|Interview With NY Rapper Jay Uno|
|Written by Westside ID49|
|Saturday, 25 September 2004 10:44|
There is a rap artist from NY that seems to have been ''riding under the radar'', at least to us that are not from NY.
One listen to this guys flow and you can''t understand why he has not been getting more coverage than he has. He will have an impact on the game in the near future. His inpact and influence has already been felt by many on the NY rap scene.
Jay Uno is a rapper from The Lower East Side of Manhattan. Knowing and having ties to the likes of Big Pun, Cuban Link and Tony Sunshine (of Terror Squad fame). The buzz surrounding him is real hot locally, but give him a listen and you can tell it won''t be long before he is poppin all over.
I had a chance to ask Jay Uno a few questions on himself , his new album, his homies and the future of Hip-Hop. I would like to thank his management team 100% Records for hooking me up with him. And to keep up on Jay Uno hit up his web site at http://www.jayuno.com/
Robert - First thanks for taking time to let us get to know you a little better.
Jay Uno - Thank you guys for taking the time and interest in wanting to know more about me and for the extended show of support.
Robert - For us that are not from NY, tell us what kind of neighborhood the Lower East Side of Manhattan is?
Jay Uno - Wow, what can I say? The Lower East Side is home. It’s where I have spent my days looking at how life works. Life in the Lower East Side is crazy! You got all these spots on one block where you can get it popping in, and you then you got a lot places where you can get in trouble in. It’s a hustle on the Lower everyday and were all trying to take the crown, its like a city to me.
Robert - It seems there are a lot of rappers coming from ''unlikely'' places these days, which is good to add flavor to the game. What do you think you bring to the table that makes you different?
Jay Uno - Too be honest I don’t feel that there is too much that can be brought to the game as far as something new and innovative, but what I can bring to the table is my everyday life and stories from the Lower East Side .I’m just rhyming about what I got and been threw, I’m just having fun with it you know.
Robert - It seems that N.Y. is the mix tape capital, have you been on any Mix tapes yet?
Jay Uno - Yea I’ve hit up a few mix tapes here and there, but in a minute its gonna get crazy! Dj Marvls and my man Kryptonite, But I can’t wait to get on the Clues and Flex mix tapes just to show them what I got. I’m here to shock the world.
Robert - What artist out there would you like to collaborate with either on a Mix or on your album?
Jay Uno - I like a couple of artist that I really want to work with, like DMX, Joe Buddens, Mos Def, Missy, Nore, Fabolous, Freeway, Cassidy and Eminem, a few other cats out there too.
Robert - I know you spent a lot of time around Big Pun. What was that like?
Jay Uno - BEING AROUND PUN WAS FUN, HE WAS A COMENDIAN, HE ALWAYS HAD JOKES OR WAS DOING SOME CRAZY SHIT, ONE TIME I WAS AT A SESSION WHEN HE WAS RECORDING THE T.S ALBUM AND HE JUST FELL ASLEEP WHILE HE WAS WRITING, THEN HE WOKE UP AND WAS BACK TO NORMAL, AFTER THAT HE HAD AN APPLE AND HE WAS LIKE YOU WANNA SEE THE BIGGEST BIT IN HISTORY, SO HE BIT HALF OF THE APPLE OFF THEN SPIT IT OUT UNDER THE MIXING BROAD AND WAS LIKE OOPS. THAT WAS FUNNY RIGHT AFTER THAT HE WENT BACK TO SLEEP. I LEARN ALOT BEING AROUND, I SAW HOW HARD IT IS JUST TO GET THE RESPECT AND PROPS BEING A LATIN RAPPER, BUT HE ALWAYS HELD IT DOWN, It was also an incredible ride, and what I mean by that is that I saw Pun go from virtually unheard to one of the greatest rappers of all time in such a short period of time. It was a rush. I grew up around Pun so I knew him for the joker that he was as well, but above all I admired him. He quickly became my role model even before he blew up when he was battling people on the streets, and in the clubs. I wanted his respect so bad that I would make Tony battle me so that he could see how serious we were to get on. Pun in my eyes was one of the greatest and I loved the time that I got to be around him. It was a great time.
Robert - Did he influence your style?
Jay Uno - YEAH, I THINK HE INFLUENCE ALOT OF PEOPLE, AS FAR AS MY STYLE I JUST WAS AROUND THEM SO MUCH AND KNEW ALL HIS RHYMES IT KIND OF STUCK WITH ME, BUT HE WAS LYICALLY ONE OF THE BEST RAPPERS TO ME. Pun definitely influenced my personality too. I try to be like him all the time with everything I do, you know very humble and just cool.
Robert - What about Cuban Link? Has he had an influence on you?
Jay Uno - I can honestly say that as a group, when they were Full-A-Clips, I admired all of them, Pun, Cuban, and Seis, so they all have had some type of influence on my style in their own way.
Robert - Is he (Cuban Link) as ''real'' in person as he appears to be to his Fans?
Jay Uno - Yeah Cuban is Cuban. He is a reflection of Pun. All that Pun had that people loved about him Cuban has and carried along. When you meet him he is humble and very outgoing, very easy to approach and get along with. He’s not the type to ever ignore his fans, which is why he gets a lot of love from both the fans and other artist in the industry. At the same time what he talks is what he lives and believe me when I say that I have seen it first hand, he isn’t the type to ever back down from anyone or anything, that’s Cuban.
Robert - Can we expect to see him on any tracks on your upcoming album?
Jay Uno - Well that’s still to be worked out but I would say, Of Course! lol
Robert - Who has been dropping the beats and producing on your upcoming album?
Jay Uno - Right now I have lots of producers hitting me off with beats so I am picking and choosing what I am gonna work with will all of the love I am receiving from producers. But some of the more notable ones are: Pluto who definitely looked out and has some hot beats, Smooth who is also my personal engineer and comes thru with the fire, and my nigga ram who I am hoping to work with real soon, those three make up the United Artists Productionz team.
Robert - Are there any artist that have helped out on your album so far, or any you are still trying to get hooked up with for it?
Jay Uno - So far I got a couple of artists that we have to keep under raps for now, but I am definitely still trying to get hooked up with some, Alicia Keyz Holla at me girl! I would also like to work with The R! (R. Kelly) and Timbaland, but like everyone knows there are a lot of politics involved with getting at these people so hopefully something can happen.
Robert - I read you said " I don''t think that Hip Hop has died - I feel that we Can still save it..." Can I take from that you feel Hip Hop is in Trouble?
Jay Uno - I think that hip-hop is in trouble of losing its essence, but I don’t think that it’s in trouble of being lost or killed, especially once I break thru lol.
Robert - How would you describe the main stream Hip Hop / Rap scene Today?
Jay Uno - Honestly, the way it’s always been. You have your good shit and then you have your bullshit. It’s an equal balance like everything else.
Robert - There are very few rappers today who deal with the social issues And the struggle of those in the inner cities. Do you feel that socially minded or social awareness rap has passed?
Jay Uno - No way especially with talented individuals like Kanye West out there! But then again you have ALOT OF ARTIST ARE PUTTING OUT THE WRONG SONGS, ALL I HEAR NOW IS MONEY THIS BENTLY THAT, IM FROM THE HOOD AND IM A BE REAL RIGHT NOW, I DONT GOT MILLIONS AND I STILL RIDE THE BUS AND THE TRAIN, YEAH I WISH I HAD ALL THAT SHIT THEY WAS RAPPING ABOUT, BUT SOME KIDS OR FANS THINK THAT ITS EASY BUT ITS NOT. BUT THE ARTISTS ARE FORCED TO PUT OUT THESE PARTY OR MONEY SONGS BECAUSE OF THE MAINSTREAM MARKETABILITY THAT THEY CARRY.
Robert - Do you see a difference in the way east coast and west coast Rappers are treated in the business? Or does it just Appear that way to some of us?
Jay Uno - I personally have never experienced a difference as far as east coast and west coast rappers being treated differently, but what I can say is that the west coast in itself seems a little more open to new acts than the east. Like when we do a show in the west there’s a lot more love from the fans. What I can say is that between the East coast and West coast artists there is definitely more love and appreciation for each other.
Robert - On west coast artist: whom do you see that you think you would like to collaborate with?
Jay Uno - Everyone! LOL I’m the type of artist that would like to hit everything up! Every song, every re-mix, every video! Just show love! So holla at me for some collabo’s and remixes and I’m there! I can also say The Original Snoop, West Side Connect, and of course my nizzle Nate Dogg!
Robert - If you could work with any artist out there, who would it be and why?
Jay Uno - WELL I WISH PUN WAS STILL HERE, THAT WOULDVE BEEN LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE, FOR HIM TO RAP ALONG SIDE ME, but really anyone that wants to work with me, I just want to make music.
Robert - If you were not blessed with the gift of being able to rap, what do you see yourself doing instead?
Jay Uno - ILL PROBOLY BE WRITING SONGS OR PRODUCING, I LOVE MUSIC AND NOT JUST RAP I LOVE EVERY THING JAZZ, POP, RNB, EVEN ROCK AND ROLL
Robert - Well after hearing ''The Set Up'' and ‘Problem’, 2 of your tracks, I Really don''t think you have to find a new career. I liked both those Tracks, a lot.
Jay Uno - Well thanks for the show of support and for the extended love that you have shown me with this interview here. I really appreciate that and I look forward to working with you in the future in whatever way possible!
Robert - Well what is in the near future for Jay Uno, and when can we expect this album to drop?
Jay Uno - Well right now my album is still in the works I have over 65 songs recorded, and I am really going to hit the mixtape scene real hard first get a hot buzz then drop my album, I want my first impression to be correct before I drop so the world can be ready for me
Robert - Any shout outs or other info that you would like to share with us?
Jay Uno - I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU GUYS FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHO I AM, AND EVERY ONE SHOWING ME LOVE PLUS THE WHOLE L.E.S YEAH YEAH! AND MY TEAM: SMOOTH, PLUTO, ROY PEREZ, DREN STARR 100% RECORDS..2004 IS US..PIRATE RECORDINGS AND ONCE AGAIN YOU GUYS!
Robert - Well I know we are going to be hearing a lot more from you. I Appreciate the time, and please keep us up on what’s going on with you, and be sure to let us know about the album. I, for one; am looking forward to it. Thanks again and the best for ya.1- Peace
Jay Uno - No really, Thank you guys for the love and support and the best for ya too! Watch out for the album coming soon and some new tracks for ya too hear! One Hundred! 100% Records! LGP!