Introducing Jay Worthy [Interview]
Vancouver, BC – Living between downtown Vancouver and the mean streets of Compton, rapper Jay Worthy is faced with a natural contradiction in his life. He stays true to his nature by being “ride or die”, yet will do anything to ensure the future successes of his younger homies. Fueled by his love for music and street inspiration, Jay plans to make a mark in the independent rap game. Read about the struggles he endured, and what he truly believes in, after the jump.
HipHopCanada: Tell us a little bit about how you got started in the rap game.
Jay Worthy: Well, you know, early. Really just through my pops playing me records. Fro, NWA, Eazy E, Ice Cube, the Geto Boys… All that. He was bringing me down to LA every summer for as long as I can remember. I was writing raps and rhyming by the time I was 13. I was really influenced by west coast hip-hop out there.
HipHopCanada: So you are living right now between Vancouver and Compton?
Jay Worthy: Yes m’am.
HipHopCanada: What’s it like living and growing up between two such different cities?
Jay Worthy: Yeah, they’re completely different. When I came to Compton, you immediately feel the tension of the gang life out there. I was young and being out there you have to adapt to that. Vancouver for me is like, graffiti, and break dancing and that kind of stuff. But when I got out to Compton, it was gangbanging, street shit, it was pimpin’, it was hustlin’… a lot grittier. In Compton you’ll get shot at a couple times a week. In Vancouver we’re chillin’ in hot tubs at rich white girls houses.
HipHopCanada: Your music has a heavy influence in that certain lifestyle, whether it be gang or drug related. Is this really a part of who you are and your everyday life?
Jay Worthy: It’s very part of who I am. Growing up where I’ve grown up, gangbanging has played a major role in my life. As far as being in the streets and living that lifestyle, everything I talk about in my music is real life to me. These are my real life experiences, and things that I’m going through.
HipHopCanada: What inspires your music and helps you keep writing?
Jay Worthy: Being around good people. Traveling. Living, you know what I’m saying? I’m always on the go; I never know where I might be. I’m in LA one day and Vancouver the next. Or even Seattle. Just traveling plays a major part in the influence of my music. Being around other musicians and good people really helps me progress as well.
HipHopCanada: You’ve been working with artists like Moka Only, Young Kazh and Tre Nyce among others, who else are you still looking forward to working with?
Jay Worthy: I’m really looking forward to working with a group called CBG, based out of Los Angeles and San Francisco. We’re about to do a collaboration and I’m really looking forward to making some real good music with them. Also making some great new music with my stepsister, Grimes, who is an amazing artist.
HipHopCanada: Who are some of your favorite Canadian artists and why?
Jay Worthy: Off top, I like Drake a lot. Musically, from the singing, to the concept, to the songs, to his lyrical talent… I’m a big fan of the the Weeknd, Tre Nyce, and Jay Nasty. Jay Nasty, a producer from Vancouver, really helped me out as far as my first time recording and really helped me get into the process of making songs and everything. Young Kazh as well.
HipHopCanada: What separates Jay Worthy from every other artist?
Jay Worthy: I got a different lifestyle. I’ve lived a very different life than most people out here in Canada just because I feel I’ve traveled and lived a whole other life in California. I feel the sound I’m bringing to the table is completely different and new. My topics, and my lifestyle are going to set a new standard and difference between most Canadian rappers and me. I wouldn’t say my sound is Canadian or American, it’s just Jay Worthy. My story is unique.
HipHopCanada: What other interests do you have that help make you a more well rounded person and a better rapper?
Jay Worthy: I play a big role to my homies out there in street. Whether it be LA, Vancouver or Compton. I come out with a positive attitude. I help my homies who don’t get the opportunity to go to certain functions like Hollywood parties or do certain activities. I even like helping my friends go to the studio and make music. I play a big role in a community figure, especially out there in LA. I like being a positive person in those communities where there is not a lot of hope or positive images for youth. Especially the younger homies, I look out for them.
HipHopCanada: That’s awesome that you’re giving back to the communities who raised you….
Jay Worthy: I’ve had a lot of homies die out there, you know what I’m saying? They think gangbanging is the only option, because that’s all they know. They’re parents were involved with it, or their older brothers, and that’s who they look up to. I’m still for whatever my homies want to do, if we get into it and it goes down, shit I’m on board. But at the end of the day, I don’t condone that and I don’t promote that. I tell the little homies, “we could chill here and get loaded, or we can jump in my car and drive to Venice beach.” I’m trying to promote a better lifestyle.
HipHopCanada: What’s more important to you though, you’re rap music or this certain type of lifestyle you lead?
Jay Worthy: Of course I want to be successful and I want to make music, but at the end of the day I really don’t give a fuck. I’ve been making music and shit, I’ve had A&R’s tell me I’m crazy and that I’m too in the streets. I would go to DJ Skee’s studio with ten bloods and Tre [Nyce], would be like, “yo!?”. That’s just me. If I can’t bring my homies with me then I don’t really give a fuck. If I make it in this music cool, but what matters to me most is being respected by my peers. If I’ve done that, I’m good.
HipHopCanada: You have a very strong “I don’t give a fuck attitude”. When you get riled up its reminiscent of hearing Tupac rant about how he didn’t really give a fuck either.
Jay Worthy: Yeah, I just speak the truth.
HipHopCanada: What can we expect to hear from your latest mixtape, The Lifestyle?
Jay Worthy: Oh well its hosted by DJ Mustard, that’s YG’s personal DJ. He did “Rack City” for Tyga and “Bitches ‘Aint Shit” for YG, among other songs. I got a lot of upcoming acts on that tape as well. My little homies. What can you expect is a wide variety of music. There’s some club shit on there, some dance shit on there. Some conscious shit and some street shit. It’s really all about the lifestyle I lead. I think it’s a good introduction to me and who I am. It’s been getting great feedback in LA.
HipHopCanada: What’s next for Jay Worthy?
Jay Worthy: I got a tape that will be released on Battle Axe as well as 100 Mad, which is Onyx’s label. It’s called Hood Politics. It will be featuring WC, Roscoe and Spice 1. It’s coming out real soon. You can expect to hear a lot more music from me, especially with Grimes, Jay Nasty and Tre Nyce. Expect to hear Jay Worthy everywhere.
Interview conducted by Christina Parihar for HipHopCanada
Interview conducted by Christina Parihar for HipHopCanada