Popular west coast rap artist Tha Jacka is well known for being part of C-Bo’s ‘Mob Figaz’.
Debuting a solo album in 2001 ‘The Jacka’, brought more success for the Bay Area artist; selling over 50,ooo units.
The Jacka is getting ready to drop his second solo album ‘The Jack Artist’ in March.
His diverse tracks that touch on so many different issues make his music always fresh and greatly anticipated.
His new single ‘Barney (More Crime) is getting air play and is a great example of what the new album holds for his fans.
He also has a new mix tape coming out this week.
News on the mix tape and a download of ‘Barney’ (More Crime) are available on his web site. There is also a mix tape there that fans can down load.
We had a chance to catch up with the Bay’s original Jack Artist.
I’d like to thank Jacka for his time.
Look for Jacka’s mix tape this week, the album ‘The Jack Artist’ in March .
Robert – Thanks for taking time for us.
Jacka - Alright
Robert - What part of California do you stay in?
Jacka - In the Bay Area
Robert - How was it being put out by C-Bo as the Mob Figaz? How was the experience and what did you learn from C-Bo?
Jacka - The first thing he show us was learning how to be consistent and getting in there and making songs in the studio .For one, at first I used to just get a beat, write to it and then do the song. But he showed us how to knock out songs while we’re in the studio.
Robert - Have you heard from him lately since he has been in lock down?
Jacka - Naw, I haven’t heard from him since he has been locked up cause it’s kinda hard ya know. To keep in touch with your people ya know what I mean. Sometimes your locked down ya can’t use the phone for about 6 months, and when you do get a chance to use it, ya have to call your main people like your kids and you know and see what’s up with them and that’s about it. Ya know what I’m saying. Everything else ya gotta kinda forget about it for a minute, and get back in tune when ya get out. Get back in touch with the streets when you get out.
Robert - How did you hook up with C-Bo? How did you meet?
Jacka - We was at a record store and I met his people the AWOL camp at this little record store in Pittsburg, They don’t have it any more . I forget the name of it, some dudes from Frisco had this little record store in Pittsburg. And his boys Bobby G and 151 had heard our demo’s that we were making. Just not really demo’s but little songs we were making for the streets in Pittsburg at this little studio. And they were impressed and like, “man Bo, he’s putting together a lil group and you boys would be perfect for it.” They only met like 3 of us that day. Next time we met them there was 5 of us together, we were all together. And they took us to the lab; kidnapped us and took us to the studio; we were out there working. We hit the road really tough. It took us about a year to get the album done, ya know what I’m saying; but we got it done. And Bo had got locked up for about 6 months and when got out then we just finished it all off.
Robert - What was that about ’96 something like that?
Jacka - Naw that was like about ’98 or ’99.
Robert - Since C-Bo knew and worked with Tupac I was wondering if you had ever had a chance to meet Tupac.
Jacka - Naw, we had just barely missed him. We had just got into it, got our feet wet in ’98 like with Bo. In ’98 that was the biggest thing we did, before that we were in high school just fooling around in school.
Robert - Are you from the Bay Area originally?
Jacka - Yep.
Robert - 2. What do you think of your album, “The Jack Artist”?
Jacka - It’s tight man. I’m getting a lot of good response from it. It’s new, it’s very new. The sound is a new ‘fresh’ sound. It’s really like
nothing that’s out there. Totally different than everybody’s stuff. And it’s a good sound, very good, not no just something different but it’s not good. It’s different and it’s good. Ya know what I’m saying. Because the subject matter is probably …Like when you listen to one of my songs it’s sorta like looking at a movie or something; very detailed man.
Robert - You are pushing a street single right now, entitled ‘Barney (More Crime)’, tell me about that song. What’s it about and what does it mean to you?
Jacka - The song is called Barney (More Crime) parentheses. It’s a song about… it’s really like a positive song but it’s coming from a guy who don’t know how to be positive, ya know what I’m saying. It’s supposed to be a positive song in a way that a guy that’s not positive can say it. But he wants to try to express himself. I just made a song like that saying, it ain’t soft but it is a positive song. It’s about trying ta get out of the streets. And at the same time you’re still in the streets, you got music on your mind, you’re trying to make it with this music but you get caught up in the streets. In jail, out of jail. You’re going and it seems like every time you try to get it you don’t get it, and it’s then time to do more crime. It’s one of those kind of songs. But it’s a good song for the streets.
Robert - What is your favorite song off your album?
Jacka – Probably ah, I like “Standing By Starz”. I like that song and I like Barney too. I got a lot of songs that I like on that album though, but I like Barney and Standing By Starz though.
Robert – I’ve noticed Cormega giving you a lot of props in magazines, as well as putting you on his recent album. How did you meet, and can we expect any future collaborations with him?
Jacka – How we met, we met when I was on the east coast , I was shopping at a mall and I seen one of his friends; We was going crazy in the mall. Just spending so much paper in the mall he just had to look. He came up and asked us what we do rap or whatever. So I was like ‘Yea’. He told us he was from New York and he knew Cormega. My boy Ridah he was always up on the east coast rappers. He already knew who Cormega was before we all knew who he was. But he put us up on him and he was ill. Like Cormega back in them days he was, he tighter now, but then he was just like the same; he was mainy, and we liked him. It was like ok, here’s a real dude from the east coast right here. This is supposed to be who you’re listening to. He wasn’t as big as all the other cats but we knew his sound was. They like him out there, they love him, he big, he tight. So Ridah is the one who put us on to him, but anyway we had met him out there on the east coast and I had kept in touch with his friend. I didn’t know him at first I met his friend and I called him; I told him ya know, we flew them down to California to the Bay Area. It was tight cause the night he came out, it was on Too $hort’s birthday party. Too $hort was out here for his birthday party, we had just done a song with him. And we took Mega to the party and he seen how it was out here in the Bay. How people get down in the clubs, how people do. It was crazy, it was a real crazy night for him to be fresh off the plane and experience that out here with us. And I think from then on, just from those kind of times we had outside of the studio, ya know he seen how we was and we seen how he was and how he adapted, we bonded from there. And then we went to the east coast to Queens Bridge projects, everything. He had us out there and we did real things together outside of music. We do mostly more real things outside of music than actually doing music together. But we just shot a video out here in the Bay Area. And he shot his half in New York. So that should be coming out on, he has an artist named Donya, so that should be coming out on her DVD she has coming out with her album.
Robert - So I have heard you have a mixtape and album being released, when can we expect those in stores?
Jacka – The mixtape we just finished wrapping it up. It’s not like most other mixtapes these days. I got a lot of original songs on there. Just shit I’m not using for my album or that I just got sittin it the studio. It should be coming out sometime in December.
Robert – What about the album?
Jacka – The album comes out in March, probably no later than March 15th.
Robert – Are those going to be available on your web site.
Jacka – Yeah once they are out people will be able to but off my site. At the moment I have some free downloads there for people to download. I got an older mix tape that I put out that they can download off the web site right now. It’s got some pretty hot songs on there.
Robert - I really think your music is so diverse; you touch on so many different issues. What inspires you as an emcee when writing your rhymes?
Jacka – Its comes from a feeling man, not even an experience or nothing like that. It probably just comes from like a feeling I get because a feeling can make you write something. Even if it’s not a feeling of hardship or good times; just some kind of feeling that makes you write certain things; I don’ t know what it is. It’s just a feeling that I get, and I just start writing, I don’t know what it is though man. Cause it will never have nothing to do with a subject or nothing, it just ends up what it is, ya know what I’m saying. I don’t never just say ‘ok this rap is called such and such’, and start writing on that topic; I just start writing. And it ends up what ever it is. Ya know, I never plan I just go in there and do. And I know it is gonna be tight, and I just keep that on my mind. Making sure that what ever it is, it’s going ta be tight.
Robert – Do you write with out the beat, or do you hear the beat first and then write to the beat.
Jacka – Sometimes I write to one beat that I have and then I go to the next beat, then I tell them to skip around after I finish writing. Then I find a beat that will match the rap perfectly, ya know what I’m saying. I can write to any beat and lay the vocals however, and sometimes it makes me come up with a different style. Because sometimes the beat might be a little different and I can do something a little different, now I got this style with this rap, ya know what I’m saying. Cause I can usually bust my raps in different ways.
Robert – Did you start freestyling? Is that how you got into rap? Battle rapping?
Jacka – Yea I started freestyling, however we weren’t battle rapping out here though we were freestyling though. It was like battle rapping but the whole thing was more like we wasn’t talking about each other though. Like I been seeing the cats nowadays how they be battle rapping, they be disrespecting each other. Like out here we weren’t doing that like that. You were just straight rapping, seeing who had the best rap – period. You don’t have to talk about the man. We all know who is the dopest when y’all get done rapping, ya understand. We used ta just go rap for rap, see who had the dopest rap. That’s what it was all about out here. It wasn’t all about battling, talking about him and this and that, because that turns into violence. Out here it’s crazy, if you start talking about somebody like. Ya know on the block you just start rapping, you on the block rapping and start
talking about somebody, they ain’t going to take that too lightly.
Robert - Your first album did really well, selling what about 50 thousand units independently?
Jacka – Yea. That was soundscan though. It really sold something more like 118K. that’s the C-Bo’s Mob Figaz album. My album did like 30,000.
Robert - Do you feel any pressure on this next album for people with their expectations on what your second album is going to do?
Jacka – Naw, I think this album is sorta like the first album. I didn’t make too many different changes. I just made sure it was iller because the times are different. It’s a different thing, with different things going on right now, and I’m always in tune with what’s going on; because I’m out here. So it’s like I can always just like make the albums not to different from each other but they grow. You’ll see a growth but it’s not going to be nothing off the wall. It’s you can always expect some raw dope stuff. It’s always going to be ill. It never going ta be nothing just off the wall and you ‘O wow’ ya know none of that. play, like when we were first coming up as the Mob they never played Bay area music. We had one of the hottest independent albums out period, outselling the whole record shelf but they didn’t play it on the radio. We didn’t have the right people up there to just hook it, but now we got the right people working in the radio stations and they’re making shit happen for us out here; for our people to hear us. Cause we can sell a lot of records here in the Bay alone but if our people don’t hear us ya know what’s the use. The radio stations right now, they understanding that so they giving all these guys a chance. Locksmith and Left those dudes are Muslim too so I definitely respect those brothers and what their doing.
Robert – Yea I’m into Balance and Locksmith is pretty good to.
Jacka – Yea Balance is my homeboy, I like Balance to. Them boys are really dedicated to what they’re doing, they’re not slacking off. They going ta do what ever it takes to make it
Robert - So what can fans expect from the Jacka in 2005? Ya got some big things poppin off?
Jacka – Man with this label I got a new artist too, his name is Young Chuck, he’s from Dallas. A young dude, like 15, 16, he’s still in high school right now. I met him in Vallejo, coming out of Vallejo High. I went up there to this little fish spot and I seen him walking out of there and I holla’d at him. He looked a little different though; they wear their clothes a little different out there so I knew he wasn’t from the Bay. I holla’d and he said he busts, so he busted a lil something and I thought he was dope; he is dope. That boy is real. I asked him what he was doing; he wasn’t doing nothing, so we definitely going to get something poppin with him. We got him doing something right now in the studio getting a few songs They going ta definitely like him.
Robert – Can we expect any video off your new album?
Jacka – Yea, you can expect to see that Barney video. I’m getting ready to shoot that next week. Get Mega out here. Probably get Mega on the re-mix.
Robert – So the album will be out in March.
Jacka – Yea.
Robert – Any shout outs you got?
Jacka – Yea man; shout out to everybody in the Bay. My boy Husalah, Fedx, Rydah J Clyde, B Love, the whole mob, dope game, RobLo & Maki everybody, rob reyes and John at m1 promo
Robert – I have one last question. If you were not blessed with the ability to rap; what do you see your self doing now?
Jacka – I got plenty of different talents. I would probably be writing books or something. Acting or something ya know. Just doing something I could make a lot of money real fast man, ya know what I mean. A big lump sum, (laughs)
Robert – Well I appreciate it. It has been a blessing talking to ya. I really enjoyed it and we will look for good things for ya in 2005, and keep us up on whats happening out there in the Bay
Jacka – Fo sho man. Thanks for having me man.
Robert – Anytime man, all ya got ta do is holla
Jacka – Fo sho
Robert – I appreciate it. A Salaam Alaikum
Jacka – Walaikum As Salaam
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