After choosing the winner of last month’s Jee Juh Contest– “Absoloot“–we thought it would be a good idea for everyone to get to know the champ a little better. We put together a few questions we thought would reveal the most about what type of man and artist he is and finally set up an exclusive interview with the man himself! The interview is posted below, so we will let the words speak for themselves. HUGE shoutout to Absoloot for taking the time to answer these questions. Your words, your message and most of all your music inspires everybody here at Jee Juh and anyone else listening at home. You got big things headed your way in the future, keep doing your thing!
Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing influence your music?
I grew up in South Florida, but as a child I did a lot of traveling. My family would take a lot of road trips and pretty much all we would listen to is jazz. Being exposed to jazz from an early age definitely had a big influence on my music. I’ve always admired the way jazz musicians would layer their music and even without any singing you could feel the emotion in the music. So now when I’m working on a song I try to add that emotional element to the music through my lyrics.
How did you first get into rapping?
Well I started writing songs when I was about 16 or 17 but I was always to nervous to rap in front of people. My brother Kerron was the first person I let hear one of my songs. I remember him getting excited and saying “I would have never imagined you rapping” now that’s all he talks about (laughs). I think he could see the passion I had for music so he pushed me to start letting other people hear some of the songs I would write. Reciting songs in front of people I didn’t know really helped build my confidence. The moment everything really got serious is when my other brother Carl brought some songs I was working on home for my parents to hear. I remember them being blown away because not only was it unexpected but I was talking about something other than what was on the radio. Ever since that night my parents have been my biggest supporters.
How would you describe your sound? What would you compare it to?
I don’t think I have a particular sound. I try to create a different sound with each project. As an artist I’m always looking for a new sound to experiment with. I’ve done everything from very southern influenced songs like “Follow Me” to more of a pop feel like “Crazy”. This industry is always evolving and in order to stay relevant you have to evolve with it. As far as being compared to another artist I don’t think that I can compare myself to anyone. I can’t think of another artist that has touched a range of subjects the way I have and a lot of it has to do with me being independent. I have creative control to do whatever I want and so my music has an element a lot of artist tend to lack.
Who are the recording artists that inspire you the most and why?
At this point in my career I don’t look to other artist for inspiration. The amazing thing about music is you can create an emotional attachment to someone if they can relate to your message. What I’ve learned to do is relate to the audience instead of trying to get them to relate to me. By doing this not only are my fans engaged but I’m continuously being inspired. I think my music is so well received because I pay attention to issues people face everyday.
Can you remember a specific moment when you started to believe you could make it as a hip-hop artist, or is it something you have just fallen into?
Well my definition of making it is simply achieving the goals you set for yourself. As long as I’m able to accomplish what I’ve set out to do I’ve made it. I’ve had more success thus far in my career than most independent artist will ever see. By not setting unrealistic goals for myself success or in your words “making it” is always within reach.
How did you hear about the Jee Juh Contests? How has Jee Juh helped you in your music career?
I actually heard about Jee Juh through Emaculant. As an artist it’s a constant struggle to find quality tracks to work with so Emaculant and I are always looking for good production. One day he called me out the blue and told me to check out JeeJuh.com because not only are the beats crazy but there’s a ton of tracks to choose from. Once I went on the website I noticed on the blog section Jee Juh had a contest each month. I was already in the process of writing some songs to some of the tracks on the site so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to enter the contest. It’s funny because we actual didn’t submit the video until the last day of the month so we didn’t expect to win we were just glad to get the video done. Winning the contest ended up giving me a big boost. I’m always looking for ways to get my name out there and with Jee Juh promoting the songs and videos as well I’ve received a lot of positive attention. The cash prize is a great bonus but for me as an independent artist promotion is worth much more and Jee Juh does both. Thank God for Jee Juh! (Laughs)
One of the reasons why your “99%” video was chosen as the winner of the Jee Juh contest was because of its powerful message. Can you describe the message that you are conveying in the song?
Yes in the song “99%” I wanted to shed some light on the Occupy Wall Street movement because I feel a lot of people are unsure what’s actually going on. My goal was to bring attention to some of the decisions being made regarding our financial system that will eventually affect us all. To give a quick example I wanted people to think about a bank receiving billions of tax payer dollars because of bad decisions they made. While at the same time tax payers losing their homes to the same banks that put them in bad loans in the first place. With an election coming up it’s very important that people take an interest in the issues that we all face.
Do you feel like politics has a place in hip hop music?
Honestly I don’t think there’s any topic that doesn’t have a place in hip hop. Any genre of music is only limited by the artist within the genre. As far as hip hop goes if you think back to some of the pioneers such as Chuck D, Ice T, or Even Nas. They weren’t politically correct all the time but they did have a political message most of the time. Now a days I don’t think a lot of artist touch on politics For a number of reason. I think one of the main reasons is now a days most artist are simply mimicking someone else. So the majority of rappers will only touch on 3 or 4 topics. Then there’s the lack of education. As an artist I feel it’s our job to teach or shed light on the bigger picture. So if you limit your content as an artist your fans will be limited as well.
What are some crucial characteristics that make up a good rap song?
For me the most important part of a good rap song is content. I don’t think every song should have a serious topic but the lyrics have to make sense. A good song will always have a beginning, middle, and end almost in a story format. The song should be easy for the listener to follow along with. Depending on the content the music should compliment what the artist has to say and vice versa.
What is the most important piece of advice you have received as an artist?
As my father always says “It’s not a sprint it’s a marathon” I probably hear that once a week (Laughs). I used to hear it pretty much everyday but I think he knows I got it so he’s slowed down a bit (Laughs). From my understanding it means success is a building process so as long as you continue to work towards your goals you will see success in one way or another. I hope I got that right or I will hear it again. (Laughs)
Do you have any advice for other up and coming rappers like yourself?
Yes! Be different because you can’t stand out if your part of the crowd. It’s all ready hard enough when your an independent artist because people try to compare you with other artist just so they feel they understand you better. As an artist you may look or even sound similar to someone else but you have to focus on what makes you different. Also make sure your music is mixed and mastered because the quality of your music speaks volumes of who you are as an artist. This is what usually separates the pros from the amateurs. Now Jee Juh mixes and masters making it even easier to be successful.
What part of the music industry do you think needs the most improvement?
I think there needs to be some sort of balance within the industry. As a fan I want to hear a variety of music and I don’t get that from T.V or radio. There are so many great artist out there and I think all music lovers would benefit if there was an even playing field.
What’s next for Absoloot?
Well I’ve recently been picked up to go on tour in India for a few weeks in October so I’m excited about that. I’ve been picked up to executive produce the soundtrack for the movie/ show ”From Heaven 2 Hell in the eyes of a PI”. Created by Bill and Dorla Perry right now it’s in the pre production stage. I’m also working on my 3rd studio album entitled “Banksters” and I will only be using Jee Juh production on this album. My app is finally out for android phones it’s a free download and you can get all the updates and even sample some of my new tracks when you download the app.
Are there any special thanks or shout outs you would like to give?
First I would like to say thanks to my beautiful wife and daughter Jackie and Olivia. Thanks to my amazing parents Carl and Cynthia for helping me get to this point. Thanks to Emaculant for helping with the production on so many of my projects. Thanks to the president of the label Bertram for all the support. Thanks to the Vice President and his wonderful wife Robert and Robin Blakely. Thanks to Jee Juh for all of the support and I look forward to an amazing future relationship. I’d like to give a shout out to my brothers Carl and Kerron, my sister Cynthia, my neices and nephews to many to name (Laughs) my cousins Lee and Ruby. Thanks to all my family and friends I may have left out and thanks to all my fans who continue to support.
We are Jee Juh Productions, a team of hip hop music producers who specialize in making instrumental hip hop music for recording artists. We sell our original hip hop instrumentals on our beats for sale page.