at the end of the Month I’ll trash 2 of them, leaving me with 2 beats a month, so I work hella slow.

Is it true that you’re going to be doing some production on Cage’s upcoming LP? And why don’t we see J-Zone making beats for more people, if not by your choice?

Yup, I got a joint on Cage’s LP. I don’t know, I get a lot of critical acclaim as a Producer, but nobody reaches out. I guess it’s because I haven’t had that huge hit yet, and I heard people say my shit is hard to rap to, but they love my records? Go figure. My beats are well liked, but are an acquired taste I guess.

Are you working on anything new right now, or is there anything that we can expect you to be working on soon?

Right now I’m focused on my Old Maid Billionaires Camp(Huggy and Al-Shid). They held it down for my 3 albums, now it’s time for them to shine solo. Check for the EP I’m producing for Huggy. We have 6 songs done, and you’ll see a 12″ in a few months. I have stuff for Al-Shid too. I have a joint coming from Captain Backslap(my alter-ego) called “Country-Check Pimpin”. Actually, it’s the B-side of “Q & A”, the next single. Captain Backslap is funny, but real ignorant. Haha. I did beats for Cage and High & Mighty as well. Just trying to produce for other people, build my label and drop a verse here and there, but I’m done with J-Zone albums. I said what I wanted to say as J-Zone, it’s time to move on.

Why don’t you tell the readers why they should support J-Zone, and any other final words or comments you may have.

Buy the albums, so I can buy my Cadillac and retire at 25 some place Sunny, BEEEEYATCH!!

Thanks for taking the time to answer some bad questions. The LP is one of the best of the year, and we can really respect the amount of hard work you put into it.

No problem, much appreciated.

interviewed by Andy & Joel


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