Jadakiss Talks Stepping Up His Online Game, Movie Roles, Wanting To Get Down w/ Disney
As one of the few remaining MCs to find success after leaving Bad Boy Ent., Jadakiss and The Lox have established themselves as the East Coast close-out hitters of hardcore rap. With a new mixtape, I Love You, dedicated to the fans ready to hit retailers on May. 24, we made a stop to Kiss' studio to get an update on how the Yonkers-bred rapper is staying relevant. —Mikey Fresh
VIBE: I noticed your new mixtape drops just a few days before your birthday, what you do you have planned this year?
Jadakiss: I have an annual birthday bash in Miami that I do every year, so I’m a be promoting heavy down there. Maybe get on some getaway-type of shit and throw a few more birthday parties and shows in the mix. You want to get me a present? Buy the mixtape! That's how I'm promoting it. That's your present to me. Just get this mixtape. You'll love it [ahhaaaaa].
Are you planning to leak anything on your website?
Yeah, definitely in the next day or two.
When you came into the game artists didn’t have to drop a new song online everyday. How do you feel about the climate of rap now?
Times have changed. You almost have to put your whole shit out for them to buy it. You see that with Kanye, with everybody. You got to leak shit—that's the new shit. If they like it, they'll buy it anyway. But that's what it is now. You have to do that because so much shit is coming out every day, you'll get swept under the rug before you know it. You have to stay in their ears, on their computer screens, in their iPods, iPads, MacBooks. You got to be there and the only way to be there is to let it out. You have to be in it to win it.
I guess you’ve been making some trips to the Apple store then…
If you can't beat them join them. I was naïve to that shit for a while, but then I had to go to the Apple store and spend $15,000 to get ieverything.
So do you help with a lot of your own viral marketing now?
Nah, I got a staff. I do shit though. My son use my shit. They can use whatever. Whatever I can use. One of these has to be on deck at all times [points to macbook].
You're definitely getting your Twitter game up.
I'm trying to get to a million followers, and then I'm going to ask everybody for a dollar. Think it'll work? At least I'm going to get a couple hundred thousand. All I need is a dollar from everybody [ahaaa]
50 kind of did something like that; he told his followers to buy stock in his headphones line and he cashed in on it.
See, don't worry I got some shit up my sleeve.
When I spoke to you two or three years ago, you were talking about transitioning to Hollywood, if not being in movies, maybe some of the writing. Has there been any movement there?
I just did a little part in a movie in Philly over the last month, called Must Be The Music written and directed by Charles "Roc" Dutton. Black Thought is in it, Snoop from "The Wire," Kat from "The Bad Girls Club," one of the Atlanta Housewives. It should be a pretty good movie.
You got a feature role in there?
I got a nice little part. I got some dialogue with Charles. It's not like a cameo. But ain't like a Brad Pitt part either. And it ain’t where you just see me sweeping the floor.
It's going to be in theaters?
Yeah, they're going for the big theater—they're going for a feature film.
So are you trying to get into more acting roles?
I want to do more acting and I want to do voiceovers, too. I want to get in some of these animated joints; that's where the money's at. I think I got the voice. I know I can do it. I can be one of these squirrels… one of these birds, or dolphins or something, or pandas or monkeys, or seals [Laughs].
Do one of those Disney movies and you're good for the rest of your life.
Let me get in! They don't want to let me in –Madagascar, Shrek 7. Let me get in one of these shits. Please! I'm built for this.
What would be your ultimate role?
King of New York. Just replace Christopher Walken with me. Keep everything the same. It's just me. Picture me instead of Christopher Walken. That shit would be crazy. You got to redo the whole King of New York with me.
Speaking of movies, I want to get your take on Biggie's son CJ doing his acting thing.
He's coming up. He got something opposite of Will Ferrell. I'm proud of CJ for that. I'm glad.
Yup, do you stay in contact with him?
I stay in contact with Faith and check on him from time to time. I want to go see him more often, but I don't get a chance to. I always think about him though. He's very intelligent. He's special. He's the son of Biggie. He already knows that. He doesn't even have to think twice what it is. That's his pops in him. Big was smart. That's why his bars were like that. His mom's was a teacher. Big was very smart. Anything he ever could ask from me is done.
Before I forget, what's going on with this Lox album?
I was going to ask you the same thing. I don't know what's going on with it. We're trying to work it out. We're trying to get to a solid number so we can get working. There are a lot of hands in the pot. It's just about catering to all of the hands. It's so many, though; it ain't really that much money to go around, but we're going to work it out or we're going to chop some of these fucking hands off.
Musically, have y'all done anything for it yet?
We got a bunch of music. We always do music and then we get discouraged and stop and on top of that we got about an album and a half. That shit will probably just go to mixtapes. We got songs right now that if we were to leak them, it would create a buzz, but then it's like what's the buzz for? Politics going to get involved, that's why we don't let any of those shits out. We work every day. We see each other or we work a few times a week, whether it be featuring on a solo or just doing something and stashing it or freestyle together. We ain't done. We're together. We don't have to send postcards. We see each other every day.
Didn't you announce a title for your next album?
Top 5 Dead or Alive baby.
That's locked in –100%?
Nothing is 100%. The only thing guaranteed is death. That's the only thing that's 100%,that you're going to die.
One last thing with that subject, as a life-long New Yorker what do you think about Osama's death and Americans celebrating it?
I'm not personally celebrating, but if that's what the families of the loved ones and the victims who died in 9/11 needed for closure, I understand that. That's understandable. I'm ready to see what's going on with the next round of the NBA playoffs. I'm not a politician; I don't really get into that. I have family and friends that are Muslims and I'm happy for those that are happy for those that couldn't sleep and now they're able to rest and exhale and get on with their lives. May the Lord bless them. But me, I got my own problems. I'm looking for a nigga named Ben Williams that owe me some money. I'm looking for Ben Williams. He owes me $500. Leave on this note, I Love You is a must have for the summer. When you're driving home from school, you need that in your iPod, your iPad, your mp3, your cookouts, your parties, graduations, bar mitzvahs, baby showers, raccoon lodge [ahhaaaa].