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Jadakiss Speaks On New Mixtape, 'Top 5, Dead or Alive' Album & Sheek's 'Gorilla' Controversy

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?

 

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A NYPD Cop Falsely Arrested A Black Man Lied On The Paperwork, But Still Has His Job

A New York police officer has faced no punishment for falsely arresting a black man and lying on his police report about what a witness statement.

In June 2016, officer Xavier Gonzalez arrested investment adviser Darryl Williams at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station. Gonzalez alleged Williams, 58 at the time, pickpocketed straphangers on a 4 train.

Gonzalez was undercover at the time and wrote in his report that Anthony Osei, who was also on a northbound 4 train, said Williams stole his phone. However, Osei, a paint shop clerk, told the New York Daily News Gonzalez lied.

When Willaims sued the city and the NYPD over the arrest, Osei, swore in an affidavit, reviewed by The Daily News, he didn't tell officers Williams stole his phone.

“A cop came up to me and said, ‘Did he take your phone?' I said, ‘No, I have my phones and wallet.’ Two weeks later, I get a call from the prosecutor. I told them the same thing."

In court, Osei testified on Williams' behalf stating "I defended him (Williams) because it was the right thing to do.”

Williams worked at the Sanitation Department for nearly two decades when he was arrested. He had private clients and his financial license was suspended for two months. He spent $1,500.

There's a process called “arrest overtime” in which an arrest made toward the end of a cop's shift helps bolster his or her overtime pay. It's a beloved practice that drives up a cop's pension.

“I have no trust in cops anymore,” said Williams, 60, now retired. “He’s putting perfectly innocent people in handcuffs. People who don’t have the resources I have, they could go to jail for something they didn’t do."

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Parrish Lewis/SHOWTIME

'The Chi' Recap: Ep. 3 Shows The Effects Of Childhoods Being Stolen By Adults

A child can die and still grow up. A child can die from growing up. In The Chi, where humanity is hustled and children face their mortality, childhood is a luxury few are lucky enough to keep let alone enjoy. Adults traffic in stolen youths, trading in childhoods that never belonged to them. Some use them to make their lives easier, others use them to advance their careers, but they all snatch away the childhoods of young black boys and girls in order for them to navigate adulthood better.

On the insidious side, Ronnie’s lawyer Kimberly Hendricks (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) uses Kevin’s youth to both intimidate and discredit the only eye witness to Ronnie’s murder of Coogie Johnson in Season One. She orchestrates this by employing a white man with a purported history of dealing with black youths testifying in court to tell Kevin’s family about the untold dangers that can arise from his testimony against Ronnie in the courthouse. All the while, Hendricks sits nearby surveying the scene of her own making, knowing the preservation of Kevin’s precious youth would be his mothers’ first thoughts when hearing of these “consequences” and force them to not have Kevin testify.

Not too long after that, Hendricks calls into question the validity of the 12-year-old eyewitness account, since she claims the accounts of adults are typically unreliable and Kevin having experienced trauma from shooting Ronnie makes his account even more shaky. Soon after, we find out Hendricks’ motive for using Kevin’s young age to get a murderer out of jail is not based in some warped view of justice, but instead in her desire to advance her own law career by making partner at her law firm.

The Chi drives home the severity of what Hendricks’ actions could do to the future of a child like Kevin. Before Kevin and his family are intimidated by Hendricks’ flunkie in the courthouse, Kevin mentions how some of his knowledge of the criminal justice system comes from long-running TV drama Law & Order. Mere seconds later, a young black boy, who looks no older than Kevin, is escorted in handcuffs by police officers while wearing grey prison garbs. This idea of adults snatching away black boys’ youth through the legal system is an all too common reality in a city such as Chicago, where judges go against local ordinances banning the detention of children under 12 years of age at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

Beyond Chicago, adults within the American legal system have had transactional relationships with black youths. Between 2000-2007, judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania received financial compensation from the owners of juvenile detention centers for filling their detention centers with young offenders through excessive sentencing for minor infractions. The ordeal is referred to as the “kids for cash” scandal, a title that could easily be the name of an episode of The Chi.

But, just like in episode two, where Jerrika appeared to sell out of her blackness for the advancement of her career, nothing is ever clearly good or bad in The Chi. In one of the more heartbreaking scenes in the early part of the season, Kevin discovers his classmate Maisha (Genesis Denise Hale) hasn’t been coming to school because she has to watch her siblings while her mother works. Her mother is robbing her daughter of a traditional childhood by having her assume parental roles over her siblings versus focusing on school. As Kevin sits in her living room surrounded by her siblings and their toys, Maisha’s usual calm but condescending demeanor is replaced with irritable fatigue. You can see her face struggle to contort into a smile when joking with Kevin.

Neither Maisha nor Kevin make any mention of Maisha’s father, so it’s safe to assume she lives in a one-parent household, like more than 11 million other American households, according to 2016 Census data. Of those more than 11 million households, more than 80 percent of them are headed by mothers. Those same mothers have to spend upwards of 70 percent of their annual income on child care. Without Maisha sacrificing a piece of her childhood, her siblings may not have one of their own.

When Maisha somberly asks Kevin if she’ll see him tomorrow after school—she’d asked him to bring her each day’s homework—the look in her eyes is one crying out for a connection to her peers’ leisurely, carefree lives. That’s what people see when they look at him: the purity of childhood. It’s the reason why Jake wouldn’t let Kevin be part of his illegal candy resale scheme in episode two. So much of The Chi involves making sure this one black boy doesn’t get swallowed by the streets.

Despondent themes aside, the episode is not without its silver lining. There is a humorous side to children growing up too quickly in The Chi. Papa, Kevin’s best friend and the most mature kid in the show, participates in the school’s candy drive in order to win a flat screen TV for his man cave. But instead of a “man cave,” he calls it a “Papa cave.” Humorous displays of otherwise depressing topics, such as black youths growing up much faster than they should, gives The Chi’s commentary a bit more realism, showing that there’s good in the bad, and vice versa.

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Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Prince's Memoir Set To Be Released Fall 2019

In October 2019, Prince's memoir will be available for purchase, titled "The Beautiful Ones." According to the Associated Press, the 288-page book will be divided into four sections. Readers will learn about the "When Doves Cry" artist's childhood, journey into music, and an intimate look at how the Minneapolis native established the iconic status of "Purple Rain."

"The Beautiful Ones" will present "a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him," a brief synopsis of the passage states, per publisher Penguin Random House. Another part of the book will display "candid photos" that'll showcase a timeline of Prince's rise to stardom.

The Prince Estate is thrilled to announce that on October 29, 2019, @RandomHouse will be publishing THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Prince, the American artistic visionary—singer, songwriter, musician, producer, actor and filmmaker. Available for preorder now. https://t.co/gEqMEdYoEa pic.twitter.com/RJtK9fowH8

— Prince (@prince) April 22, 2019

Described as a "deeply personal account," the publishing company also noted that the memoir will touch on Prince's death in 2016. The organization described that time as a moment when the award-winning artist "was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he'd so carefully cultivated." At age 57, Prince passed away from an accidental fentanyl overdose.

The book will be released on Oct. 29.

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