Southern rap is a ubiquitous force in hip-hop, a dominating sound that influences the rest of the nation.
Phoenix-based rapper hails from New Orleans, where the sounds he heard profoundly influenced the sound displayed on "Go Get It," his collaboration with revenue retrievin' star E40 and Thaddeous Shade.
"I respect a lot of the veteran artists out of ATL such as TI, Outkast, Ludacris, and Young Jeezy," Jae says, describing the Southern style that influences his own sounds. "I try to keep it very creative like those cats. They are a talented bunch."
With the track getting spins in Tucson and Phoenix, we caught up with Jae to discuss his Southern roots, his take on Phoenix hip-hop, and why he teamed up with E40.
Up on the Sun: You're from New Orleans. Explain to me how you wound up in Phoenix, and how your roots in the South influence your work.
Jae E: Born and raised in the 504. I actually ended up in Phoenix right after Hurricane Katrina hit. We really had no other choice and my mother had a couple friends out this way that where able to help her land some work. It was definitely tough, but Arizona has been good to us.
As far as my musical influences, I would first have to say my pops played a decent role in my love for music. Back in the day he was part of the music group, The Real Seduction and was signed to Atlantic for that period of time. So being in and around that environment and seeing the industry from that point of view was a big deal for a youngster like myself. Other than my father I would have to go with the Hot Boys, Juvenile, and Lil Wayne; they were killing the game in '99 and '00. We also have a style in New Orleans called bounce music which is solely for dancing purposes, [and] you can hear a bit of the bounce delivery in my rhyme patterns if you know what you're listening for.
What is your impression of the Phoenix rap scene?
There's a lot of talent out here. We are just waiting for our time. Everyone has to just stay to course and continue to grind a put out quality material. Our time will come. There's one group that comes to mind when I think of Phoenix hip-hop and that's OTS. They are a very talented group of artist and I always see them supporting one another. At any given show that OTS is performing at you always know they are in the building. Shoutout to GeeMan, YP, and the rest of the OTS camp.
Outside of OTS there are some very talented cats I have worked with and respect, like homie Vee, my dude NA, and my bro Thaddeous Shade a.k.a. Unkutta, who has definitely helped me evolve and look and music differently throughout my young career.
Overall I think Phoenix is a melting pot for so many different artist with different backgrounds. We have something special here. Just need the city behind us.
How did you wind up working with E-40? Can we expect more high-profile collaborations from you in the future?
When my manager sent me the record and I listened to it my initial thought was "We needed to get 40 on this record." So about a week later I was actually on tour promoting my single "Fast Money" featuring Nate Dogg, and he was performing at a show I had done in Riverside, California. Funny thing is, I had to leave right after my performance so I was unable to talk with him but my team sent him the record and he was feeling it and blessed the record with his presence a couple days later.
But yes, on my upcoming mixtape ADITL:First Class I had the privilege of working with E-40 of course, [plus] DMX, Dorrough, Nate Dogg, and Mike Jones. I also did some work with Baby Bash, Glasses Malone, and Rich Boy but we are still deciding whether or not those records make it on the project. I will also be featured on the DBR collaboration mixtape titled Time which is due to drop here soon. Currently we are working with Grand Hustle's (TI's Record Label) in house producer Elliot Stroud on a few records as well. Staying busy!
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What's on the horizon with your music?
Right now just working the single. It is getting some good radio spins in Phoenix, Tuscon, Riverside, CA, and Victorville, CA. So we are trying to push the record and stay as constant and relevant as possible. I definitely want to give a shout out to POKAFASE over at 101.1 The Beat and DJ Apprentice at Hot 98.3 in Tuscon. They really jumped on the record from the time we presented it to them and it has been picking up steam ever since. Also want to thank DJ J. Alan, DJ Kaydee, and DJ M2 for showing the single love in the nightclub scene.
Jae E is scheduled to perform Saturday, August 4, at Tempe Center for the Arts.