Hey Jibba The Gent! We hardly ever come across dope MC’s from the Vermont area! Much respect for truly representing Hip Hop out there. Please tell me how long have you been rapping? Where are you from?
Thank you, I’m honored to be featured on the Underground Hip-Hop Blog and to represent Vermont Hip-hop, the scene is kind of in its infancy still but, we have some young and hungry up and comers and some very talented veterans that helped pave the way for artists such as myself. The North side of Vermont is ahead of the South, I’m from the southern part Springfield, Vermont. I’ve been rapping for 13 years, though I didn’t start to take things seriously until 3-4 years ago. Learning the business side of music has been a lot of trial and error, I never really had anyone show me how things worked. I had to figure it out on my own. Once I realized that was a major part of music, I made sure to give the business side 110%.
Your style and rhyme scheme is super raw, underground and ORIGINAL!! How important is it for your to stay ORIGINAL? I’m sure you hate it when fans say you sound like ???…LOL
Originality is a huge part of my music. I’m a Vermont Rapper and that’s kind of unheard of so, I use that to my advantage. I attack every song like I’m different from the average rapper and it’s easy because I really am. Before I sit down to create music and put the pen to the pad, I have already been thinking of concepts, punch lines, metaphors and wordplay. When I start to write I am thinking of the most creative way to put these thoughts out in the form of music, what I want to really emphasize and how I can say what I want to say most effectively. Sometimes I will change what I have written, on the fly and just freestyle because it feels better. Original thought-provoking lyrics and versatility is what I strive to show and prove with every song. Being from a place with limited hip-hop culture or support, I have a lot to prove. But, I like it that way.
Tell us about your Hip Hop and/or music influences? Any Vermont influences? Was there anyone in your life that motivated your to STEP IT UP when it comes to making dope Hip Hop?
G-Funk! The very first time I heard a hip-hop song that moved me, it was Warren G and Nate Dogg’s Regulator. From that point on I was hooked, I found Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound which is the group my favorite rapper Kurupt is a part of. Kurupt is a big influence for me, I feel like he is slept on but he came out in a really dope time period for hip-hop, he might have been easily overlooked. I love southern hip-hop as well, groups like Outkast and UGK heavily influence my music. I love how Pimp C would tell it how it is with no apologies. That’s real spit. For East Coast hip-hop, I listened to a lot of Biggie of course, Nas, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Big L, Mobb Deep, Redman, Wu-Tang, Sticky Fingaz. There’s so much more I’ve listened to, but these names are my biggest influences in hip-hop. I also listened to a lot of Classic Rock, a good friend of mine and I found hundreds of records in his fathers attic. We dusted off the record player and listened to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, The Eagles, the list goes on. That music is timeless, so much raw talent and storytelling in those songs, that’s where some of my deeper lyrics are influenced from. I listen to a lot of Vermont Hip Hop now as well, we have some great talents out here. Jarv is certainly one to watch from my area. If anybody has motivated me to step my game up recently it’s been Sydney Devon. He has pushed me to dive into the business and he was the first and only person to give me solid advice on the game. I’m very thankful for his motivation and have got to see more success when following his guidance.
Please breakdown the creative process of your latest album “The Broccoli Tree”.
I wanted to make an album to introduce who I truly am to my fans. Up until this point I’ve never really had that opportunity. I’ve always been a part of a group or collective when recording or performing music so my independence was kind of lost to the group consensus. I was reaching for more and feeling like I wasn’t connecting enough musically with people. So, I started this solo journey but, it often seemed to take the back burner to other projects or life’s obstacles. I took some time to complete it, I never rushed. I worked alone mostly, in my home studio or just driving around to escape distractions. I’d rather be alone in the studio. Each record I made for this album, represents a different struggle or victory in finding myself as a solo artist and person. My lyrics describe the conflict within my own self to be the man I want to be versus the man I was letting my environment make me. The Broccoli Tree symbolizes a happy innocent time in my childhood, before I realized the ups and downs of the real world. Family is very important to me so the Album name is also a shout out to them, we named a tree in our yard “The Broccoli Tree”. I made sure to write about topics I felt very passionately about so my listeners could feel my emotions. This album is actually a roller coaster of emotions, I shed some tears on, celebrated, lashed out, showed off, and more.
Rappers nowadays think by throwing up a few videos up on social media and pushing quick projects, they can blow up overnight! Give us your view on how over saturated the market is right now with so many MC’s/Producers but not to many quality music.
It seems like the majority of rappers want instant gratification. Them likes on social media mean more than the quality of their music for some reason, I just can’t understand that way of thinking. I see them reading off their phone to a web cam or putting out real low quality mixes on sound cloud and mass tagging their friends list. I can’t take any of that music seriously, I rarely even click the link. I think it reflects poorly on artists really putting in work who are out there networking, building relationships and making good business moves. I guess it will eventually show when you separate yourself from that pack, but it’s hard to get rid of that stigma at first of being a local internet spam rapper.
Out the box type question, are you a Bernie Sanders supporter?
Hindsight is 2020! Yes, I’m a huge Bernie supporter. I really despise most politicians but I believe in that man. He’s been fighting for the middle and lower class consistently for years. His stance on social justice, healthcare, economics, and the environment is unwavering. To top it all off, he’s still out there fighting for us right now. I really hope he runs for President again, He would have beat the clown that’s in office now in 2016 had he been nominated by the DNC and he will beat him in 2020.
Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
This is a great question! I think a lot of rappers consider themselves Underground simply because they are unsigned and nobody has heard their music but that’s not it at all. There is a sense of pride in Underground Hip-hop, these are hardworking artists with an appreciation for the hip-hop culture and history. You’ve got to earn your spot in the Underground where it’s the music that speaks, not image. It’s powerful truthful lyrics that are never sugar-coated to please a label executive. In the underground your brand is your bars and it’s put up or shut up.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.
Lastly, and shout out?
Family First! Without them my career wouldn’t be possible. They are my support system for sure. My Wife Autumn, and kids Avery, Charlee,My sister Robin Marie who is on so many of these songs on The Broccoli Tree, Nick, Hannah,Lily,Sofia, My Mom Sheri and Father John who is the photographer behind all of my press release photo’s.
SkySplitterInk mixed and Mastered the Broccoli Tree and Darkside Josh handled the graphic design work for the album. Matthew Dean Russell helped me hunt down many of these beats and was the Director of the music video for “I’m Dead” Colin Floom was the Cinematographer, Kyla Beardsley and Kate Patterson choreographed the dancing for the video. Big thanks to everyone who came out for that in Denver, CO.
And shouts to all of the artists moving Vermont Hip-hop forward!