The champ is still here.
Although Jadakiss hasn't made much noise since dropping his DJ Green Lantern and DJ Drama-helmed mixtape, The Champ is Here 3, earlier this year, it's not because the Yonkers MC hasn't been keeping busy. While fellow LOX members Styles P and Sheek Louch have put out a number of solo projects over the course of the year, Al Qaeda Jada has been patiently waiting for the right track to explode on. "I've been holed up working," he told VIBE.com on Monday. "Trying to make 2011 a big year for Jadakiss fans."
They won't have to wait until the ball drops to hear new music from 'Kiss, though. Recently, Jada took to his Twitter account to announce that he's got a new mixtape, I Love U, on the way soon. He's also started recording tracks for his next album, Top 5, Dead or Alive. VIBE caught up with the Yonkers native to see exactly what he's got in store for us—turns out that it's almost time to kiss his silence goodbye. —Chris Yuscavage
VIBE.com: Earlier this month, we heard you had a new mixtape called Still Batting A Thousand coming out soon. Then last week, you sent out a tweet that said it's called I Love U now. Why did you decide to change it?
Jadakiss: Yeah, man, I've been working on the mixtape for awhile now, actually since the start of the baseball playoffs [back in October]. Originally, it was going to be called Still Batting A Thousand. One of the guys that works with me at D-Block was like, 'You've been doing this and been nice for so long that you should do a mixtape called Still Batting A Thousand.' I liked that alot. I was going to put the new Yankee Stadium on the cover with me in a Yankee uniform and do it like that.
And then the baseball season ended before you got a chance to put it out?
Right. The World Series ended a couple weeks ago, so I just decided to switch up the name to I Love U. It's basically a mixtape for the fans, for the people who support D-Block and support Jadakiss as a brand. It's got some stuff you heard already, plus a couple of new songs, just to hold the fans over while I'm making my Top 5, Dead Or Alive album. It'll be out before the new year—sometime in December.
A lot of people were really into your The Champ Is Here 3 mixtape earlier this year. Will this new mixtape be similar to that? Like, are you enlisting DJ Drama to host it and...
Nah, nah, nah, I'm basically just doing it by myself. I might get a DJ to come along and host it, but it's different from The Champ Is Here series of mixtapes. There's still going to be good music on there, but putting one of those mixtapes together is almost like putting together an album. I'm not going to put as much effort into [I Love U] because I'm working on my new album as well. I'm not gonna gyp the people, but I'm not going to overwork my brain, either.
Okay, so it sounds like you're going to be spending most of your time and effort on your next album, Top 5, Dead or Alive. How much of it do you have finished so far?
I only got two songs finished so far, so I'm definitely about to start going hard with that.
Who are you interested in working with on the album?