Coming straight out of Flint Michigan, this is one artist who has the drive to do whatever it takes to make it in this industry!
What is the Hip-Hop scene like in Flint, Michigan?
Flint is crawling with talented rappers! Honestly, there's enough talent just inside the city limits to give the game a TOTAL MAKEOVER in a positive way. There are also a lot of whack dudes that spit the same ol' dope hoes etc. Unfortunately a lot, well at least quite a few of the hard rappers end up getting locked up or even killed, whether its over colors, money, beef, or just dumb shit. There are a few artists who are focused and putting in the work they need to, myself included, who I have full confidence in. Flint is just such a small city there isn't that much opportunity to go above and beyond and really get your music out there unless you put a lot of time and money into it. There are a few good clubs, the ones that
dont get shot up every other week, that bring out a good crowd and I do as many shows and open up for as many major artists as possible. Recently I have opened up for Lil Scrappy, The New Boyz, Webbie and Pleasure P!!! Overall I would say the hip-hop scene in Flint is not getting the reputation or the scouting that it deserves. But the select few who have that drive, we are going to REALLY put Fly City on the map...it's just a matter of time!
You have an Associates in Graphic Design, What made you get into that?
Since a child I have had an eye for design, whether it was drawing and coloring or just reflecting on the world around me and making mental notes about artwork and design around me, what I like and what I didnt like. And when I didn't like it, I would ask myself what I would have done, or what I could do to make it better. Once I finished high school, I got enrolled at Mott Community College and for the first two semesters I didnt even know what I was going to study, I knew what I enjoyed but I also knew where the money was...like the medical field or computer engineering and things like that. But after a little time I realized that what they tell you growing up is very true, if you do not ENJOY what you are doing, you will not be happy. I had wanted to do something in the medical field strictly because of the money involved, but I battled with myself and realized that in the long run I want to be doing something I enjoy...and am GOOD at! And it definitely pays off, if you are passionate about your craft, it doesnt even seem like work. Once I made the decision to go into graphic design school became a passtime and fun, I was actually excited about going. I ended up graduating with a 4.987 GPA and was awarded the Second Year Student Achievement Award, so I believe I made the right decision.
Now...I kind of wish that I would have at least took some recording/production based classes, even if not enough to get a degree or certificate, it would be nice to have somebody to teach me the ins and outs of recording and mixing instead of having to teach myself everything, which is what I do and have done.
You can sing and rap. Ever consider an more R&B influenced album?
Yes, but only as of recently! I personally enjoy R&B more that rap most of the time, and they are definitely my more favorable tracks to make. But for a while I questioned my singing ability, I mean I am by no means a Trey Songz or Usher, but there are plenty more people telling me that they really enjoy my singing and would like to hear more of it and that is what influenced me to even take the singing this far. I am glad to hear people tell me they enjoy it because those type of songs are my personal favorite and now that I know that a majority of my fans enjoy my R&B even more so than my rapping I have a new boost of confidence to push it even further!!!
Who does most of your production?
I do all of my production inside my own home! I just was blessed with the opportunity to set up a new studio with over $9,000 worth of new equipment and plug-ins...(the music is gon get even BETTER!) It was a lot of money, but now I do not have to rely on anybody else to get me in the booth, I dont have to stress others out because I didnt like how my songs were mixed and I dont have to pay for any of it, well not that its bought that is. I would rather do it all myself anyways. Like I said earlier, I have no background in the music field other than what I have taught myself, but I believe that my first album Permission To Hate, which was all self produced, was of B or B+ caliber even compared to what is on the radios today, and the concepts and lyrics are much richer with a lot more content...the type of music you can relate to or that makes you reflect and think. And now that I have upgraded my studio and all of my equipment and have bought all new plug-ins the production is going to just sound better and better. It is a slow process because I am learning by trial and error, "Oh I like that, or Oh no thats whack" but I have all the confidence in the world that it will continue to get better! Not saying that if AND WHEN I get a deal I wont let someone else handle it, but until them I am more than satisfied.
Do you tend to sell more Cd's or downloads?
With my first project Permission To Hate, it is more of a promotional push. If I am receiving money, Im not really profiting, one because I spent a lot of money getting them pressed up and two because I am just making back a portion of what I spent on the studio. This first album is really just to get my name out here and get my music heard, once people hear it I am SURE that they will want more. I understand with how much bullshit there is in the rap industry today why people would question a new face, I dont expect them to just believe me when I tell them it's hard. So I feel like if I have to take a hit by giving away 500 or 1,000 CDs it is worth it because I feel they will become fans for the life of my career and when I get my next project done, they will be waiting in line ready to by one. I first got 500 copies pressed up and so far have probable gave away more than half. I would like to make some of what I put into it back but like I said, it is all going to be worth it in the end. I DO plan on selling more CDs, I am working on new music all the time and its not going to be long before my next project is done and I feel those will go a LOT faster once I have my fan base up!
Who else is hot right now in Michigan?
In Flint...I have to start with Jon Connor, 1000 Bars, and my boy Shemy. From Detroit...Stretch Money, Tone Tone of course Eminem even though I have been disappointed with some of his more recent works. Other than that I dont know of many, I know they're out there I just havent heard it or they arent coming to mind.
What do you think of sites like Twitter and Myspace? Are they helpful still with promotion or are they flooded with too much spam?
I dont mess with Twitter like that, I have one, but Im never on it and am not personally a fan. Although a lot of people feel differently. I believe that myspace has been very helpful in getting me to where I'm at today. I would say the spam is not a problem with me at all, unless you are referring to whack artists when you say spam...there is A LOT of them and they do make it a little harder to get people to take you serious. But overall, I feel myspace is a great way for artists to get their music to the world.
Any new projects in the future?
Like I said, Im working on new music ALL the time. As of right now, I have beats purchased and set aside for my next solo project but am working on a mixtape with my partner Gutta Maine and Im also working on a personal mixtape which is going to have a lot of features from other hot Flint artists! Be on the lookout and stay updated with the myspace for updates on new music and shows!!! If you havent heard any of my music yet, I really hope you take the time to check me out (http://www.myspace.com/yungjp1) And when you do, let me know what you think...I appreciate all feedback as long as it is an honest statement. If you tell me you dont like it then tell me what you didnt like, Im not gon argue with you I want to know this...but if you just saying you dont like it because you hatin...I really aint got time for it. I aint mad at em, I mean my first project is called PERMISSION TO HATE, keep it coming. I just dont need to hear it all the time. lol. If you reading this then thank you, I appreciate your time, and hopefully I have some new faces in the JP fanbase! God Bless
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