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My City: Jason James (Web) on Canada’s Rap Scene, NYC & Racist MulletsPosted by Nathan S. on 07/15/10 | Filed under Features, My City, Jason James, Web
RefinedHype: Having live in Vancouver, Toronto, L.A. and New York you're in a unique position to answer this question: which city has the best hip-hop scene?
Jason James: I haven't lived in New York City (yet) but through the time that I've spent there I can say hands down they have the best Hip Hop scene in the world. The reason for that being, other than being Hip Hop's birthplace, it has so many layers to it. A lot of the places I've visited and/or lived have scenes that were extremely image based and predictable. NYC is a place where you HAVE TO be able to spit. If you walk into the cipher, be it on the corner or on stage, you have to have some darts. The culture is so alive in NYC and for me that's the best setting to be in. In most other cities the community is doing it's best interpretation of Hip Hop culture whereas NYC is Hip Hop.
RefinedHype: How do you think all your travels have influenced your music and career?
Jason James: Without question. Having traveled and been in numerous circumstances and situations has helped me to evolve as a person and therefore it has impacted my art immensely. Before I left Vancouver I had a very closed perception of the world and it was evident in the music I wrote. I have 100+ songs in my catalog that the world will never hear strictly because at the time they were recorded I was looking at the universe through a literal pinhole. I can truly say that leaving Vancouver was the best decision I ever made in my life, both artistically and career-wise. In terms of my career, there's just no resources available in Vancouver or Canada as a whole. The "industry" (in quotes because it's more like a glorified lemonade stand that sells cd's and still employs marketing strategies from 15 years ago) is laughable at best.
RefinedHype: What about your city inspires you?
Jason James: It's always been an odd situation between myself and Vancouver because as much as I spend time away from there, it's also been the source of so many memories and intense emotions I've experienced throughout the years. Not many people are aware of this, but Vancouver is home to the worst drug epidemic in all of North America. In my 27 years on earth I've loved, lost, fought, struggled, built and destroyed many times over in my home city. My emotions are the source of all things creative inside of me so Vancouver has been the catalyst to make me want to be better, stronger and faster. It sounds crazy, but my city has instilled within me the drive to escape from it forever and thus made me relentless in my search for success.
RefinedHype: If I'm rolling through Vancouver where can I find you?
Jason James: 1 of 3 places. In the morning I'm at the park doing my daily workout routine. Afternoon I'm at the studio working. Evening I'm at the beach drinking beers and thinking about my next move. Seriously, I really am THAT boring haha.
RefinedHype: Last words? Shout outs? Confessions?
Jason James: *Shameless Plug* Jason James & Rodney Hazard- "Marvelous World Of Color" drops on 08/11/2010 on DJBooth.net.
And right now I'm currently contemplating who has the meaner mullet, Dog The Bounty Hunter or Billy The Exterminator. I mean, Dog loses points for being a racist but he seems really devoted to keeping the party alive even though he's going bald on top of his head. On the other hand, Billy's keeping the tradition going and making it more mainstream by mixing it up a little with his leather cowboy hat and super cool shades. It's the classic youth vs. experience type of situation. Like, Dog always gives the "Jesus loves you speech" to the criminals when he catches them and his wife has massive boobs. But then again he's still a racist asshole and nobody told his wife that only complete douchebag fucks wear Ed Hardy. Ok, I think I'm going with Billy on this one. Plus he just trapped a Bobcat on TV which is fuckin crazy. Hey, we should trap Dog The Bounty Hunter in a cage and send him to Brooklyn. That would be a show I would watch for sure. It would be cool if they put it on right after Golden Girls. Estelle Getty is my shit and if you don't think she's absolutely hilarious, you probably shouldn't hang out with me. Thanks. See you in August.