Jabari

Jabari

 Chicago, Illinois, USA
BandHip HopR&B

My skills as a writer and as an emcee are quite evident, I have the gift that few emcees have these days, the voice. Not gruff or bland, but more clear and direct in the tradition of Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D, Guru, and other masters of the art.

Biography

Jabari Dickens has come a long way from his precarious arrival into the world 24 years ago. For health reasons, he was not expected to accomplish all that he has thus far. Few people believed that he would reach the heights that he has—both in popularity and physicality.

Dickens was born in Chicago on August 31, 1986. A congenital health condition kept him under the watchful eyes of family and healthcare professionals during his formative years. The careful attention that his health once demanded has transformed into the reverence and respect he demands wherever he goes, introducing his empowering and distinctive brand of rap and hip-hop music.

Known to the music world simply as “Jabari”, the young artist has always believed that he has lyrical talent that transcends anything that has been heard before. However, do not mistake Jabari’s confidence in his skill as boastful or cocky, as he is eternally thankful to his hip-hop predecessors who have paved the way for himself and other hip-hop and rap artists. He is humbled in knowing that he has not come this far alone, but rather has been blessed with experiences and opportunities to continue to grow and learn not only as a hip-hop artist, but also as a person.

It was at the age of three that Jabari developed a deep fascination with rap music. He used a toy microphone he acquired from McDonald’s to mimic the mannerisms and lyrics of the hip-hop artists he listened to and watched intently. Receiving that toy microphone was a turning point in Jabari’s musical career. That moment marked his nascent emergence as a hip-hop artist. The microphone was Jabari’s appendage, traveling with him wherever he went. If it was ever lost for a moment, the world stopped until the microphone was found.

As a young child, Jabari became exceptionally familiar with the names, faces and lyrics of most of the famous hip-hop artists of the time. He even closely studied more obscure artists, some of who were considered underground. Early on he realized that he could learn about various aspects of the music industry from any artist in the business—underground or mainstream.

A precocious five year old, Jabari was so impressed by the music, that he would write track lists for rappers’ albums and then perform those tracks—accompanied by music—aloud, any place, any time. It was also during this time that Jabari became a fan of film and theatre. He would make it a point to see most movies the weekend they debuted in Chicago. In his youth, he became a fan of African American filmmakers Spike Lee, John Singleton, Bill Dukes, George Tillman and Robert Townsend. The works of these trailblazers piqued Jabari’s interest in both acting and working behind the camera.

This rising prodigy earned prominent roles in all of the youth theatre productions at his church and was even granted roles in plays at his high school. As time passed, Jabari continued to immerse himself deeper into the entertainment field. Creating music with his cousin on a Sony radio with a microphone attachment became a predictable pastime. The cousins would loop the instrumental parts of the songs onto blank tapes and create a beat, then rap over the beat, and thus, a song was born. Once Jabari got this first taste of music making, he was hooked.

By middle school Jabari became devoutly committed to rhyming. He would share his raps in a circle with kids his own age and older, known in hip-hop as a cipher. His profound lyrics were characteristic of a spirit much older than his adolescent age. Older people would listen to Jabari’s words and commend him on his insight and natural ability. He was once called “an old spirit” by an older observer who was struck by the wisdom his lyrics revealed.

As Jabari began to record in studios, he was faced with a major obstacle: he did not know how to count bars, or the line breaks during the verses of hip-hop songs. He worked relentlessly to master the challenge of counting bars. Once he became successful at it, writing original songs became another skill added to his artistic index. The more studio recording Jabari completed during high school, the more polished and evolved his lyrical prowess became.

During high school Jabari began to build his performance repertoire, performing at various talent showcases such as the annual poetry competition hosted by the Chicago Historical Society, “Louder Than a Bomb” in which he was a finalist, various talent shows and theatre productions at his alma mater, Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago. As a student at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Huntsville, Ala., he performed as homecoming talent and won an open talent competition. He was a finalist in Chicago-based radio station, WGCI’s “Chicago Idol”. Jabari has performed at Phil’s Blues Bar in Chicago, a Music Artist Consulting Showcase, numerous “open mics” and other open talent forums including, the Wild Hare, Exodus and Monday Nights at the Victor H

Discography

Dilla Mixtape (2009)
Early Morning Service Mixtape (2010)
"Keep In Touch" single (Radio airplay on WGCI and Power 92)

Set List

1. The Glass Ceiling
2. Is It You
3. Keep In Touch
4. I Can't Lie
5. Matter Of Fact
6. In The Zone
7. Nobody Do It Better