An Exclusive Interview with Premium Ugandan Rapper and Innovator Jay P
As the adage goes, there is no smoke without fire. History has demonstrated that true hip-hop is the best hip hop as it has been proven to stand the test of time.
Mainstream hip-hop musician Jay P is highly experienced and learned professional with several years of active practice in the culture of hip-hop under his belt. According to him, one should be free to practice any culture that is uplifting to them and not cultures imposed by society or stereotypes.
We caught up with the Ugandan to find out why he sticks to his guns as well as to seek answers as to why several rumors have been brewing about this and that.
Q: Hello Jay P, nice to meet you. Let me start by asking you why and when you got into the whole hip-hop thing?
A: Nice to meet you too. I went pro in hip hop around 2012 nevertheless I started practicing in my childhood around the age of 6. I initially wanted to do raga but found refuge in hip hop.
Q: Are you ready to clear the air?
A: Yeah right. A lot of the time adults play little girl antics and upon realizing they are playing with fire afraid to get burnt run to seek refuge in other people by bad-mouthing so as to look good. Definitely, as you can see am still in the world of the living, am alive and well contrary to what some people want others to perceive. By the way, there is some artist over-enthusiastic about their dead friend. Am not sure how close their relationship was but that’s about that. A lot of the stuffiness in the air is attributed to cats hoping to make somebody of themselves by taking on a top cat. Consider that taking on a worthy opponent is worth a lot, If you win you get applause, if you lose, at least you had the guts. There are a lot of shambolic haters that feel like Jay P is overshadowing them or for some reason can’t stand to see the guy become the mountain peak.
Q: Are you Gay?
A: Hehe, I did not realize that some people could throw knuckles under the belt. I value my privacy and I am not the type to go around flaunting my sex life. I could have a 10/10 lady every day if I decide to go that route. Many times I see people partaking in encounters with stray female dogs. I mean if you wanna catch fleas that is up to you, just don’t hope to catch fleas with me. I would like to make it clear that I am very tolerant of gay people, I’ve done business with a few, and made friends with a few but just like any other relationship, we draw clear lines. There is no this or that, it is either this or that.
Q: What do you have to say about people calling you a woman
A: When you rise above the ordinary, many times you will find peeps that take shots at the greater man for one or more reasons. If I am an attractive Cat, what am I posed to do, become Seal? hehe. I would like to invite anybody accusing me of being a woman to partake in an organ measuring event to measure my 7.7 inches of pure steel against their little finger. Obviously for a non-refundable fee of $50,000 as per the terms to be stated. I could alternatively do their lady so she can tell for herself what Don Juan can do.
Q: What are your career goals?
A: My career goals are really just to develop my capacity as an individual and create vast networks to the point that, when we start tapping top paper, it will be the case for a very long time.
Q: Are you a leader of “The Kang Law” ?( A Grand Aggravated Theft Outfit that is neither confirmed to exist or not but is known by the legend of high-value heists and never being caught)
A: Hehe, people watch too many movies. Next question
Q: Do you have a new album coming up? What happened to the album you were working on?
A: I had to put my Top Gun album on hold. Am sure I will complete it but we’ll see about that. I am however working on a new album. Oh, hehe, I got a line that goes “ Jesus saves, Jay P withdraws”. Am gonna be so unrelenting on this one, taking, taking, and taking. I mean if the best guy is denied the crown, then he gotta take it. You could say being the best is a matter of opinion but then again the numbers are honest. You can fool a lot of people but you definitely cannot fool everyone all the time.
Q: Are you a real-life James Bond? An undercover state agent?
A: It is important to know who you keep close to you or keep in your inner circle as well well as to know what your competition is up to.
Q: Tell us about the allegations of you being connected to the Lima Cartel and having deep roots in the dark web
A: Am a little famous. I have the utmost love and respect for my audience. If the cartel purchases then I represent the dope game, if the church sponsors I might just do some Jesus numbers, if the United Nations sponsors then I might sing about climate change and that sort of thing. About the dark web, tell me about a serious techie that has not taken a walk on those streets. Not necessarily criming but I must say it’s revolutionary.
Q: What do you have to say about accusations of you having ties to the Mafia
A: Mafioso sponsors then I represent, the convent sponsors then we can have bible study
Q: How important is hip hop to you?
A: Very important. As a child, I wanted to be two things. A musician and a soldier more than anything else.
Q: Do you have a music manager
A: I wouldn’t say because I mostly self-manage at this point in my career
Q: Do you do all your music in English? Why so?
A: To a very large extent I do my music in English because that is the language I can best express myself in with the most fluency, confidence, or at least near accuracy. Every now and then other languages may be included in my music as per individual song goals.
Q: What do you have to say about people that say you must do your music in some native African dialect or different from what we hear on the billboards, on other major music charts, or on the world hip-hop, RnB, and pop music scene.
A: For starters, am a radio head, and I consider my target audience. I grew up in the midst of hip-hop evolution embracing it in its purest form. I’ve actually been fixated on the golden age for a while. Doing music that I love in a manner that I know will reach my target audience is crucial. Having worked as a marketer for several years I understand the importance of branding and positioning. Of course, I love some African songs and over the course of my career, you will feel it. I have a strong conviction that an artist must be free to express themselves in a manner that they feel will best reach their audience without necessarily compromising themselves. Some artists will sing in Swahili and that works for them, others in Zulu and that works for them, others in Mandarin, French, etc and works for them. English is what works for Jay P. Am not gon pretend that am down with singing some bashabarabarambaramba sh#t when it’s killing me inside even if a fat check is attached. That equals selling my soul. You create a product with a pretty good picture of who is going to consume it and actually purchase it. In Uganda alone, I have an audience of several hundreds of thousands and I have not even done much promo.
Q: Would you sign with a major record label?
A: I’ve thought about that for the past 15 years but at this point am not sure I wanna sign with any label other than mine because am not looking for someone to say come on donkey or monkey or whatever, place their feet on a mahogany desk and say come make me rich effortlessly. Come donkey lemme sit on your back. hehehe
Q: Do you consider yourself blacklisted by the music industry?
A: I wouldn’t, there are just a couple of gory eyes and criticaster owls here and there. I exercise empathy and tolerance. Sometimes I have to kick down doors and go through a window when a door closes. Pull strings, call in a favor. You know what I mean.
Q: Are you a Jay Z replica?
A: It is not unusual for artists to sound similar on some songs given that sometimes the samples are similar, the same producers may be used, the nature of intonation needed to express a number as it ought to be, or some other factor. Such a conclusion can only be made after reviewing a substantive amount of an artist’s body of work.
Q: Are you a fan of any artist other than yourself?
A: Do I have to answer that hehe. I love good music. It is my view that some artists have a lot more music worthy of listening to than others. I listen to multiple genres of music.
Q: Tell us about your songwriting process.
A: Upon getting inspiration from almost anywhere, I note down a few lines, build on that before getting lost in the process as if possessed, and only get back to the world when it is done.
Q: How do you deal with obstacles and challenges?
A: I treat them like hurdles. Sort of like the quest of an Olympian to obtain gold, skipping hurdle after hurdle until the finish line.
Q: Hehehe. I hate to admit but this has been very interesting. Thanks for making time to share with us Jay P.