A Short Convo With… Jay Electronica
VIBE catches up with the elusive MC who claims he’s not
VIBE: We didn’t think you would be down for this interview since you’re so elusive.
That is a rumor. That I’m elusive. People say that because they are spoiled. They think if you don’t respond to them that you’re being elusive. That is inconsiderate, for them to think that I should drop whatever I’m doing to answer them. You [remember when] you had a house phone and people called after homework, dinner or before dinner? Now folks call all times of the day and night and want a response. How you do know that I’m not in a good mood or tired? We can talk today and if you don’t get to me the next three days or week, people get offended. It’s so insensitive to demand immediate contact. I come up to venues and people are surprised that I’m there. “Oh, we’re so happy you came.” Of course I’m coming. I booked the show.
The public is very interested in your “relationship” with Erykah Badu. What would you say is the one thing people misunderstand about her?
I think one thing people misunderstand about E. is she is genuine to her music. The things she’s singing about is really her. A lot of people think it’s a façade. The Erykah Badu you hear in your ears and feel in your music is the Erykah that her children know, my mother knows. A lot of people pass judgment on her because they view her as something that is built up.
What has she taught you about the industry?
We both have “do it my way” syndrome. Because she came out under a label she was strong enough to do it her way even under that system. That gives you a certain kind of strength. Most artists can’t say, “No I’m not giving you an album.” In my approach, when I’m dealing with these people and parts of the industry, I never let them deal with me like I’m beneath them. I make sure we are on an equal ground.
There’s a rumor going around that Diddy will be signing on as your manager. Would you like to dispel or confirm?
Puff is my man. Puff is going to be involved. I’ve been knowing him a while before people know who I was. I sought him out in 2004. At the moment I’m not contractually tied to anything right now. He’s not a manager. My manager is Angela Yee. Let me ask you something. On a scale of 1 to 10, how big is the news of Diddy allegedly being my manager?
Oh, that’s a 10.
[Laughs] Well, if that’s a 10, then what is really about to happen is off the charts.
What’s upcoming for you?
I’m touring with G-Unit at the end of the month. I think 50’s gonna be down but right now I don’t even know the dates. Aside from that, I’m working on the next phase of my music. I want to tour and travel the world. I’m definitely at some point going to make a point to go all over the continent especially after the experience I had shooting “Exhibit C” in Nepal.