Gentleman’s Corner: Jesse Boykins III Talks ‘Purpose or People,’ Romanticism and the Reemergence of Quality Music

jesse boykin

True. Then what kind of woman are you attracted to?

I like a woman with knowledge and who wants to know more about things. I like that. I like when I’m having a conversation and they’re like, “Did you know?” I like depth. Not that I’m against these things, but I’m not really with the superficial. I don’t really want to know what’s going on with Love and Hip Hop. I don’t care. But if you want to talk about Isis and Osiris and put me on that, then I’m down to listen. I like being presented with new things. I like when a woman tries to uplift and educate and make that person a better person. That’s what I appreciate.

 Some think being friends with the opposite sex means there’s no sexual attraction. Do you agree? That’s not true. Even in one of my interviews I asked a woman to tell me all the things you love about a man. This is how she answered it: “It never starts off with me being attracted to that person, because that’s more of a risk.” Most of the time, the most attractive person has a super amount of flaws because no one’s ever shot down their flaws or killed their ego. Everyone’s like, you deserve this and you deserve that, so a lot of times it’s hard to break through that. She was like, “I’d rather be with someone who makes me laugh and makes me remember that I’m presently in a moment.” That’s all she said. It’s funny because the more someone makes me laugh, the more I can have conversation with someone, the more attractive they become. It’s like when you walk down the street and you see a couple, and you’re like, they’re together? He probably makes her laugh, he’s probably listened to her problems, he probably points out her problems to her and keeps it real with her. That’s what it should be. That’s how I would like it.

Any music releases from the end of last year to now that you’ve given a thumbs up to?

There’s a couple artists that I listen to that should get a lot more acknowledgement than they have now. It’s funny because they’re my friends. BJ the Chicago Kid is so underrated. And his last project Pineapple Now-Laters is great. Iman Omari dropped an EP called Energy, you should check it out. He just recently dropped an album called VIBErations. He produces and mixes everything himself. He actually produced “Beautiful People” on P.O.P. Then there’s Chris Turner, he’s another singer that’s really, really good. I wrote some of the songs on his album called Love Life is a Challenge. I listen to stuff like Little Dragon. Sampha from SBTRKT is ill. I’m a big fan of this band from Germany called Sohn, which means sun in English. It’s like this indie band that’s soulful. I really like the channel Orange album, it was a good record. I really like the Ellie Goulding, her last record was really, really good. The songwriting is superb on it. Actually, for the past years there’s been so much good music coming out that I’m just happy.

Is there anyone you want to collaborate with?

Yeah, I want to write a song with Yukimi from Little Dragon. That’d be beautiful. Marsha Ambrosius, we were supposed to do something a while ago. That’d be cool to write a song with her, but Floetry Marsha though. No disrespect to the new Marsha, but the more sensual, sensitive in touch Marsha would be dope. I’ve been collaborating a lot but I’ve been trying to not collaborate so much. But if you put me in the studio with John Legend, of course I’m not going to say no. He’s another one who pushes music. Kanye West of course. Everyone talks about his personality and him being kind of wild and unpredictable, but that’s every artist. He just always has cameras on him all the time, so it’s more pointed out than everybody else.

Did you like Yeezus?

I loved that album. I think it’s great. Sonically, I don’t think people realize how well it was mixed and how it was put together. The time that they took in the small amount of time that they did it? That’s another thing that people don’t realize, the hours that go into making one song—people forgot the fact that Michael Jackson used to take three years to do an album. Take a song and he’d work on that song for six months. Or have four songs where it’s like, okay we’re going to keep working on these. There will be like six different versions before they finally decide what the final is. That’s what I do. When I write a song, I’m listening to it everyday for literally a month at least. That’s the minimum. Then I’m going back in.