J The S
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J The S

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
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"djbooth.net review of "The Last Party" single"

Contributed by richard

As anyone who’s been to college knows, the main problem with ‘partying like there’s no tomorrow’ is that there usually is a tomorrow—and, once you’ve experienced a few hangovers, the apocalypse starts to seem infinitely preferable to another excruciating Sunday morning. On newly-released single The Last Party, underground emcee J the S fantasizes about just that scenario: a consequence-free night of revelry that continues till “the sun burn out and the angels fall.” Of course, even the best party can be a drag without a few good wingmen along for the ride, and the Boston rapper opts for the best of the best; Jadakiss jumps on board to spit a gruff guest verse (notably taking the opportunity to emphasize that The Last Kiss was not, in fact, his final album) over M-Phazes’ feel-good, sampled boardwork, and R&B singer Danny McLain tops the track off with a hook sure to spur plenty of soused singalongs. If this cut’s whet your appetite for more of J the S’ end-of-the-world jams, stay tuned for further details on the emcee’s The Last Days LP, which has yet to receive a solid release date.


- djbooth.net


"Allhiphop.com review of "My Will" mixtape"

JTheS

My Will

Heavy Rotation

Boston is a strong music scene. With acts like Termanology, Statik Selektah, and Big Shug, it’s a wonder why they haven’t received that blow up treatment other cities are getting. JTheS, which stands for Jake The Snake, has recently released My Will. This tape has the ability to turn any Hip-Hop head into a fan with solid backbone of boom bap (“Oil”), mixed in with good production (“In And Out”) and solid rhymes (“My People”). Don’t sleep on this one. - Allhiphop.com


"HipHopgame.com interview"

You’ve been bubbling in the underground for awhile. What do you have to do in 2009 to make this a big year for yourself?


There’s a lot of different avenues I can take and steal formulas that people are doing but I want to do it my way and the amount of success I get for what I do, I only want to do it on my terms. That’s’ not to say I want to keep myself on a shelf but I don’t feel like I need to jump on a bunch of joints and put Autotune on it., I got a big mixtape about to drop real soon and a bunch of other things in the can. I got a big album I’m working on that’s like my magnum opus. I got a lot of big things set up and I’m trying to plan ahead and that’s what you have to do to have a career. You have to have a gameplan and stay on top of it. The game is viral now and you have to have something new all of the time.

What should we expect on your mixtape My Will?

It came together real beautifully. It came together in a short amount of time, which was real fun for me. Sometimes my projects take a lot of time but this took only two months. It’s a crazy project. It’s got Saigon, Donny Goines, B.o.B. and Emilio Rojas on it. It’s like a segue way to my next album. My next album will be more conceptual and this is my project before I jump into that zone. I want to lead people into that slowly so it’s not like a cold splash of water when people hear it. It’s going to be some real straight up hip-hop shit but it’s very unique. I’m not trying to sound like the next man and it’s not like a mixtape where dudes are just spitting bars over some industry beats. To me, that’s just tired. Every song here is thought out and well-written. It’s not just some shit I threw together.

How much has growing up in the West Indies affected your music?

It definitely has a big influence just on the way that I look at life in general and with my approach to things. That affects the way that I deal with it and with music too. A lot of my subject matter and the joints I like to do comes from my perception. I look at American and American society in a certain context. I’m able to remove myself from it and analyze it and be critical of certain things because I grew up in a different place. I’m very lucky to have that because it gives me that angle and I feel very cultured and I’ve seen different things and it gives me an edge. Reggae is a huge influence to me and I have a lot of reggae-infused beats and have reggae artists singing and shit like that.

How does Boston influence you as an artist?

I mean, there’s the lifestyles there. The funny thing with Boston is that there aren’t a bunch of big rappers that come out of there. There’s Term, Slaine, Smoke Bulga and Akrobatik. That’s really it with Edo G and myself and Shug and stuff. There’s a whole culture in the city that’s real unique. When a city like Houston blows up, the music’s hot and the people focus on the culture like sipping syrup.

Boston has a culture but it’s not represented in the music so people don’t understand it. We have a whole different set of slang and different styles of dress and different handshakes and all of that. I try to bring that put in my music and my crew tries to do that too. The lifestyle influences me but I strive to sound like none of the Boston artists, but the culture and the way that people are, that definitely influences me.

You’ve released two independent albums, Strategy of the Crown and When in Rome, in the past three years. How well did those two albums lay the foundation for what you’re doing today?

Oh, Strategy of the Crown has done really good for me. At the time I had some really big collabs on there like Ras Kass and Devin the Dude. Some of those singles did really well for me on college radio and online radio. That gave me a buzz and some certified joints that people would like to play and rock out to today. In cities people can sing along to some of my songs and those records did a lot for me.

When in Rome was a real fun project. I moved to New York last year and I was in a real different state of mind. I was in a lonely state of mind, really, because I left my city and I was alone out here mingling with some industry people. I felt kind of alone in the biggest city in the country. It was unique and I felt like I was in the belly of the beast. That’s why I called it When in Rome. The United States society is kind of crumbling beneath our eyes and I was rapping about social issues and stuff people needed to know.

Do you make better music in New York or Boston?

You know what? It doesn’t even really matter where I am. I do a lot of writing in California or wherever I’m in. In New York I’m around more industry people. I’m making bigger moves than I did when I was back home. I’m very motivated and pushed here. I’m very motivated. I’m making more music now. If someone needs me for a remix I pump it out the next day. I’m always in the lab and I’m always doing shows. I’m always going out to events.

How important is it for you to have a strong online presence today?

Online presence nowadays is real big. Even a couple of years ago a lot of artists weren’t even internet savvy with their marketing approach because the mixtapes were heavy and just having your mixtapes in barbershops and your single on college radio was enough. Now kids don’t even want to buy your single. They want to download it online. You have to adapt to that if you want to have a career.

I strive to have an internet presence and I got mad love for my manager who’s helping me get on all the websites. It’s much appreciated and I try to make a lot of music so I have a lot of music to leak. I also feel like people over-saturate themselves on the internet by having too much material and I feel like they kind of water down their talent by releasing a mixtape a month. I’m not knocking any artist but it’s a lot of music. I would rather spend a lot of time making a good product than making a bunch of subpar products. Some dudes just went too hard and I think it’s ruined some dude’s careers but for the most part, if you use it right then it’s going to help you.

You have your own crew Greater Good. What’s going on with them?


The Greater Good is a lot of cats from Boston. Some of them I grew up with and some of them I met later. We formed this super-group of cats that are all real nice. We just respect each other’s styles. We’re not just friends; everyone is really nice. Everyone is from the Bean too except for Karas, who’s from L.A. Everyone just has so many different, unique styles. Some did years in jail and one’s a public school teacher. Nobody has the same style and everybody sounds unique. I actually got the Greater Good mixtape coming up and my man Amadeus in The Greater Good has a big album coming out with a bunch of big guests so he’s about to start doing his thing too.

How far along are you on your new album Last Days?

I’d say I’m aiming to record a little more than 20 songs for it and then trim it down to 13 or 14. It’s like a concept album in a sense, which is something that I really want to do for awhile. I’m taking my time with it and we’re bringing in a lot of different vocalists. I’m producing on it too and I got an executive producer I hired. We’re crafting it and we started working on it right when we started working on the My Will mixtape. I got about 13 tracks into it and you’ll see it in the spring or summer. And I have another mixtape dropping before that too.

You’ve worked with a lot of MCs from Ras Kass to Joell Ortiz to Skyzoo. Who’s been your favorite collaboration so far?

I liked working with Devin the Dude the most. I mean, I like working with everybody but Devin was real cool because he’s a real laid back dude and we’ve played mad shows together. He’s hilarious and he just tells funny stories. It’s a funny crew of dudes who just happen to be nice on the mic and singing. That was real fun and the concept was cool. And Ras Kass was real cool because we did the song on Super Bowl Sunday and he was in Boston and I was dying with the flu. That was kind of ill. That was pretty fun. Everybody’s been fun but those are the ones that stick out.

Are artists in Boston pretty cool about working with each other?

It’s funny, man. Boston has all these politics in the hip-hop game. There are all these street cliques in Boston. If you grew up with them, it's cool. But then some people it’s like if you don’t show somebody else love they’re not going to show you love. So you got a lot of little cliques that roll together. It’s nice though because more people are reaching out and if people see somebody buzzing they’re going to want to work more with you.

It’s funny how it works and for them most part, the people I want to work with in Boston I work with and if there are some younger cats I’m digging in Boston we work together but there is a lot of fronting and cliques and a lot of fake love. There’s not as much unity as I would like but it’s nice to see cats get shine outside of the community. And a lot of cats get jealous when they see someone from the Bean doing well and that’s the crab in the barrel mentality and there’s a lot of egos in the room but I like seeing dudes shine from the Bean. I’m happy because that means it will open more for everyone else. I hope I can open some doors too.

Has it been getting better or worse?


I definitely see it getting better. When I was coming up it was a lot worse. And there are definitely a lot of people in the machine that are helping that. Promoters are having shows with artists from different realms of the game. They’re bringing people together, which is good. I think once artists from Boston start getting more successful, that’s going to bring more attention to the city and artists will have more unity and we can work together to strive to have more unity.

What do you have to do in 2009 to have a successful year?

I got a gameplan. Me and my manager, we set shit up. The next four months are planned out and then we’re going to plan the next four. We play this shit like chess, not checkers. It’s all about having your shit ready. I love making music and I’m going to make music and still step into the business realm. Money’s important and you have to keep that coming in. I just don’t want to over-saturate myself and play myself out. People have gotten tired of a lot of artists and I want to put enough out so people know who I am and don’t get sick of it. I don’t want to feed them too much. That’s where I’m at now.

What’s the next move for Jake the Snake?


The My Will mixtape. I’m going to be shooting some videos. Those are the next moves and just smashing the internet and just smashing everywhere. We’re going hard on radio and just letting the music be heard. When you hear it you can’t deny a good thing. There are so many people who don’t get heard. I’m trying to make the best moves and grind hard with the best music possible. - Hiphopgame.com


"My Will review on thisisbookmusic.com"


He was an MC called Jake The Snake, but perhaps being aware of the threat of trademark infringement, he decided to shorten his moniker and call himself simply J The S.
Rooted in the West Indies, raised in Massachusetts, but now calling
NYC home, J The S has been working hard in perfecting his style of
rhyming, and as he gets into moving into the next phase of his career,
he has put out an album for free with the help of Mr. Peter Parker and the incredible DJ Warrior for a mix-CD type situation called My Will (self-released).
The CD has the feel of a mix tape in that the DJ’s are talking over
sections of each track, and for me it can be unnecessary especially
when you as a rapper are trying to impress listeners with what you’re
about, not established DJ’s, but that’s a minor complaint. One thing I
will not complain about is his presence on the mic, or what he is able
to communicate through his music. He will be the first to call his
style of music “blacktop hip-hop”, and it’s very much down to the
earth, of the streets, of the neighborhood, of the now and you hear the
sound of today, complete with sped up samples, well recorded vocals,
and production that for the most part is quite good. J The S is not a
bullshit rapper, he gets to the point and then goes deeper, making sure
his lyrics are embedded in your consciousness as he talks about
delivering the “new slang” and “coming up fresh” while talking about
one of the problems of the world: “Oil”. Yes, the man is effective in
touching on the headlines and does it without sounding like he’s
piggybacking on someone else’s schtick. It’s a message song with a
chorus that has the T-Pain touch (courtesy of The Greater Good),
and while he could build his career off of message songs alone, he lets
people know throughout the rest of the CD that he’s out for the kill
and if he wants to have fun, he’ll have fun every now and then.
However, we live in a different world and My Will is a
statement about the conditions we live in today. J The S states this is
a mere tease for what he’s about to offer with his forthcoming full
length, The Last Days. - thisisbookmusic.com


"My Will review on grindmodeconnect.com"

Building up a steady buzz ahead of his upcoming official debut, J The S (aka Jake The Snake) is repping Boston in the manner seldom seen since the days when Ed O.G. was telling listeners about the ‘Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto.’ While J The S revealed that he has lived in spots including the West Indies and, as such, has broadened his horizons, his music speaks solidly of his hometown. With a strong East Coast leaning, despite production from L.A.’s DJ Warrior, ‘My Will’ brings some strong collaborations from B.o.B., Saigon, Kool G Rap, Donny Goines, Emilio Rojas and more. However, it is J The S’s assured swagger that holds the 15-tracks together as he manages to deliver the rhymes of a man who is attuned to the streets without being openly in the streets (and, as a rapper, that seems the most likely truth). High points include the fine, ‘Another Round’ and ‘Self Control’ as well as the previously available title track and ‘My Thing.’ With this being an unofficial release there are the expected shout outs throughout, but the quality that underpins this release is evident. On the strength of this it seems that this Boston B-Boy may be another name to watch as he preps his official deut. - grindmodeconnect.com


"Interview with ihiphop.com"

With so many people trying their hand at Hip-Hop, it can be difficult to filter out who’s worthy of listening to, as opposed to those who have no business getting into music. But in the end, how can you deter someone from pursuing their dreams?

When it comes to Boston’s Jake the Snake AKA J the S, he’s neither the artist that will clog your eardrums with nonsense, nor does he resemble the material left over on the bad end of a strainer.

Originally from the West Indies, Nevis & St. Kitts to be precise, he later migrated to Massachusetts and honed his skills through the battle circuit, while making a name for himself.

Now with the underground experience behind him, he sets forth to bring his proficiency to the frontlines, and working with MC’s like Kool G. Rap,
Joell Ortiz

,
Ras Kass

,
Devin The Dude

, and B.o.B. just might do the trick.

The ex-middle school teacher turned full-fledged artist has been busy as of late putting the finishing touches on his My Will project, as he prepares for his official release, The Last Days.

With the moniker “Jake the Snake,” most people might relive their childhood and once again capture the image of the old WWE wrestler parading around the ring with a fake persona drummed up by Vince McMahon. But one thing is certain, when speaking of this new-aged “Jake,” he is surely not that.

iHipHop.com: So you’re originally from the West Indies, and then you moved to Boston?

J the S: Yeah, I’m from Nevis & St. Kitts in the West Indies.

iHipHop.com: Was it a tough transition for you at first going from there to Boston?

J the S: Before I moved to Boston, I moved around Massachusetts, but it was the obvious sh*t; like the weather. It was a little different for me because the American mentality is really different from the West Indies. I didn’t really even know what racism was until I moved to America, you know what I’m saying? Being from where I’m from race wasn’t an issue, and that’s just how I was raised.

When I came over here, I’d be friends with whomever in elementary school, and a bunch of white kids would be like, “Why are you hanging out with him?” They would say things like that, and I would just be shocked, because I never really heard sh*t like that before. Plus the way the American lifestyle is fast, and I feel time slows down back there [Nevis & St. Kitts].

iHipHop.com: When did you really start taking rhyming seriously?

J the S: Probably not until I was nineteen. I used to break dance, write graffiti, and freestyle for fun. Then when I was about 17-years-old my man took me to the studio, and he asked me to spit a verse. I really hadn’t been writing too much, so I told him I was going to write some sh*t. So I came back and recorded it, and I thought it was so ill to hear yourself back on the recording, and from there I started doing more and more stuff. It just snowballed, and I couldn’t stop. So from that point, that’s all I wanted to do.

iHipHop.com: When did you start getting a name for yourself?

J the S: I would say back in 2003… I linked up with some cats that had a studio, and they wanted to help me put out a CD. So I started doing open mic shows, and I started entering battles even though I don’t really like battling, but I knew that I needed to get some attention. After that, I started winning battles here and there. In 2003, I won this battle called the Super Bowl Battle, and it was one of the biggest battles in New England, but they don’t do it anymore.

I beat a lot of well-known rappers, so it was crazy and that started getting me attention. From there people were like, “Who’s this kid Jake the Snake?!” That really fueled me because I’m not a battler, I’m s songwriter, but I needed to get people’s attention. Then I dropped a CD and it started to get a local buzz, and I really started to go hard with it.

iHipHop.com: I actually spoke with another Boston artist not too long ago, and we were discussing how people associate Boston Hip-Hop with the “Crabs in a bucket mentality.” What’s your opinion on the state of Boston Hip-Hop?

J the S: It’s still that same mentality, and a lot of people will try to tell you that it’s not. Edo G hosted this show called the Unity Fest, and I performed, so did
Big Shug

, and a lot of other major Boston artists. The club was sold out and it was great because you had a lot of people in the same building who never really f*cked with each other before. But to be real, it’s almost kind of fake because when it’s over, it goes back to the same way it is.

I even did a song with Devin The Dude a couple of years ago called ‘Crabs In A Barrel’ where I was touching on issues like that. It’s real artificial, but there are some people, who are trying to eliminate that, and I like to see people come together and try to get passed that, but there are still a lot of people who hate. But you got cats like me, [Big]
Shug

, and Termanology doing it and showing that you don’t have to be headhunting with each other.

jthes_main.jpgiHipHop.com: So talk about My Will, what can people expect to hear from that?

J the S: I don’t want to call it a mixtape, because it’s definitely not a mixtape. It’s all original production, and it’s been properly mixed and mastered.

I don’t want to call it a “street album” either because that’s so cliché, but I guess you have to call it a mixtape because it’s not my official album. It’s kind of like a prelude to my album, and it’s going to give people a sense of what to expect from The Last Days.

I got people on there like Donnie Goines, Kool G. Rap, B.o.B. from Atlanta and some other people. I’m not that dude that’s going to spit bars and bars and bars, because people get tired of that. These are all songs with concepts, ideas, and just creativeness. I’m going to be putting it out as a free downloadable mixtape, because times are hard right now and I don’t blame people for not coming out to shows and buying CD’s. So I’m going to give this one out to the people.

iHipHop.com: Staying on the subject of collaborations, you also worked with Joell Ortiz, Ras Kass, along with the aforementioned. Was any one of those collaborations your absolute favorite?

J the S: I worked with so many dudes like Skyzoo, Devin The Dude, but I would probably say working with Devin was my favorite because we did the track and then we just kicked it. He was really cool besides just the rap sh*t. So working with him was the best, because it came real natural and so he was my favorite collaboration so far. Even though it’s old now, but it still is. B.o.B. was cool too, and he’s a talented artist.

iHipHop.com: Every new artist comes into the game with certain goals. So what expectations do you have for yourself?

J the S: I wanted to be the biggest artist I could, but I didn’t want to sell my soul out. Right now I kind of changed my goals and priorities, and now I feel like I can speak on more things than I could a couple of years ago. If I was to say some intelligent sh*t a couple years back, people didn’t want to hear that; they wanted to hear me talk about some fly sh*t, selling drugs, or whatever. I feel like the time is right as of now, so my main goal with The Last Days album is to make something that’s going to last. I want to make something that I can be real proud of, and I didn’t sacrifice anything.

iHipHop.com: I read that you were also a middle school teacher at one time, was that something you just fell into?

J the S: Yeah man… When I was in high school I got into a lot of trouble, and I was about to be kicked out of school. So they made me join this volunteer program after school for elementary kids. I never worked with kids before, but I started doing it and I love it. I was so naturally good at it, and the elementary school wanted to hire me to work there.

So I did that, and as I got older I started working at other different programs in Boston. Even though I didn’t have a degree to be a teacher, I had enough experience, so they brought me in. The only reason I stopped is because the music started taking off, and I had to leave teaching to do this full time, but I miss it a lot.

iHipHop.com: Would you go back to it if your schedule allowed you to do so?

J the S: Yeah, I was thinking about it that, and just thinking about how long do I want to even be in this game. I might drop this album, and then say f*ck the industry. I’m going to always love Hip-Hop because it’s in my DNA, but the music business and Hip-Hop are two different things.

iHipHop.com: Also with a lot of new acts being released, are you concerned that your voice might get drowned out?

J the S: When I was younger in the game, I felt the same way. There are always new cats trying to come up. Right now you have the XXL [Magazine] with all the new kids on the cover, and last year they did the same thing with other artists. I used to care about that sh*t, but now I don’t because I’m confident that I don’t sound like anybody else, and the way I come across is very unique. There are a lot of “hipster rappers” that are very popular right now, and I’m not knocking anybody’s style.

But these kids are getting snatched up by the labels because of their image, I’m not saying that it’s a gimmick, but can [they] make a career from being all about the 80’s? I don’t know… There are dope rappers that come out on that sh*t, and honor it, and I wish them the best, but I don’t care because I don’t sound like Mickey Factz, Charles Hamilton, Asher Roth, or the Cool Kids; that’s not me. I’m not knocking that, but that’s just not what I’m about. So I don’t get concerned with any of that truthfully… - ihiphop.com


"kevinnottingham.com interview"

Recently, Boston emcee J the S has been all over the scene. With a new project in the immediate future (My Will) and a monumental release (The Last Days) geared for next year, I sat down with Jake to discuss a whole heap of topics. We touch on the typical music things but we also step outside the normal realm and discuss politics, marijuana, teaching and community outlook. J is much more than a rapper and it is so good to see him finally getting the proper recognition. We have heard him with the likes of Joell Ortiz, Ras Kass, B.o.B, Kool G Rap and so many more, but this is a different side to Jake. All emcees should take notice because regardless of what the Chinese calendar says, 2009 is the year of the Snake!

Beads: When you dropped When in Rome it seemed like the awareness of J the S rose through the roof. How have things changed since then, industry-wise specifically?

J the S: Yeah that project was important in getting my rep up to where I felt it should be, even though I want so much more. But yeah, now I’m just on more websites, more radio play, mad more fans know me. Industry wise, shit’s definitely helped because now we got more attention from labels, DJ’s, industry cats, the buzz just grew. So yeah, I’m happy for what it did. And now people are anticipating more from me to come.

Beads: After listening to that album I was blown away. You touch on so many topics including; religion, politics, the streets and the industry among others. What inspires you to make music?

J the S: So many different aspects of my life, or life in general. The situations me or my peoples be in, my family been in. Whether its politics, crime, drug dealing, street shit, love, heartbreak, cooking dinner, lamping with my fam, playing chess, ladies, the whole realm of Snza. The state of the world, and our society, shit’s ugly, and that inspires me, or fuels me. But I go through my waves of creative shit. There’s alotta shit that does the opposite of inspire me, like this music industry full of bloodsuckers, fake ass people bullshitting, the meds they got me on, shit like that. But you got to find your muse. Sometimes I get stuck and head out of the city to get my mind in another place to write.

Beads: We recently saw you drop the single, “Another Round”, which is featured on the new release, My Will. What can we expect from this project and when can we expect to have it playing through our speakers?

J the S: Well the “Another Round” video is out, feat. B.o.B. and it’s been getting mad shine on all the websites, getting me alotta love and attention. My Will is another “street album”, even though I hate that term, and I hesitate to call it a mixtape, cause it’s more of an album that any kid’s mixtape. But it’s hosted by DJ Warrior & Mr. Peter Parker, featuring appearances from B.o.B., Kool G Rap, Donny Goines, Emilio Rojas, and another big name or two we wrapping up now. It’s just more evolution of the Snake Man as we prepare for The Last Days album, which is coming along beautifully.

Beads: Seeing your grind and hearing your progression in the music makes it clear that you are one of the most talented emcee’s in this game. What is your ultimate goal with, My Will?

J the S: Thank you for the kind words. My Will is a means for me to show the people that I gets better with every song, and I’m striving to be as creative and original as possible, giving the people more of an idea of who J the S is, what my mystique is, what the aura is all about. Getting them ready for my magnum opus, The Last Days so I’m touching on some topics that are going to be on that album, issues we’re facing as people right now, and showing my growth as a musician and songwriter. And just to give yall real quality music to vibe with amongst the pollution we dealing with now in our ears.

Beads: You are an artist who progressively improves with every release. When in Rome was as solid a project I’ve heard in a while. How much of an improvement is My Will when compared to your previous work?

J The S: My manager is mad honest with me, which is critical to an artist’s progression, cause if you got yes men working for you, you stay gassed, and lazy, and never really improve or grow. But he was bugging on how much better it is than When In Rome. And not that that record wasn’t dope, it’s just I been going in so much, and getting my mind on another wavelength to make my new shit. My man Mr. Peter Parker likes to say that I’m in my own “Snake World”, just my own zone, and I been creating the best shit I ever have. The constant big progression is real evident in everything from the writing, lyrics, beats, topics, ect. You hear it as soon as you listen to the project, guaranteed. A game, no summer school, ya heard?

Beads: Being from Boston, like yourself, I see first-hand how messed up our musical scene is and I also see how slept on you are throughout Boston, specifically by other artists. Why do you think this is happening?

J The S: Ha. Boston is my home, favorite city on the planet, but we got to lotta issues in our hip hop scene. Since no one has really blown since Edo back in the early nineties, even though you got cats like Term and Slaine doing big things, we haven’t gotten much shine for our hip hop. So cats are scared. Cats are scared that there are only X amount of slots for Boston artists in the game, and that the bigger industry will only fuck with a couple of us, if any, so everybody seems worried that it may not be them, but the next man. That insecurity leads to less unity, more division, more competition, more hate. It’s very clicky, and I’ve seen alotta bean artists start to buzz, drop big records, and a year later, they nowhere. Maybe a reason I was slept on is because I ain’t come in on anyone’s back, no co sign from no one, and I didn’t kiss ass or ride dick to get love like so many cats round home do. So they don’t want to show me love if I aint doing it to them first. Lil kid shit. But I never cared about what the other rappers or producers really thought, as long as the fans felt me. And that’s why my shows stay drawing people, why my songs stay on the radio, requests, why my CD’s move. And I roll with my own peoples. All the love and support I get now is because I earned it the old fashioned way, and I am making big moves and good music now, its undeniable, so cats are starting to show the love they know they can’t deny. Cats be popping out the woodwork now like, “Oh let’s do a track” or “let me throw you some beats” or “let me play your record” which is cool, cause I’m all for keeping this music thing moving. It’s just funny how that shit works. Love to all those who support me, and mega oil love to those who had my back from jump.

Beads: On a large scale how much does it affect you when your home town sometimes shows less love than other regions? You have a very strong buzz in many regions and we have heard you on records with a lot of big rappers, so does the overall love and buzz outweigh the negative?

J The S: The overall love always outweighs the hate. It has to, that’s the bottom line in this music. Do you want to just make music that only matters in Boston, or you want to make music for the world? You got to know your own goals. I’ve played shows across the country. I’m on radio across the country, internationally, all over the internet, so I know there’s a bigger world out there than home. And I got mad references and lines in my joints that only cats from bean are going to get, because that’s part of me, and that’s for my Boston people. But like I said, I’ve always got love in Bean, but mostly fans, like getting stopped in the street, or in stores, signing autographs, shit like that. But now many more Boston artists and industry cats are recognizing what I’m doing, showing respect, and there’s a bunch of cats that’s I’m digging and they get that same respect from me.

Bead: In my opinion, you are one of the most well-rounded emcee’s in the industry today. You have a vast knowledge of a lot of things and you always seem to say what you like, when you like. You have a lot of controversial material, regarding politics and religion, but you aren’t ignorant in your views. Have you always been interested in politics and religion?

J The S: I strive to never be ignorant. I got an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and truth. I do say a lot of shit that people label “controversial” but it’s just actual facts, and that’s the scariest shit of all. That’s why they bugging. And I’m just saying it, but it lives out there, it’s real out there, not just in J The S’ music. Some shit I say might catch people’s ears cause it directly correlates with their lives or their views or feelings, or it catches the ears cause it’s something they never heard no one say, or say it that way, or they ain’t ready to hear it. When I was much younger, I always knew I was righteous, I knew what was really good and what was really bad, my folks were on some ill shit. But I was a young teenager, too into getting fucked up all of the time, chasing girls, skateboarding, doing crazy stupid shit to ever read a book or really get on the shit I’m on now. But when I was 17 or 18 I read a book or two that changed my perception. I stopped some of that other shit and started reading a lot, investigating shit, learning more, building with different types of heads. I just couldn’t stop myself.

Beads: With an election underway, will you be voting for the new president?

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted prior to the U.S. Presedential elections.

J The S: There is this line Saigon has, he a very talented intelligent cat and he said “I can’t vote and that’s something I don’t regret/cause for the poor folk they ain’t done shit yet” and That line always stuck with me. He was saying he can’t vote because he’s a felon, like many of my friends and peers. I don’t have a felony charge on my record, so I can. But sometimes I think about, like really think about everything I know about this new world order in action, the secrets of the ages, how and why this shit was set up, and I bug out like fuck it why? When I’ve voted the last two elections, I voted Green Party. Uniformed heads try and hate like, “that’s why the Democrats lost and Bush won”. But that’s bullshit. We can’t have a real democracy with these two, almost indistinguishable parties. But this go-round imma vote for Obama, a democrat. I feel strong that his presence, more than any actual changes he could accomplish, his presence in office will be vital right now. It will inspire, change minds, and open doors. He symbolizes change and hop, and hat is something people need to feel significant, to feel that there is any chance of improvement from the hell we in now. There are truly troubled times ahead, and I don’t know if even if he elected he can change some shit. Some damage is irreversible at this point.

Beads: In Massachusetts we have a question on our ballot regarding the decriminalization of marijuana. Listening to your music it is clear that you are an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. Why do you think the government is so apprehensive to legalize weed?

J The S: I wish I could speak on this from a more educated standpoint. I mean, for one, they tax cigarettes and alcohol, so they get paper off that. Those are both inelastic goods, meaning heads are going to buy them no matter the economy. I wonder would weed operate the same way? I think there are still a lot of stupid old politicians who think its evil, so they spread that ‘gateway” drug, reefer madness fear to concerned citizens through terrifying news broadcasts and shit. Plus, the War on drugs, although a failure, and expensive for the American taxpayer, is lucrative for the government financially, as well as for attacking “undesirables” as the government would state behind closed doors.

Beads: Back a few years ago, I heard that you where a teacher and a person who was involved in the community. What was the best part of teaching?

J The S: Sharing the knowledge, any form of it, simple to complex, with another young human being, and watching them manifest that knowledge. Witnessing your righteous intentioned deeds succeed in front of your own eyes. So often we feel like we strive to do good, but never see the result.

Beads: Was teaching more satisfying than making music?

J The S: Ha. That’s a close one. MAKING the music is incredible joy, but the business and industry side is horrible. So Teaching, I guess.

Beads: Are you currently involved in any community projects?

J The S: As my career has gotten more serious it’s been real hard for me to stay as involved as I have been in the past. I was doing this pen pal program to young middle school kids at the Timilty middle School in Roxbury. I recently donated and participated in Cindy Digg’s PEACE Boston campaign, rich had marches, shows, events and released a compilation CD and sold T-Shirts to raise awareness about the rapidly growing rate of violence in Boston, as well as to raise money for the gravestone of a mother who lost her son to violence in the streets. I was also working with a program Citizen School’s helping on a panel about their Hip Hop school program they have in various Boston schools, teaching kids’ music, and business.

Beads: One thing I respect about you is the fact that you have a very strong manager and crew of people around you. Can you explain to the up and coming emcee how important quality management is in this industry.

J The S: It was hard because I didn’t always have that until recently, so a lot of the shit it took me to get to that point was me working real hard. But only so much I could do. So I’m very thankful and fortunate to have a good manager in a good place, some big Commercial radio DJ behind me, a good publicist, a great street team, my man who is doing promo for me hard, people with connections, it’s lovely and I thank all of them for seeing the Snake Man’s vision and walking with me through the mist. Almost every successful artist has a team behind him. It gets hard to do all the music, and network, and promote, and manage. The more cohesive and motivated your team is the better. Just make sure they share your vision.

Beads: We couldn’t sit here and fail to mention, The Last Days album release date. When are we going to get the official album?

J The S: Ahhh…the money question. Me and my executive producer have been going in on this album. Taking our time, with it, making it right. I would say look for it in spring 2009.

Beads: Any shout outs before we get out of here?

J the S: All my dogs locked behind the walls…Lord Touch, Maze, Caype, hold your heads. The Greater Good; Amadeus, Prone, Speks, Karas, Blend, and Dom. My manager Jonathan Master, Peter Parker, my publicist Dove, and my main man Beads! One love - kevinnottingham.com


Discography

"My Will" mixtape, hosted by DJ Warrior & Mr. Peter parker (2009), "When In Rome..." street album (2008), "year Of The Snake V2: At Close Range" hosted by DJ Vlad (2007), "Strategy Of The crown" LP (2006), "Year Of The Snake V1" hosted by Mr. Peter Parker (2005), "The Arrival" LP (2005)

Photos

Bio

J The S (Jake The Snake) spent his first years in the West Indies, on the island of Nevis, where his father hustled and both parents mingled with the popular musicians of the time. Domestic and economic situations changed for the family, so they relocated to Massachusetts. Throughout his youth, Jake was introduced to criminal elements on the street and at home. A volatile domestic situation and flawed role models inspired a notebook full of rhymes and dedication rarely seen in young artists. In just four years, J the S dropped two internationally distributed full-length albums, four mixtapes, and landed a few #1 singles on Rap Network, Rap Attack Lives and CMJ charts for national college radio. His new single ft. Jadakisss, "The Last Party" is enjoying widespread airplay nationwide on commercial radio in the country's top markets. Beyond his East Coast ethos, J the S is also marked by his experience as a middle school teacher and youth worker, and his socially progressive mission, which has landed him on bills alongside dead prez, Brand Nubian, Immortal Technique and KRS-One. J has also shared the stage with Wu-Tang Clan, Fat Joe, Pharoe Monch, AZ, Boot Camp Click, Royce da 5'9, and many more. Snake also demonstrates his versatility by doing songs with artists from the likes of Devin The Dude, B.o.B., Ras Kass, and Crooked I, to Saigon, Jadakiss, Kool G Rap, Joell Ortiz, and Nipsey Hussle amongst others. “I have my personal opinions of what’s missing from Hip Hop right now, so I try to bring those missing elements - but everybody wants different things. What I bring to the table is a mix of the story telling and picture painting, so you can visualize what I'm speaking on, so you can feel like you're right there with me. I bring a voice of pain, of intelligence, and of hunger to improve.” with his highly anticpiated album, "The Last Days" on the way, J The S has formed a strong internet presence with features and interviews on all major websites and blogs, while traveling the country performing and staying on radio. “I feel The Last Days is my best work to date, no question. When it hits, it's gonna be serious - but these are serious times, right?”

He might be an anomaly, but J the S is poised to be a factor in Hip Hop’s return to form, while expanding his realm with new sounds. If he can pull it off in Boston, where pushing Golden Age street styles is less common than being a Republican, he can do it anywhere.