In the first part of his interview with TheWellVersed, J-Zone talks about the inspiration behind his new book Root For The Villain (which I can’t wait to start reading), his finest moments as an artist and his definition of failure.
What are the misconceptions of a rapper who has some notoriety (in terms of money, status, lifestyle, groupies, etc) by the average fan?
I live in the same neighborhood that 50 Cent is from, Jamaica Queens. 50 kind of set the blueprint. He’s the guy. He’s the face of our area. He’s a megastar. Most people don’t know that I do music, but when people find out that I do and they see me driving a ’99 Protégé they ask how am I a rapper. A lot of people just don’t get it. In my neighborhood, if you can’t brag about it in a barbershop, or it’s not on BET or on WorldStarHipHop then they just don’t see it. It’s kind of like what I was saying before about failure: a lot of people don’t think deep into this stuff and don’t know what the music business works. They don’t know that you can have a video that’s playing all day and be blowing the f*ck up and making no money because your contract is structure a certain way. TLC made no money and they were on top of the world in the 90s. But you can be this obscure ass rapper who only performs in New Zealand and be cakin up. But people don’t see that. A lot of people just don’t look that far into the music business to understand it. A lot of people would look at me too because I don’t act “rapper like”. I’d go into the hood and go to basketball games as a sports reporter and I volunteer to do things in the community. People would say, “If you’re a rap star, then why are you here with a notepad at a basketball game?” And I’d say “Because I have to pay my bills!”
The rest of the interview can be read here.