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Two Weeks Notice: Jae Ari discusses finding work-life balance in the 2017 economy

Toronto, ON – Toronto artist Jae Ari just kicked off the year with the release of his latest single titled “Two Weeks Notice” (produced by Hpnotic718).

“Two Weeks Notice” is a record about finding work-life balance in the 2017 economy. While rappers tend to shy away from discussing that kind of subject matter within their music, the reality of the situation is that most rappers on the come-up in 2017 are trying to juggle some sort of job or income source alongside their rap career.

The track is delivered with a heavy dose of bounce as Jae delivers a necessary dose of real-talk. On the one hand, sometimes the 9-to-5 is inevitable to finance the rap career. On the other hand, guys gotta know they’re not fooling anyone when they’re working some side job and delivering braggadocios bars about being something they’re not. Listen to “Two Weeks Notice” below, and scope our Q&A with Jae after the jump.

Two Weeks Notice: Jae Ari discusses finding his balance between rap & the 9-to-5 -

Q&A: Jae Ari

HipHopCanada: Talk to me about the significance of this song to you, on a personal level.

Jae Ari: I just wanted to be realistic. Many of these rappers are dishonest about their situations and the moves that they are making. An old mentor said the most realest shit to me. He was like, “Unless you are self-employed as an artist, you aren’t truly official.” It’s harsh AF but true. At the same time, there is nothing wrong working a job while working on your business on the side. Like… it’s 2017! Who is really working at a job ’til they’re 65 years old? It doesn’t even work like that anymore at the same time, though. There should be an exit strategy.

HipHopCanada: I don’t think a lot of guys take the time to look at things from such a realistic perspective. Because of how the economy has changed over the years, guys are finding that they need to balance that inevitable 9-to-5 job with their craft. But guys don’t tend to rap about that sort of thing.

Jae Ari: Exactly. With rap music, I feel there is such a delusion about it. It is the elephant in the room but it does not need to be. It’s about being honest about your situation; how are you supporting your lifestyle and dreams? Musically and professionally. Like don’t be fooled… the people know. Your peers know. No one is stupid when it come your viability and the level you’re at as an artist. Economically speaking, though, we are all doing what we can to support what we believe in.

HipHopCanada: On that note, talk to me about your experience with all of this. How have you been able to find balance (or not) between the day job, and the rap career. And what’s been the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome (or are still overcoming)?

Jae Ari: Work-life balance is important. But I have been fortunate because I’ve always worked smart. I’ve never worked a full time job in my life. I’m not bragging. I’ve worked many jobs at a time, made sacrifices, tried to live within my means and have worked full time hours before. But I’ve never committed to the 40 hours a week thing. It goes back to economics, priorities and maturity; finding an employer who knows what you do outside of your job, accepts and appreciates it. But you also have to keep your promises and obligations to them too. Fair trade.

HipHopCanada: Tell me the story behind how the collaboration with Hpnotic718 came about.

Jae Ari: Hpnotic718 is an artist that I’ve been low-key working with for a couple of years. He is from Brooklyn and I love his beats. He is an actual producer, if you listen carefully every part of his beats are different. There is so much effort, nostalgia and commentary to his work that it brings the best out of me, lyrically.

HipHopCanada: Talk to me about about the audio sample used on the track’s outro.

Jae Ari: I really don’t know where it’s from. But it goes back again to Hpnotic718’s work; it’s so cohesive and tight along with his random clips and commentary. It was perfect for this song.

HipHopCanada: What’s the story behind the cover art you used for this track?

Jae Ari: Yes! The cover art is to show the juxtaposition of the despair and dreams within the working environment. It represents white-collared rap at its finest.

Twitter: @itsanewjae

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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