In between prepping and rolling out new music for anxiously awaiting fans, Jay Electronica is making his press rounds. During a trip to Nigeria, the Roc Nation rapper sat down with The Morning Rush show hosts, Olisa and Maria, on The Beat 99 to speak on his new mission in Africa, music, influences and hot-button global personality, Kanye West.
Check out some of the most interesting excerpts:
On his mission in Nigeria:
“Like any black man in America, I was disconnected from myself and from my family and that’s why I’m here in Nigeria, to reconnect with my family. I’ve been disconnected for a long time, so more importantly than the music that’s the main reason why I’m here. The music is secondary.”
On being influenced by Fela:“
“I grew up with my Mom playing Fela. Of course like nowadays I’ve heard of the Don Jazzys, the Ice Prince, the Wizkids, but when Nigeria pops into my mind, the first thing that pops into my mind is Fela which is a beautiful thing to pop into anybody’s mind. Like I said, I’m back home. The music is secondary, but I’m here to connect. Primarily, or I would say, specifically on behalf of Roc Nation, bridge building. But generally just bridge building between the black people in America and back here. It could be Don Jazzy or it could just be a guy in the basement somewhere on the mainland. I’m willing to work with whoever’s available to work.”
On his artistry:
“Sometimes people classify me as a producer, but I was a producer by default making music for myself. Ultimately I ended up doing things for other people but really I produce for myself. I’m a rapper by default. I wouldn’t call myself a producer. I would call myself a beatmaker or put-togetherer of things.”
On Kanye West’s strengths despite his ego:
“Kanye is a Black God and we love him. Kanye’s a beautiful brother. We gotta be careful about anything that we hear. You know the white man, the media, they say nasty things about Nigeria but we just throw that in the trashcan just like we throw the Kanye big head stuff in the trashcan. We all got our faults and character defects but as far as Kanye, as far as I know, he’s a beautiful human being. A very beautiful brother. Physically, spiritually and emotionally. We love him. I love him to bits.”
On his greatest challenges:
“I’d say myself, not only in just my career, but my life, are my own self impediments. You know your character flaws and defects are the things that get into your way of progress and evolution.”
On the next album:
“Anyone who knows Jay Electronica knows that is the wrong question to be asking.”
Although there is no date or even a time frame for the next project, Electronica mentions he wouldn’t mind putting together a Nigerian mixtape or album with rapper Wale. Listen to the full interview here.