Jadakiss: The Best lyricist?

posted June 18, 2004 12:00:00 AM CDT | 0 comments

Weve all heard the livingroom discussions. In the middle of the PS2 Madden or Live tournament, the question inevitably arises: Whos the best lyricist? Of course, Biggie, Pac, Face, Hov and Nas are the typical contenders, but about two years ago, another name started being thrown into conversation with EminemJadakiss. Theres no question that hes stocked full of enough one-liners to make any wanna-be pimp jealous, and hes equipped with metaphors that cause long pauses, but even still, hes never quite tasted victory. While his first album was solid, it wasnt what kats that crowned him the Prince of Yonkers were expecting and consequently, folks started questioning if he was another Canibusuntouchable on a 16-bar verse, but incapable of putting together a banging album. Some people said he didnt get personal enough, others said the production was lack luster. Whatever. Jada-Muah knows he still has something prove, and on June 22nd hell let his second solo album, Kiss of Death, do all the talking. Sophomore jinx? Yeah right.

What can people expect from Kiss of Death?
Its a lot more personal, more grown up. Its the same young Jada, just more in-depth I guess.

How does it differ from Kiss Tha Game Goodbye?
This album is more personal, it comes from learning and watching and being involved in shit. Its more personal, more about life as opposed to just rhyming and coming up with one-liners and metaphors.

Whod you work with in terms of production and whos featured?
The Neptunes, Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, Havoc, Eminem on production and a feature, Anthony Hamilton, Nate Dogg, Red Spyda, Styles, DJ Quik

I love Quik, it sounds like this album is gonna be dope, like more soulful or from the heart.
Yeah, it is, its way more personal. I also got Snoop, Kanyeproducing and rapping. Do you like him better as a producer or as a rapper?
Mmm. Thats a tough question. I think its a tie. I like his tracks and after the album came out, I called him back and told him he had to get on a track too.

Youre widely considered to be one of the dopest lyricists out right now, by rappers and the streets. Can you pinpoint whats kept you from reaching that mainstream acceptance level that Jay-Z and Em have received?
I think its the machine. I didnt have Interscope behind me at all on the first album and at Bad Boy we wasnt in right with Puff and them at first. At Interscope X [DMX] was the main priority, then Eve. We always had to wait our turn but now the space has opened up and here I am.

Looking back over your career, is there anything that you wouldve done differently?
I wouldnt signed that first contract.

Right. Speaking of Puff, have you seen Makin the Band?
Yeah, Ive seen it.

How realistic do you think it is? Did you ever see that side of Puff or do you think hes just fulfilling a character for TV?
Hes just fulfilling a character. They show some of his real character, but thats basically TV.

Is it more important to you having the respect of your peers and people in the business or the respect of the streets?
Its more important for me to have respect from the core audience of the hood. Ive had a lot of people tell me that even though I didnt sell millions and millions of records, Im they favorite rapper and that means a lot. Even though I didnt sell like that, I still get love, people running up and telling me they feel my shit.

What do you think has sustained you in the game this long?
All of its a blessing from God, but I think its my voice. I have a distinctive voice, the wordplay and the flow, that helps too, but mostly its the voice. People love my voice, Ive traveled around the world and Ive heard that everywhere Ive gone.

Everyone is talking about the void in Hip Hop right now, and all that, sort of waiting for the next kat to come claim the thronewho do you think itll be?
I think its gonna be me.

What were you like as a kid? Were you always so cool and calm? Yeah, I was always laid-back, I played sports.I liked clothes and sneakers, but I was always laid-back. If you werent rapping what would you be doing?
I dont even know. Id probably...I aint fit to be workin no 9 ta 5 like that, so Id try to have my own business somehow.

When youre doing features, do you usually get on cuz youre really feeling the song, or cuz you know its gonna be hot on radio?
I do it if Im feelin the song. I gotta be strategic with the features I dobut really, the label wont let me just be on anything anyway.

If you were stranded on an island and you could only take one album with youDr. Dre The Chronic or Biggie Ready to Die which would you take?
Uh, Im gonna have to say Ready to Die.

Are you registered to vote and do you plan on voting in this election?
Im registered, but I gotta look into it and check out the partys a little bit, but Im definitely a Democrat.

Whats your take on the war in Iraq?
Im totally against the whole war shit, I gotta a lot of family in Iraq. Thats one of the things rappers should get together and do something about. Like Jigga and 50 and Em, the kids are listening to them more than the politicians. Its on us as a whole to come together and start being more positive.

So if someone got together and organized a We Are the World type song for rappers youd be down?
Im with all that kind of stuff, all positive world activities, anything for the kids, not matter whats going n. Thered never be a problem with getting me involved in anything like that. Its just too much pride and egos dont allow projects like that to take off.

I heard a rumor that you were planning to retire after this album, how true is that?
You heard I was retiring?
Hell nah! I aint retiring after this album, I dont have no plans to do that, that aint gonna happen.

Where do you want to see Hip Hop go in the future?
Id like to see it in my control. Theres no sound that really defines Hip Hop right now, its everywhere, it can be anything. I think Hip Hop is in the south right now, if you ask me. Theres nothing out from New York right now. Its like the lights right there and Im in the middle of the tunnel and I see the light, Im just trying to get there.

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