As one of the few remaining MCs to find success after leaving Bad Boy Ent., Jadakiss and The Lox have established themselves as the East Coast close-out hitters of hardcore rap. With a new mixtape, I Love You, dedicated to the fans ready to hit retailers on May. 24, we made a stop to Kiss’ studio to get an update on how the Yonkers-bred rapper is staying relevant. —Mikey Fresh
VIBE: I noticed your new mixtape drops just a few days before your birthday, what you do you have planned this year?
Jadakiss: I have an annual birthday bash in Miami that I do every year, so I’m a be promoting heavy down there. Maybe get on some getaway-type of shit and throw a few more birthday parties and shows in the mix. You want to get me a present? Buy the mixtape! That’s how I’m promoting it. That’s your present to me. Just get this mixtape. You’ll love it [ahhaaaaa].
Are you planning to leak anything on your website?
Yeah, definitely in the next day or two.
When you came into the game artists didn’t have to drop a new song online everyday. How do you feel about the climate of rap now?
Times have changed. You almost have to put your whole shit out for them to buy it. You see that with Kanye, with everybody. You got to leak shit—that’s the new shit. If they like it, they’ll buy it anyway. But that’s what it is now. You have to do that because so much shit is coming out every day, you’ll get swept under the rug before you know it. You have to stay in their ears, on their computer screens, in their iPods, iPads, MacBooks. You got to be there and the only way to be there is to let it out. You have to be in it to win it.
I guess you’ve been making some trips to the Apple store then…
If you can’t beat them join them. I was naïve to that shit for a while, but then I had to go to the Apple store and spend $15,000 to get ieverything.
So do you help with a lot of your own viral marketing now?
Nah, I got a staff. I do shit though. My son use my shit. They can use whatever. Whatever I can use. One of these has to be on deck at all times [points to macbook].
You’re definitely getting your Twitter game up.
I’m trying to get to a million followers, and then I’m going to ask everybody for a dollar. Think it’ll work? At least I’m going to get a couple hundred thousand. All I need is a dollar from everybody [ahaaa]
50 kind of did something like that; he told his followers to buy stock in his headphones line and he cashed in on it.
See, don’t worry I got some shit up my sleeve.
When I spoke to you two or three years ago, you were talking about transitioning to Hollywood, if not being in movies, maybe some of the writing. Has there been any movement there?
I just did a little part in a movie in Philly over the last month, called Must Be The Music written and directed by Charles “Roc” Dutton. Black Thought is in it, Snoop from “The Wire,” Kat from “The Bad Girls Club,” one of the Atlanta Housewives. It should be a pretty good movie.