Interview with Performing Artist / Fresh Jacobs | Edition X

Could you talk a little about your Music?
Sure I can. I find that as a rapper, your audience tends to want to stereotype you so you’re easier to classify with what has come before but where I’m going sonically no one is doing. Everyone has jumped on whatever the latest trend is: auto-tune, tight clothes, singing or whatever and I’m all about making good music. Quality tracks with honest, reflective, thoughtful lyrics. I never say that I’m a rapper, I just say I do music. I do Black music first and foremost so I’m getting back to that. I’m bring integrity back to the music along with what Black music is a combination of Hip Hop, soul, blues, jazz & bebop.

So what is the motivation behind your whole movement?
My motivation is actually just how I live life through my art. As artists we should be well rounded and honest with our audience and most artists aren’t. Most are portraying an image that isn’t real. We say we’re “bosses” and we don’t own anything. We don’t own our masters, our names and with these new 360 deals, Artists are compromising themselves and their art for the promise of fame. That said, Black Genius Media Group & Live4Ever Entertainment are all about bringing back that artistry and self ownership that was the backbone of all the Black pioneers such Berry Gordy, or a Quincy Jones or a Russell Simmons. We as artists need to have artistic freedom to create and be honest as opposed to getting a corporate sponsorship or to sell the most ringtones.

Who are some people you would like to work with?
I actually find this question ironic as I consider myself an antisocial-socialite. I’m not too keen on other artists but I’d love to work with musical greats such as: Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, Prince, Jay-Z, Nas, or Lupe Fiasco. I’d actually rather have a conversation with them though. A great mind can inspire more than a collaboration ever could.

How is the Internet changing your craft?
The Internet hasn’t changed my craft at all. I still give the art 120 (percent) but I will say it has definitely changed the approach in terms of getting the music out to people. As an independent artist I love the fact that I can make a record and get it out to the listeners immediately and get that honest feedback directly. Flipside of that coin is that, everyone else can too, so it forces me to differentiate myself and my music from the “microwave” rappers who just make songs for themselves and their block as opposed to making it for the culture. So although we can control the means of distributing the records, I still approach it from a quality vs. quantity aspect and hopefully the audience appreciates it.

Are you down with the whole twitter thing?
Of course! At this point who isn’t right? *laughs* honestly, I got on Twitter about a year ago because all this time I refused to get Myspace. I’m proudly Anti-Myspace and I felt Twitter would be an excellent way to network and to let my followers (friends and fans alike) to get to see who I am on a constant basis as opposed to a static webpage and some music. It’s been working great for me ever since. I love how you can actually deal with the industry movers and shakers and you can connect with people who are open and honest as I always keep it the same. It works in everyone’s favor as well because I can use Twitter as another distribution means for a record and get that immediate feedback and we can actually discuss whatever topic so you get to know the artist behind the music. If you haven’t, I suggest you follow me: www.twitter.com/freshjacobs. You might like it! :)

Do you feel like what you are doing is important?
I do feel like what I’m doing is important. I’m creating great Hip Hop for Black culture. It’s not Pop Rap, not Hipster or Uber or Gangster or Hardcore or Backpack Rap, it’s great Hip Hop. It’s important to continue to cultivate the gift of this artform that our forefathers have given us. Looking at Hip Hop nowadays, it’s gotten away from us and has gotten out of hand and artists need to be held accountable. We need to put the energy, time and effort into making great music that reflects our times and leaves our future something to look back on. Look at the Big Daddy Kane’s, KRS-ONE’s, EPMD’s, Rakim’s Jay-Z’s, Nas’s : These artists have defined the times and are still around as living legends. When the music business is set up like slavery to rob artists and rape them of all their knowledge and assets, I think destroying the plantation and empowering artists to own what they make is very important. We at Black Genius Media Group are all for making great and long lasting art that is an accurate depiction of who we are as the owners of Hip Hop culture and the makers of black music.

When you started out did you think it would be a serious business?
Of course not, I started writing at six and professionally began shopping a demo at twelve. I would always imagine the money and the fame but the nature of the music business finally hit me after a few unsuccessful stints. It’s assbackwards in this industry as it’s business first and music might be a distant second.

How do you separate yourself from others?
That’s an excellent question. I think I differentiate myself from other artists and rappers in particular because I don’t pretend to be someone other than myself. I’m an artist but I’m human first. I’m a husband, a father, and a black man before that. I’m opinionated but well guarded and I just lend myself, my honesty and my experiences to my artwork. If you look, the honest artists are the ones who you feel you get to know, watch their career flourish and although they become more successful you still feel as if they make the music to speak directly to you without compromise. The honesty in my music is what makes me stand out.

Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
My long term goal is to make my record label, Black Genius Media Group successful. Being a boutique independent label, we have a lot more freedom to make real Rap & R&B music that will stand the test of time. I’d love to find and help develop some of the untapped talent and help others reach their potential. Today’s music business is at a crossroads and on the verge of extinction and they know it. The Internet has allowed everyone the opportunity to be an Indie but how many will do so and nurture their artists with the education of self in order to accurately portray a positive and self respecting musical image? That’s where I step in at. My second long term goal would be to create a school of the arts that would encompass Music and fashion and allow children at the crucial preteen ages a positive outlet to allow them to be creative and to encourage and inspire them to greatness as opposed to falling prey to the ills of the streetcorners. These two goals will continue to move our culture forward as well as remembering where we came from and allowing me to give back. I call it “Art Inspired Success.”