Call him raspy or call him Top 5 Dead or Alive, Jadakiss is just days away from releasing his fourth solo album. Since 2001’s Kiss The Game Goodbye, Kiss has delivered projects that not only you give unfiltered New York City hip-hop, but the actual facts of life as well.
While the majority of rappers try to fill listeners’ heads with stories of million dollar shopping sprees and mansions, the L.O.X.’s most quotable is out to give fans jewels with every hardcore verse.
“I’m trying to give my fans that I already got what they want,” says Jada about Top 5 Dead or Alive.” And, give the new fans a little bit of what’s going on [today]. That’s why I got that Future record, just good music you can enjoy as opposed to a bunch of lot clown-ism.”
Having recruited an impressive list of collaborations — Lil’ Wayne, Nas, Puff Daddy, Future, Ne-Yo, Styles P, Akon and more — Kiss is very familiar with his rightfully earned O.G. status in the game. He’s at a point in his career where the rap freshmen keep his iPhone buzzing for guest verses all day long.
“It’s a beautiful thing when the young guys grew up off you, or they embrace you and respect your cradt,” Kiss tells VIBE while shopping at the Stadium Goods sneaker boutique in NYC’s soho. “They always call for me like ‘Kiss, this is going to solidify me to get a joint with you.’ That makes you feel proud as an artist.”
Jada isn’t out to beg for attention or even receive any awards for his work. In the Yonkers’ bred emcees’ eyes, he has already received the best cosigns of all time.
“Just a little more success from the last [Kiss album],” says Jada about what he wants to accomplish with the Top 5 project. “Whether it be branding, an endorsement, different TV looks, being on all of the blogs that I wasn’t on last time. Whatever it is, but as far as accolades, I was already told I was the nice from Biggie, Nas, Hov, Eminem… Andre 3000, along with having a couple dollars. I could die today, and I’m good with this rap thing.”
With his raps skills intact, Jada also wants to expand his juice empire across all the poor communities in America. In recent years, Kiss and Styles P have launched several Juices For Life fresh juice bars in the New York City area. Their mission is to simply spread health awareness and nutrition to those that need it the most.
“We just use are voice to uplift the hoods we come from. [It’s] to bring some health awareness to the hood because they flood us with liquor stores, fast food joints. All types of saturated fart and processed foods are very reachable as opposed to juices and smoothies — just stuff that we need. We’re just trying to get that out there. Hopefully, the same way they listen to our music, they can listen to that.”
[Photos by Ian Reid]