Interviews

Published on February 24th, 2020 | by MuzikScribe

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Jaz-O: Originator

After a nearly eighteen year hiatus you’re finally back to making music again — That being said, what all exactly had / have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, over the course of the past seventeen plus years?

Actually, I never stopped doing music. I’d leak a song or two here and there to sort of let the world know when I feel the time is right; I’m bustin’!

Let’s discuss this brand new solo LP ‘The Warm Up’ — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?

Contractually it’s an EP,. And as we all know, for every skilled profession there is a “warm up” or some kind of ritual before the actual performance. I present to the world a miracle of sorts – due to my age and tenure in the game – and ‘The Warm Up’ being a preview of what I’m about to do.

The set’s lead single is entitled “M-A-R-See-Why” — Tell me about this particular track…

“M-A-R-See-Why” of course is a double-entendre; the place I was born and raised, and to “see why” I feel the way I do about Marcy Houses, Brooklyn. In the song, I personify Marcy as a nurturing spirit, with whom others, as well as myself, have a love-based relationship.

How then does ‘The Warm Up’ either differ and / or compare to previous Jaz-O efforts?

The skill set is comparable to what all have expected, but maybe not expected in present day due to my tenure in the game…my age! *Jaz chuckes* I also feel I sequenced the songs in a way that tells an underlying story; one of many.

‘The Warm Up’ is a Kingz Kounty Media Group / Equity Distribution / Roc Nation project — How were you able to not only patch things up with your longtime friend / collaborator Jay-Z, but also still be able to enter into this newly established business agreement?

At the end of the day, we, Jay-Z and I, are brothers. Our longstanding personal and creative rapport has withstood the test of time. We met up after almost twenty years of non-communication at the United Center in Chicago. Vegas Jones’ post of me and Jay’s pic went super viral! Several months later, we chatted again in Detroit during the On the Run II Tour, and shook hands on a verbal deal.

How much actual input / involvement did Hov have when it came to the overall hands on experience with you and your new music?

The creative process and executive production are my brain children alone. But be on notice, Jay-Z is one of my main reference parameters as far as: “What will he think of this?” I’m sure, as in the past, he does the same.

Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you as an individual, either changed and / or evolved since your whole inception into music?

Technology advanced. People adjust to accommodate the conveniences of unfolding revelations. Music artistry is no longer a truly specialized field. More so now than ever before, one is rated by his / her numbers; be it social media traffic or monetary value. We all change. Every moment you become more of yourself in coordination with your environment, which in absoluteness, you are the creator thereof.

Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?

Tenacity that I turn on and off as I so choose. DNA. A self realization that confirms itself in my external world.

What do you want people to get from your music?

Knowledge of self and their universe, which is basically the same. Though I say a lot, listen to how I say it. My tone originates from a place that is not what you call “here.” Trust me, I’m not alone with this, but few are those who “tap in.”

Is there a(ny) hidden meaning / message(s) in any of your music?

There are hidden messages in my every lyric, every production. I can tell you, but realize they’re hidden, not concealed.

As a lyricist, where do you actually draw inspiration from?

My heart.

Please explain your entire creative process…

Silence the mind. What do I feel passionate about and how, via my heart and brain, do I interpret my experiences. I do not believe in anything; let alone writers’ block. I have a way with words unique to almost all. My method IS the articulation of my experiences.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you “fit in” when it comes to today’s trending sound-scape?

I fit in because I created the avenue in which rappers utilized different time signatures – triplet style, double-time – what they falsely term “southern style.” I feel about everything the same way; self-based. We touched on the numbers game. You’re in the game, you play by the rules. Remember: a “cheat” that perseveres becomes a legal move in the game. Me and my cohorts adjusted the “field” so worthy, not necessarily the most highly talented, can eat.

Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Yes. Authorship of literary educational books, as well as documentary film production are on tap.

What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?

Being the first rap artist ever signed to EMI Records in 1988; the first to record Hip Hop music in the legendary D&D Studios in New York, which was instrumental in shaping what is known as Hip Hop’s “golden era”; originating a style of rhyming that revolutionized and influences rap to this day; producing and recording “Ain’t No Nigga” for Jay-Z, which became a classic and his first hit record – at D&D Studios by the way – to name a few.

What’s an average day like for you?

After I do the hygiene, I do some light calisthenics,  run my businesses, eat. Life can be turbulent at times. I always make time for thought. Pretty structured.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…   

I treat people accordingly. I’m approachable when approached properly. Those who have met me know I keep it regular.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And why?

My favorite part of this labor is that you make your own time, and terms. The least favorite is the constant battle to defend the sanctity of your time and terms.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Stick to your guns! What you choose to work for you will work. One must fully commit to the choice made.

1989’s “Hawaiian Sophie” is a bonafide Hip Hop classic — How did this song actually come about? Who came up with the concept? And, please describe for me the overall studio vibe on that fateful day?

The song began as a single rhyme I used to perform on stage. It became popular and when I signed to EMI, the A&R had heard about it and suggested I make it a song. I was against it at first, but saw the vision of it being a novelty hit. We recorded and mixed at Battery Studios in London, England. It was fun to record; awkward at first, due to the emergence of political and street rap.

What ever became of your crew The Immobilarie?

Disbanded. One bad apple. You’ve seen it before.

Lastly, what’s next for Jaz-O The Originator?

The Buss The Speaker Tour launched as of February 16th [All-Star Weekend] in Chicago, and on its way to your city. We have a men’s fragrance in the works [TBA]. A series of short books breaking down some of my landmark verses via poetic license, along with back-stories leading up to the recordings of songs / verses. We’re also doing a superstar talent search tour called Pull Up ‘N Play. On deck is another solo project of course. I have artists signed to Kingz Kounty that will be emerging in the near future.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?

Visit the website: www.kingzkountymediagroup.com

Instagram: @jazokkmg and @kingzkountymediagroup

Facebook: JazO

Twitter: TheRealJazO

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

Witness the miracle. You.

 

 


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