J-Zone praat over falafels, gitaren, arrogante rap crowds en meer (Engelstalig).
Alright J-zone, back in Holland.. what’s up?
Im chillin man, im coolin out got my dental floss in my pocket, you know what im sayin? You eat them falafels and shit gets stuck between your teeth. I suggest all artists to carry this. Is this pickin up, is the music too loud? (easy e playing loudly in the background of fatbeats Amsterdam)
It would be great if it could be turned down a bit
alright… we could do it in the back too
(moving to the back of Fatbeats Amsterdam)
J-zone: we are now in the back of the store, I see my al-sheed record, akinyele record, I produced both of them.. they are definitely supporting me you know what im sayin? I did 2 beats on this akinyele record… damn, I still don’t have a copy of that shit(!), so yeah, whats good?
Back in Holland..
Yeah, back in Holland, only been here once before… came here for planet rock in 2001 up in Eindhoven, that was crazy. Smoked some of that K2, damn near died and almost missed our flight home but you know, its cool, im glad to be back you know what im sayin?
Good to have you back
You said in 2001 that you would actively stop rapping, but the new album is coming out?!…
I was ready to quit man, I was uhmm.. I was never really focused on being a rapper but wanted to do more production when I first started but then you know, you try to sell beats and its not as successful as you want, sometimes.. a lot of artists nowadays produce their own stuff or they have their own crew for production, so I wasn’t getting as much work and I needed to pay the bills… as I get older, im starting to come more as an artist and start to have more fun rappin like when I came out, I didn’t know that I could just be myself I kinda was like… I would just go to shows, and everybody would be into the battle rap thing or political thing and I felt out of place because I was kinda doing my own thing and you know.. you know, I just wanted to get more comfortable with myself behind the mic so I did Sick of Being Rich last year and finished the new album A Job aint Nothin but Work that comes out sep 28th the new single A Friendly Game of Basketball is out right now and you know, I just come out with these concepts and im like “I gotta rap about that” and I have beats, and you know im like “Why am I shoppin em, when I can do em myself” so I mean I just get in the studio and im working, I just love making music so its all good to me.
what’s the new album like? Can we expect stuff similar to the previous work?
(smiles at me and goes) pffff
Uhh, the only guests on there are Devon the Dude, Al-Sheed, Celph-Titled, and my man Dick Stallion and uhmm, I kinda kept the guests low this time because I really wanted to get rapping myself and the album is hilarious.. If you like like humor youre gonna love it… the beats are grittier and funk influenced and if you hear my new single or the beat I did for Leak Brothers or the one I did for Akinyele, that’s the kind of vibe its on.. little crazy sounding cuz ive been using different instruments then before, cuz ive started using a lot of wild shit and uhmm you know, the single is a good indication of what it sounds like definitely check it out man, its gonna be funny and youll love it
How was it working with MF Grimm?
He was really cool man, id known grimm since 99 actually when I did music for Tu Madre for my senior college project, before it even came out on vinyl I had the little cassettes it was just my senior project and I was selling them for seven bucks around campus and uhmm I went to college with DJ Elly who is a producer and he put out a 12" with Grimm called Landslide back in 99 on Fondle Em, and they recorded that at my school and I engineered the session, afterwards uhmmm I had known Grimm from what he did with G rap and like Curious George, so I was like “Listen, take my tape, this is my senior project” he called me a day later and he was like “I love this album, we gotta work” he recorded “The Downfall Of Ibliys” with MF Doom in my house right before he went away and I was engineering for him but we never got to work together in an artist capacity so like he went away unfortunately and as soon as he came home I was like “I gotta get this guy” so as soon as he came home from jail I called him up and he agreed it was long overdue and we did the single you know, and that was it and it came out end of last year
You’re coming back to Holland with Louis Logic, how did you hook up with him?
Uhhhm, im still waiting on a confirmation for that.. we put together a tour with me, Vakill, and Lou but im still waiting on hearing back from the promoter for that.. ive known those guys for a long time, so its cool.. you know what im sayin?
You have done some works with bassguitars before
Yeah man, before I was into rap, I was into funk as a little kid. I was always a bass player, I started playing since I was 8 years old and I played till I was 18. I played until I was a senior in high school, and then I quit which was stupid. That’s how I got into hiphop.. I was buying old records to play the basslines to and I used to ask my parents which records had good basslines to play to and my dad would be like "James Brown, Kool and the Gang, BT Express, Ohio Players and till I was 10-11 years old I was buying these records and I would notice as I was listening to hiphop like “yo, they samnpled that!” and it just caught my ear 45 King, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, The Bomb Squad, Large Professor, all those guys were sampling records I would buy to play bass to and I was like “man, I can do that” and I was like “I wanna do that” so when I was 15 I got my first sp1200 and I started making beats.. Ive been making beats ever since so it all came from being a bass player.
You are much more popular here than you are in the states
oh by far.. any reason?
I never could understand it.. I mean, in the States, everybody is a rapper… My next door neighbor is 87 and she raps.. That bitch raps her ass off.. you know what im sayin? So its like, you go to a show in New York and everybody in the crowd is a rapper. So they all stand there like this (shows an arrogant stance). When you go overseas, more people are fans I mean, they might rap but when they come to your show they seem like they come as a fan… I went to see EPMD and I didn’t go as Jzone, I went as a fan because ive been a fan of their music since I was 11 years old but a lotta people come to shows and they wanna battle you and just stand there in the crowd.. New York is very unimpressed but overseas, they are just more open to the music.. Here, Australia, UK, they give more respect and that’s why I love to come out and I just go wherever they want to hear me..
Fatbeats as your distributor… Did they come to you, or did you go to them?
Well it started… actually (starts laughing).. It started when I did Tu Madre and pressed it myself, they didn’t even wanna put it in the store! I used to go into the store with it but they didn’t want to take it and I was like “Yo, just take a couple” and my man DJ Seb who is a producer he did shit for like High and Mighty, infamous mob…. He was working for fatbeats and he was like “yo, the record is dope, just take it” and they would take 5 at a time and they were skeptical at first but then it started to move real fast and they approached me about distribution so my first two records, I pressed them myself but I was selling them directly to fatbeats and by the time Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes came out, I was too busy doing music and being on the road to stand there and wait for the records to come to my house so they started pressing and distribution my stuff and when fatbeats got a deal with BMG, they started getting the stuff into big chain stores they approached me to license Pimps Don’t Take Taxes and then we did Sick of Being Rich and now were doing the new one, you know we’ve worked with them for the past years and its worked out well
cool.. any final comments?
Yeah man! A Job Aint Nothin But Work comes out September 28th… Its rude, its crude its arrogant, its ignorant, its obnoxious but you will love it you know what im sayin? If your mama likes it, you gotta like it so get your ass onto the store and go out and buy it you know what im sayin? Jzone aka Captain Backslap, make sure you brush your teeth every day and make sure you floss you see, I don’t go nowhere without my floss you know what im sayin? Its bad when you get those falafels stuck in your teeth, you gotta know how to handle your business you know what im sayin? Aaarggggg (starts flossing his teeth and makes funny faces).