drastik header

Interview: MC On The Rise Jamie Drastik Talks New Pitbull Collab And More

A rapper with a hands-on and visceral approach to his writing craft, Jamie Drastik is an upstate New York homeboy whose fledgling repertoire already boasts collaborations with Pitbull, Kelly Rowland and Flo Rida. His upcoming high-octane tune, "Chasing Shadows", featuring Pitbull and Havana Brown, boasts hooks that stick like glue to the aural senses. A certified club-banger that will be taking airwaves and nightclubs all summer. Drastik sits down with VIBE for an exclusive interview about his writing process, working with music's big league players and more.

VIBE: How'd you link with Pitbull?
Jamie Drastik: I had a record playing on my two hometown stations WSPK and WPKF both stemming from the top DJs in my area Ted Dillinger and Mr. Vince. After the record was in rotation on both stations, I started generating interest from the major labels. After a few dead end meetings I was approached by Pitbull's business partner, Robert Fernandez, about doing a deal with Pitbull's own imprint. Around that same time, Pitbull and I were both on the bill for WSPK's summer concert called K Fest, he got to see me perform and we got to meet and wound up doing the deal shortly after. After the deal I appeared on his album with a record that featured myself and Kelly Rowland called “Castle Made of Sand”.

What rappers inspire you artistically?
I draw more from my surroundings for artistic inspiration than other rappers. I'm a fan first so I'll be the first one to say I'm a fan of a number of different artists but I try to listen just as a fan. I always say I let my surroundings write my songs I just make them rhyme. I like to watch people’s detail. Most times they don't even realize they are showing me their whole hand by detail of how they carry themselves. A lot of songs are written from that point of view.

What about EDM producer-DJs?
I find inspiration in producers and DJs. Some of my favorites are Ta-ku and Flume, both from Australia, and Solidisco out of Buffalo, NY. I also really like the duo TNGHT, Lunice and Hudson Mohawk... trying to catch one of their shows soon.

Being from New York and the fact that "Chasing Shadows" is 'club-friendly', what are your fave nightlife spots in the Big Apple for music?
Well I'm from upstate NY, so a hole in the wall bar with some good drinks and some chill females is cool with me. But I've been coming into the city to record, party, get in trouble, and at one point live, so when I do come in to party I usually go to WIP and Greenhouse mainly because management has always been super cool and accommodating. I like Kiss and Fly, TenJune, Griffin, and a L.E.S spot called The Box. I used to do all the hip-hop showcases in NYC. At one point my winnings from them were paying my rent. Until they told me there was a three-time winning limit.

Do you write raps with certain producers in mind or do you just go off the dome? What's your technique?
I record by myself a lot, no engineer, I hit record and see what happens. A lot of times I will record to just a basic drum track and then send it off to a producer to build around what I did vocally. With “Chasing Shadows” I had the verse from Pit[bull] to a basic drum track, brought it to a producer we work named Matty C and started building a beat around Pit's verse. While we were building the beat I wrote my verses. At that point we still needed a hook, so I asked my friends Kinetics and One Love who wrote “Airplanes” for B.O.B. to see what they could come up with for a chorus. After they sent what they wrote, I sent it to Pit and he agreed with me that it sounded like a smash. He then asked Havana Brown to sing the hook for us, and she couldn’t have been any cooler about it. She knocked it out and here we are now. That took about 10 months to complete, so I hope you guys like it.

What's after "Chasing Shadows"?
I have a record out there right now with Flo Rida and DJ Suss One called “Single for Tonight” that’s doing really well for us, but after “Chasing Shadows” comes a full project called “Bikes at Night”. 12 – 14 songs. This project will be a more forward approach to sounds that may not be known to the mainstream audience. The imagery will have a lot of BMX bikes in it and the culture of BMX. It is due out in August of this year.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Kodak Black Wants Donald Trump To Get Him Out Of Prison

Kodak Black is asking Donald Trump to help him get out of prison. Lawyers for the Florida rapper sent a petition to Trump this week, in hopes of getting his sentence commuted.

The 23-year-old recording artists took a plea deal and was sentenced to 46 months in prison on federal weapons possession charges last year. He was originally locked up in Miami but was “erroneously” transferred to Kentucky’s Big Sandy maximum-security federal prison. Kodak’s lawyers argue that he deserves to be housed in lower security facility, TMZ reports.

The petition reportedly suggests that Kodak received a harsher sentence compared to the average sentence (18 months) for the same conviction. Bradford Cohen, one of Kodak’s lawyers, has ties to Trump as a former contestant on the President’s cancelled reality show, The Apprentice.

“This week we filed a commutation of sentence with the President of the United States,” Cohen wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Sept. 24). “The fact that a non-violent paperwork offense by an individual who is not a convicted felon, [received] 46 months and was sent to a max security prison, 1100 miles from his [home] who has been in the bix on 23 hour lock down since September 2019, with no visitation, no programs and no phone privileges is not justice. Where BOP [Bureau of Prisons] made a significant error in his designation paperwork.

“The treatment coupled with the actual crime calls for true justice to intervene and say enough is enough. Individuals similarly situated received significantly less time. We are asking for what is fair.”


View this post on Instagram


This week we filed a commutation of sentence with the President of the United States. The fact that a non -violent paperwork offense by an individual who is not a convicted felon, recieved 46 months and was sent to a max security prison, 1100 miles from his hom, who has been in the bix on 23 hour lock down since September 2019, with no visitation, no programs and no phone privileges is not justice. Where BOP made a significant error in his designation paperwork. The treatment coupled with the actual crime calls for true justice to intervene and say enough is enough. Individuals similarly situated received significantly less time. We are asking for what is fair. Letters of support or letters from people he has helped in the past can be written or scanned to my office, 1132 SE 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Fl 33316 or [email protected] #freekodak #justicereform #freeyak #prisonreform #kodakblack #kodak #judicialreform #fairtreatment

A post shared by Bradford Cohen (@lawronin) on Sep 24, 2020 at 5:24am PDT

Kodak’s legal issues have been mounting since he was arrested for allegedly raping an 18-year-old high school student in his South Carolina hotel room in 2016. In 2019, prosecutors charged him with first-degree criminal conduct in connection with the rape case. Earlier this year, Kodak pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possessions of a firearm after being found with a weapon at the Canadian-American border. He received a 12-month sentence to run concurrently with his federal prison sentence.

The “ZeZe” rapper, who legally changed his name to Bill Kapri and identifies as a Hebrew Israelite, is suing the Federal Bureau of Prisons for alleged torture and abuse. Kodak claims that prison guards jumped him when he first got to Big Sandy, routinely humiliated and assaulted him more than once, and blocked him from visits with a rabbi despite other prisoners receiving time with clergy members. In another alleged incident, Kodak claims that he was forced to wear an open-back hospital gown for more than six hours while being put into a four-point restraint until he urinated and defecated on himself while guards laughed and cracked jokes.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

LeBron James: “The Most Disrespected Person On Earth Is The Black Woman”

LeBron James shared a powerful statement in reaction to the lack of justice in the murder of Breonna Taylor, and promised to do his part to bring about change.

“The most DISRESPECTED person on Earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!!! Love to you Queens all over this country and beyond,” James tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 23) along with a shout out to some of the women in his family.

The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond! 👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Grandma Freda, Gloria Marie, Savannah Rachael, Zhuri Ann Marie Nova I LOVE YOU MY BLACK QUEENS more than life itself!! 👸🏾🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Mema Brinson, Deidra Norris, Pam Walker, Tanesha Walker, Chanelle Walker, Brenda Weems, Caddie Powers I LOVE YOU Queens!!! 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

As previously reported, a grand jury decided not to charge officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove for killing Taylor during a police raid. Hankinson, a former officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department, faces three counts of wanton endangerment, but the charges were not related to Taylor being killed.

Collin Kaepernick also took to Twitter with a few thoughts: “The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people.”

Read more reactions below.


View this post on Instagram


I am just at a loss for words.... 💔

A post shared by Kelly Rowland (@kellyrowland) on Sep 23, 2020 at 5:23pm PDT

Dear Breonna,

I’m so sorry the people in power have failed to get this right. You deserve so much more. Your life mattered. You deserved the bright future that was ahead of you. We will continue to say your name. We will continue to fight in your name. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/31M3ndOloK

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 24, 2020

They never get it right and that doesn't make it hurt any less. Breonna Taylor should still be with us and her family deserved justice today. Tired of this shit.

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 23, 2020

Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times. https://t.co/HOrDQzHJ0d

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 23, 2020

Amen 🙏🏽 shit is sooo sad and discouraging. https://t.co/2ex3OImFpv

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 23, 2020

Another innocent black life gone with no consequences!! Breonna Taylor was 26, a daughter, a cousin, a friend, a girlfriend, an ER technician, an AMERICAN. 💔

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 24, 2020

Understand what that truly means because Accountability needs to occur in a new way. Word is Bond to the Father. Let’s not be sorry, Let’s correct this fucking Error. Rest Easy Queen #BREONNATAYLOR pic.twitter.com/dzWTtV90Zl

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) September 24, 2020

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/eURn5iMQrl

— COMMON (@common) September 23, 2020

Continue Reading
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Kanye West Says He’s Giving G.O.O.D. Music Artists Back What He Owns Of Their Masters

After nearly two weeks of speaking out against Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV, Kanye West has promised to do his part to help artists on his G.O.O.D. Music label imprint.

“I’m giving all Good music artist[s] back the 50% share I have of their masters,” West tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 23). Big Sean, who signed with West’s label more than a decade ago, thanked West for the gesture.

Thank you!!! This would help so much 🙏🏾 https://t.co/6yR3fAKlwB

— Sean Don (@BigSean) September 23, 2020

The move comes as West spoke with Billboard to further discuss his plans to “free artists” from oppressive record deals.

“The desired effect will only be achieved when every artist owns their masters,” said West. “I’m Team ‘Free Artists.’ I’m committed to doing whatever is necessary so artists own their own copyrights. The response is awesome because everyone knows this is a broken system that needs to be fixed. Currently, artists take advances to make records and yet when they repay those advances the record company still owns the records.”

West said that he is in talks with Universal, and their parent company Vivendi, but reiterated that he wants to fix “everyone’s situation,” along with his own. “My brand and influence goes way beyond just music and that of course is meaningful to Vivendi, as it is to Adidas and many other conglomerates. If that helps me be able to help free all artists, of course I’m going to use it,” West explained.

“You only need to look back to the early days of the record companies and see how predatory they were,” he continued. “Old execs admit it. The contracts are almost the same now. The shape, the terminology... And yet, in that time we moved to a completely digital age. Has the attitude of the labels and the structure in which our music moves on our side changed to that degree? No, it has not. You’re locked in; once you’re locked in you can ask no questions.”

Despite his feelings on UMG and Sony/ATV, West hasn’t closed the door on working with the label giants in the future. “I will work with anyone who treats artists fairly and righteous. They do that , I will partner with them in bringing music to life. I will redesign the whole process.”

Continue Reading

Top Stories