Jadakiss on The Last Kiss, Canadian producers, Puffy & more [Interview]
Yonkers, NY – Considered by many to be one of the top five emcees dead or alive, Jadakiss is a modern day music industry staple.
Creeping on the scene a decade a year ago with the group The Lox, Jadakiss ventured out as a solo artist and gained an undeniable respect from the hip-hop community. He consistently wins over both ‘street’ and ‘mainstream’ fans with the ability to add a hot verse to a remix or create a catchy single. I’ve been a fan of Jada’s rugged voice and flow (AHAAAAAA) since the days of Bad Boy, but his new album The Last Kiss also shows a more mature side of Jada not many of us are used to.
Speaking with him about the hard times in his career (parting ways with Bad Boy) and how the industry has come full circle (Puff Daddy’s Ciroc has sponsored his recent projects), he definitely is a joker and remarkably down-to-Earth. Charming, passionate and honest – Jadakiss himself has been one of the most humble artists I’ve ever talked to. Oh, and he loves Canada.
See/hear the highlights of what Jadakiss had to say:
ON COMING TO CANADA
HipHopCanada: Hi Jadakiss! How are you?
Jadakiss: I’m good baby, how are you doing?
HipHopCanada: We’re very excited to be able to talk to you, we’ve been trying to get this done for a moment.
Jadakiss: I’m sorry, I wish we could’ve got it done earlier – I’m glad we are finally going to get it done.
HipHopCanada: This is what matters! Okay – most important question in this interview. Are you coming back to Canada?
Jadakiss: Yeah, yeah, yeah! I’m working on it. I’ve been saving some trouble at the border, so just let all my people know that I be there. I’m trying to work it out with the Prime Minister. Is that who I got to speak with? The Prime Minister? Yeah, I’ll talk to him.
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] I’ll have my people talk to him.
Jadakiss: But I definitely want to come there. Some people thought I was turning down shows or doing bad business, but it wasn’t me, I was having some problems at the border. But I got new management now so they going to make it so I can get through and do the shows for the people. Let my peoples know I appreciate the love. Keep purchasing The Last Kiss and I be there shortly, baby. A HA!
HipHopCanada: Canada loves you!
Jadakiss: No doubt, I love Canada!
HipHopCanada: When is the last time you were here?
Jadakiss: Hmm, probably late last year some time.
HipHopCanada: The tour with Cam’ron is not coming to Canada then?
Jadakiss: I know my record is clean – Cam probably has a felony and can’t get over there. But I’m coming! I can come – my DJ is clean and I’m clean. I’m coming!
ON WORKING WITH CANADIAN PRODUCERS
HipHopCanada: You have Canadian producers on the album, which we are very proud of.
Jadakiss: Neenyo! No doubt! That’s what I’m trying to show. I made sure that I got that Canadian love – don’t count me.
HipHopCanada: How did that come about?
Jadakiss: Actually Sheek introduced me to the track and to his [Neenyo’s] work and hooked it up. He played the track for me and I told him I needed that. He said reach out to Neenyo, he’s from Canada.
HipHopCanada: Who else are you feeling from Canada?
Jadakiss: Drake, Drake is doing his thing right now up here. Umm, I’m feeling everybody [Laughing]. That’s what makes you a great artist – being able to listen to all types of music and [different types] of artists. You can never feel too big to listen to new artists. There’s always a new Kiss coming, the new . . . everybody . . . coming to take your spot so you’ve got to keep that ear open.
HipHopCanada: Do you have any Canadian tour memories?
Jadakiss: [Thinking] Me and Styles had some plants one time, if you know what I mean. We had so much plants, we had to just leave them in the hotel. We tried to burn all of them before we got back on the bus but we just ended up just leaving a lot. But I love going shopping up there. I got a bunch of Air Force One’s that they don’t have down here, a bunch of gear. I love shopping.
HipHopCanada: You’re up on your fashion game.
Jadakiss: I mean, I ain’t too tight with it but I try to do a little bit here and there.
HipHopCanada: What’s your favourite song to perform live?
Jadakiss: Probably “We Gon Make It”.
ON HIS REALITY SHOW
HipHopCanada: I heard you have a reality show coming out.
Jadakiss: Yeah, on BET. I’m looking for a new DJ – That’s My DJ. I’m going to pick some male and females, bring them to live in Yonkers and put ‘em in a house. I’m going to make them do some obstacles and DJ trivia a la Making The Band.
HipHopCanada: If you had a show that was going to come out that was looking for your new hype man, I would win. Just so you know.
Jadakiss: [Laughing] That might be the next one.
ON WORKING WITH PUFF DADDY AGAIN
HipHopCanada: Ciroc is now a sponsor for The Last Kiss. That’s kind of crazy how it’s come full circle with your Bad Boy/Puff Daddy history. What has your history with Puff Daddy taught you about the industry?
Jadakiss: It’s all business. You can’t let your business intertwine with your personal feelings. Know what I mean? Keep your family seperated from your business peeps. Then you’ll pretty much be alright if you seperate the two.
Editor’s note: The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, selling 135,000 copies in its first week. It was released April 7th 2009. The album can be purchased at http://www.itunes.com/jadakiss. You can also visit Jadakiss on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/jadakiss.
Written by Tara Muldoon for HipHopCanada