Let me ask you how long have you been a Hip Hop artist?
Since the age of 13 I started rhyming, however I didn’t become serious about my craft til I was 23 years old.
What specific area are you from?
I’m from the Lake Merritt area of Oakland, where as I went to school in North Oakland at Oakland Tech, before the gentrification took place.
Also, how did you get you emcee name?
This is a long story but the short end is, I got my name from my spiritual journey blended with some of my families legacy.
“Its funny how when I first heard you, I instantly knew you were from the Bay!” Bay Area Hip Hop has always gave off a certain style and sound of Hip Hop! Help me figure that out!? Is this something you can relate too? How has your area influenced your sound, or maybe us real Hip Hop heads are just trippin…LOL
The Bay Area, in my opinion, has always been a leader in the hip hop game, even if that means we stand alone at times. The independent mentality of business and holding equity has shaped our culture here. There is a high level of security or confidence, in being original and blazing your own trail. The independence has definitely shaped my sound, along with eating at the dinner table with activists and freedom fighters.
We notice your style is super original and very creative. Let us know how your style if different than all the rap artists out there!
I approach my creative process melodically and with tones before the lyrics come to play. The overall thought of what I am trying to convey and the feeling I’m trying to create drives the song. I believe the combination of being an mc singer makes my mark special, because even the rap lyrics can feel like harmonies.
Bro, you new single is absolute FIRE in my book!!! Please breakdown the creative process behind “What’s Good For You”…
In the Bay Area specifically there is an obvious tech boom. People are getting pushed out of their homes, and the middle class is being pushed to low income, due to the rising cost of everything. There is this bullying that is taking place, and the underlying messaging is, you either convert to the tech boom or leave. The messaging behind the song “What’s Good for You”, suggests that we are not meant to be robots. The song promotes individuals to find their originality, authenticity, while at the same time speaking on issues like healing and equity. The song is suggesting for communities to stay communities, where as it’s a collection of different people, with different backgrounds, coexisting.
Do you remember the day/time when you realized you wanted to become an Hip Hop artist? Was there and special person in your life that influenced you to become an Hip Hop artist?
I grew up on so many classic records, and current artists that inspire me. Some of the game changers for me were Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli, to currently Kendrick, and Anderson Paak.
How does social media playing a role in your success? How are fans/supporters helping your movement?
My fans are incredible! They have sustained me as an artists to do what I love. They have bought the same record from me more then once, just to show me their support. My biggest weakness has been my media involvement, however I made some great changes the last 2 years. With those few changes I’ve made, my supporters are even more invested than they already were. I used to be information heavy like show announcements, but now the engagement has grown because I’ve opened my door in sharing my creative process.
Your TOP 5 in Hip Hop….Deal or Alive?
With this being an underground hip hop site, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
The term being underground to me, represents an underrepresented messaging taking place. From the minute I started rhyming I was hit with this tag as being socially conscious. The subject matters I addressed and still addressed were labeled as too much to digest, though I was just speaking my truth.
Where can people find you on the Internet? Drop all the vital links.
Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha live footage from Oakland Yoshis.
Full-length #RainWaterProject Spotify link
Check out Jonah Melvon (@JonahMelvon): https://twitter.com/JonahMelvon
Lastly, and shout out?
Big shout out to my boy Nabeyin who helped me through this whole process of creating this record. I am blessed to have such a deep community of artists and musicians around me. My hat is off to my beautiful squad that helped me breathe life into this record.
Adesha Adefela, AlexisRose, Yvette Pylant, Brandon Farmer, Justin Hawkins, Marco Casasola, Neill Castro, Ed Pasalo, Giulio Cetto, Lionel Briones, Bennett Roth, Christian Manzana, Bernard Sapitola, Jake Nochimow, Zach Rubin-Rattet, Paul Henson, Glen Stacey, Ray Arbuckle Dillon Lawter.
Special thanks to my PR and branding crew William Roberts and Louis Anthony.