IHipHop Interview: Jake One

 |  October 6, 2008
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Jake One is stepping out of the darkness into the light, a practice he has been accustomed to since the beginning of his career.  Producing tracks since 1996, he was primarily affiliated with underground artists.  He eventually began working with more mainstream artists getting one of his biggest breaks by getting on G-Unit’s Beg For Mercy in 2003.  He has since done tracks for 50 Cent, Freeway, Young Buck, E-40, Lil’ Scrappy and even WWE stat John Cena.  He shows how he can walk on both sides of the industry with his new album White Van Music that hit stores tomorrow Oct. 7th (Rhymesayers Entertainment/Warner). It’s a perfect mix of underground and mainstream artists such as Freeway, Young Buck, Little Brother, MF Doom, Bishop Lamont and M.O.P.  We got a chance to chop it up with him about the album, his feelings on the industry and what’s popping for the future.

IHH:  Where are you originally from and where is your operation based out of?

Jake One: Seattle, WA

IHH: So are you a label owner?

Jake One: Not so much. I’m working on a label deal right now, but now I’m under and we’re distributed through Warner.

IHH: If you were to name artists you were feeling right now, would that list be long or short?

Jake One: Ahh, there definitely people out there that I’m feelin’.  I like (Young) Jeezy’s new record, I like some of Game’s stuff, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Jay (Z), Scarface and a guy a lot of people may not know about named Turf Talk that’s down with E-40.

IHH: Do you have a signature sound that separates you from other producers?

Jake One: Usually some hard drums. It’s gonna sound like that true-school hip hop.  Its not gonna be keyboarded out or anything.

IHH: How difficult was it to work with artists on different markets being based out of Seattle?

Jake One: I think it took a little longer because there were people here that were making records being heard around the world.  You are gonna have a slower rise because your not plugged into everything. But every record I did led to another. The first G-Unit record I did led to the De La Soul record that led to me breaking down those doors.

IHH: Do you use samples or more original beats?

 

Jake One: I do a lot of everything.  I work with musicians on some stuff.  But I have records with and without sampling.  When it’s with instruments, I like for the sound to be really raw.

IHH: What are you working on currently?

Jake One: I’ve been working hard on promoting the album. I also been making beats for Mary (J. Blige), Scarface’s new album, Prodigy’s new album, 50 Cent’s new record and I’ve been working with Freeway a lot lately.

IHH: Anything else you want to let the people know?

Jake One: Definitely. Go cop the album White Van Music October 7th!   It’s the record that I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it, with no constraints.  I feel like I put by best foot forward as far as I’m concerned.