Thursday, August 7, 2008
The Check-In - Jansport J
Jansport J, with his name originating as a comedic poke to his habit of taking his backpack EVERYWHERE, is an up-and-coming producer based out of Covina, California. He is on a quest to bring positive, honest music to the masses
Boogie of Toyboxmag: So alright, let’s start with the basics. Name. Age. Location.
Jansport J: Jansport J. 22 yrs old. Covina "The Cov' " California.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: How long have you been producing?
Jansport J: I started messing around with it in 2002, got serious in 2005.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: Word? So what made you get serious about it?
Jansport J: I had always wanted to produce, since 97. When I started messing with it in 02, I would learn more things, study songs and stuff. My computer crashed, and it was like a new start in 05. I actually bought FL Studio then. Ha. Got a lot of encouragement from people, especially my dude BlackWater. So I ran with it.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: That’s what’s up; you got a serious soulful sound what inspires you?
Jansport J: Well, there's a magical 4 for me as far as producers: Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, J-Dilla, and DJ Premier. I listened to a lot of old songs growing up at family bbq's and stuff. And listening to other genres, I’m a big Beatles and The Doors fan, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, just good music. I feel like soul music brings out the best in people
Boogie of Toyboxmag: I feel you on that, so besides producing, are there any other things you do?
Jansport J: Not really. Ha. I rap on a side project called The Bench Mob, basketball use to be a big part of my life, but music took over. But I am going to school at Pepperdine, majoring in Advertising and Marketing.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: Big moves I see. Hmmm... So are there any artists you worked with or want to work with?
Jansport J: Artists I’m working with include: Black.Water, Velosity, this crew called The Cove Originals (they are making some major moves right now), P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. on an EP, PA (Prince Ali). My dream collabs would be with Common, Lupe, Phonte or Pacific Division.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: Word. Common & Lupe? You chose rather lyrical emcee's to collab with. Could you see your self collabing with a less lyrical rapper?
Jansport J: It'd be tough. I have the ability to make more club type records, which that would work with, but I love the soul records. And I don’t see how less lyricism works on soul records. Soul records require some kind of depth. Its not a knock on those that are less lyrical though, hip hop is about balance, we need all of that stuff, but that’s not my lane.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: I feel you on that. So what’s your all time favorite album?
Jansport J: Ready to Die by Biggie
Boogie of Toyboxmag: A classic.
Jansport J: Blueprint is up there, and Jurassic 5's "Quality Control". Those 2 albums inspired me. But best of all time in my eyes is Ready to Die.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: I got that in my top 3 also, from Biggie's era to now. What you think changed about hip hop?
Jansport J: We just lost a balance. I don’t hate on Soulja Boy, or any of that music that’s out, because we had that in the Golden Era with Uncle Luke, 69 boyz, NWA, so none of that is new. There's just no balance on the radio or TV anymore. If it was all conscious hip hop, it would be the same issue; we'd crave some club shit.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: Preach. That’s the truth. How do you feel we can restore that balance?
Jansport J: Ha. I’m glad you asked that, I was just thinking about this last night. The same way Soulja Boy hit, a conscious rapper could hit. There’s an audience for that as well. That's why I’m constantly posting bulletins, networking, talking to fans, if you make that connection, regardless of your style, you can do well. You got to exploit all media....podcasts, mix tapes, blogs, everything. So if artists from all walks put in that work, they're going to have a movement. These labels don't have the power, the people do. Whatever the people demand, the labels will supply.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: That’s what I've been thinking... How could we go about getting artist to start up this movement?
Jansport J: Network with each other. I’m working with Cove Originals on some stuff, and other artists from the area. If you're dope, the people in the area will support, and before you know it, you got a little buzz going. You can't battle for the top spot in the area, u got to find that other dude or crew and work with them.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: Unity is the future in your words?
Jansport J: Exactly.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: So we are just as responsible for saving hip hop as the major artist, producers, and djs. Right?
Jansport J: If people really want hip hop to be saved, it will. And I'm confident that hip hop isn’t going anywhere.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: I feel you on that. So before we rap this interview up any shout outs?
Jansport J: Yea. Shout out to everybody on my top friends. Haha. If somebody is on there, go check them out, because they're dope and I co-sign. And lookout for the free download, "The Carry-On Experience", in September.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: Oh almost forgot how can the artist, fans, and haters [lol] get at you?
Jansport J: MySpace message. I stay on, even through my phone. And 99% of the time, I'm going to respond.
Boogie of Toyboxmag: What’s your MySpace url?
Jansport J: myspace.com/jansportj
Boogie of Toyboxmag: And that’s a wrap.