At RhymeStreet: The New Class Hip Hop event which recently took place on March 9th at Silk City in Philadelphia, The Hip Hop Party for the People (HHPP) had the pleasure of sitting down with some of Philly’s freshest talent for a behind the scenes interview with Ai-Que, Davon, Realysm, Emperess, and Jaye. Each artist took us into their world of music, art and culture. Next up on the FreshSpits Podium is Jaye, a Philly bred MC with some of the most straight-up and honest content and mentality this side of the Delware. Check him out in second in the five part FreshSpits interviews series. #VoteHipHop. #FreshSpits.
By Lissa Alicia for Hip Hop Party For The People
On a chilly winter night, Silk City opened its doors for Rhyme Street Presents: New Class. The event, hosted by Myke Storm, featured five up-and-coming artists from Philadelphia and surrounding areas: Ai-Que, Davon, Realysm, Emperess, and Jaye. As attendees funneled in, they were greeted with what we will call an “opening dance act.” A few ‘super fly’ patrons, who were much older than the usual crowd at the Northern Liberties Venue, we grooving to the nostalgic tracks spun by DJ Benz.
Jaye is a Philly born and raised MC’s who is by no way new to the game. In his career he has rocked stages in New York and LA to name a few. His straight forward not only shines through in general conversation but in his music too. His art is definitely worth a listen or two.
Lissa: What work do you have available?
Jaye: I have a mixtape out right now. It is called Something About Mary. It is basically dissecting the relationship with weed and music. How it relates. How is detrimental. How it is progressive. Just how it correlates to music. I display it in words in a lot of different ways. I am very proud of it and I had a lot of people who feel the same way about it. I worked with a lot of Philadelphia artist like Chill Moody, Mazon, and Muzic Class. I am actually working on a new mixtape. It is not yet titled. We are just getting the foundation of who we are working with. I want to bring a new feel as far as the different artist. I have a country singer that I am working with. I have a reggae artist that I am working with right now.
Lissa: How would you describe your own lyrical style?
Jaye: I have studied so many legends so it is kind of a mixture. When I was growing up, my favorite was Method Man. I liked Camp Lo. A Tribe Called Quest. My all time favorite is Rakim. I kind of take something from all of them so I guess that where you get me.
Lissa: Why are you a Hip Hop artist?
Jaye: Like Wale say, “I’m just trying to be legendary”. Of course I want the money. Of course I want to live comfortably. But those are things that come with it. Ultimately I want to be legendary. A hundred years from now I want my songs to still be quoted on the tongues of the youth.
Lissa: Independent or signed
Jaye: Me, personally I would say independent, because you are making a better statement. A bigger statement. A truer statement. I would chose independent anything with the right budget of course.
Lissa: What is your opinion on the Philly scene?
Jaye: I’ve preformed everywhere: LA, DC. New York. One thing I can say about all the venues that I’ve preformed at: they support each other. Philly is not like that. It is so cutthroat in this city. It is so much talent, that we can get a lot farther. Like I said I’ve worked with them all in Philly. Everybody. We all got the same mentality in Philly. I will step on your toes if I had to, to get to where I need to be. It should be like that. As a whole we need to do better and support each other.
Lissa: March is Women’s History Month, seeing how the time is fitting, what is your opinion on misogyny in Hip Hop?
Jaye: I feel like that’s a double standard. Just on the tip that you have men that talk about this and that, condescending women if you will. You will probably have ten male rappers. Three of them will be womanizers. But then you will have five female rappers, but all of them will talk about but sex and men. So it is kind of like a balance. If you ask me, that’s what Hip Hop is about: exploiting what the regular person don’t want to say, or rather the freedom to do so.
Lissa: Do it find it easier for a man, in relation, to a woman, to blow up in Hip Hop? If SO what does it take for a woman to actually meet the standards that society holds for men?
Jaye: I don’t think that it is harder for a woman to get on. I think that it is harder to find something different in a woman. As far as Hip Hop, Rap, you can compare all the female rappers to each other. Why? Because they are all alike. Men, you have different types of rappers. You have one type of female rapper. When it comes to signing a female rapper, you think “what makes her different from everybody else”? Not too many females bring a different vibe. They just rap.
Lissa: Do you find there to be a distinction between Hip Hop and Rap?
Jaye: Yeah. I was telling my friend the other day, there is a difference between a rapper and an MC. A rapper is a person that raps. That something you know how to do. A hobby. An MC is something that you live, something that you have always wanted to do. A Master of the Ceremony. No matter what circle you are in, no matter where you are, you are the best. That’s how I feel. No matter what stage I step on, everyone came to see me. If someone calls themselves a rapper, you write something down on paper and you just became a rapper. All the people that I learned from were legends. They called themselves, MC’s. I’m an MC not a rapper. Hip Hop is classic music that will never die. Rap is music that is hot for the moment then it is over with. Hip Hop is true music, it will never die.
Lissa: What is next for Hip Hop?
Jaye: As ironic as it sounds, bringing back the old Hip Hop. That’s new.
Lissa: What is next for you?
Jaye: Getting into the movement and trying to bring it to an uproar. To help it turn into wildfire as fast as possible.