Instead of jumping on a Drake beat and rapping about being paid, Baltimore artist Jerrel “Jae Poet” Jiggits, 24, kept it real on his “I’m On One” remix. “I want one/Fuck it I want one”, the artist vents. He goes on to rap about living the rock star life he always dreamed of even though his pockets tell him to do otherwise. We all had that moment in our lives, didn’t we? I know I’m on that boat now my damn self.
As a recording artist, musician, and, rapper, Jae prides himself in making his music relateable to his audience; which is one of the qualities that gives him credit for taking on a title such as “Poet” in a rap industry. You might also consider him a poet in the studio for producing hot beats for himself and his label mates (one of them being Baltimore’s own Drebabes). If he isn’t in the studio, you can find him promoting his music via Facebook or Twitter. But how does he balance being a jack-of-all-trades with such demanding roles as PR agent, recording artist, and producer? Tru Dat found out a little more in this short interview:
Are you a poet or a rapper?
I am both. My poetry is for me. It helps me deal with internal issues. Then the message is translated into music in such a general fashion one song could apply to a plethora of people with multiple problems. So by not addressing my problems directly, there are a million more solved. Thats a fair trade.
When did you first step from behind the scenes as a songwriter/producer to become a recording artist?
I was actually a recording artist first. When I became restless waiting for producers to make tracks for me I quickly developed that skill. Impatience made me the producer I am today lol. I have always been a songwriter but I began to take it seriously once I began to appreciate the art of how a singer constructs a song as oppose to a rapper. Everything takes longer from teaching the singer how to sing it to recording it. It also takes way longer to mix because it’s usually more tracks used in a session.
I see that you are a singer as well. You also seem to invest a lot of time in songwriting and producing for yourself and other artists. Out of all of the hats that you wear, which one do you enjoy the most and why?
I don’t consider myself a singer..lol. I just believe the art in things is sometimes best represented without perfection. So if I harmonize on a track and a person asks why I didn’t use a singer, I would say because that’s not the sound I wanted for that song. Some beats I make have areas in the song where I make a note slightly off just so it stands out. Thats how you get people’s attention. If I told you the world is a sphere one would say “Duh!” and keep moving.However, If I said the world is flat that same person would stop in their tracks and look at me like I was crazy, but now you have to realize that now I have their attention and the opinion they form based on what I say starts in the moment. The hardest part isn’t getting people to understand, it’s getting people to listen. As far as hats go I just wing it..lol.. I do love hats with the letter P on the front though…lol All in all I like what I like so sometimes my choice of wardrobe is challenged, but I always say, people only challenge what’s unique. If how or what you do is naturally a second nature and challenged, criticized, or awkwardly looked at by others, than being different isn’t an accomplishment, it’s a lifestyle.
What inspired the “I’m On One” freestyle?
I hadn’t put any music out for a while because I was a bit wrapped up in songwriting and producing. In the music business, networking, promoting, and “paperwork” absorbs as much of your time as being a recording artist. That’s the easy part if you’re being true to yourself. The “I’m On One” freestyle was just how I was feeling at the moment. A lot of the things I do are in the moment. I got the track around 2:00am, finished around 2:30am, and the next day I was in the studio with my fellow team member from Team Arson Music Group, Street Scott, for the mixing portion of the freestyle.
If you could work with any mainstream artist right now, who would it be and why?
Anybody with an imagination, but I if I had to pick It would be a track produced by Team Arson Producer Street Scott and the artists on it would be from every genre including my second favorite genre classical music. I can’t tell you what the song would be about or how it would be formated because that’s the fun part. Being in the studio with a circle of artists,tension, creativity, debates, and artists will always result in ART. It’s not how great things happen, Its great things will happen. How things are created is never something the one who enjoys your art needs to know. If Andy Warhol told you he was going to urinate on this painting and have other people do it too for a better work of art, you would say he’s crazy, but he did do that and now that same work of art is showcased everywhere. So I expect my gift to be questioned in the beginning, and to be enjoyed but not understood later, embraced and hesitated to be taught because it all lies in personal perception. I am Art…enjoy.