I had the chance to meet Jake One at Red Bull Music Academy 2007 where he was part of the studio crew. After working with everyone from MF Doom to G-Unit, releasing “White Van” album, and finishing the new album with Freeway, he had some time to answer a few questions.
1) You’re from Seattle.. How does it make a difference as a producer?
- I think because Seattle hasn’t really had a dominant figure in rap, the people here are influenced by a lot of different styles of hip hop. I grew up listening to 415 and Pete Rock which is a weird combo.
My ear for sampling and drums leans more towards the East Coast style, but I think my ear for basslines comes from listening to West Coast stuff.
2) Is it really true that artists like 50 Cent and Little Brother are picking the same beats? Give us some examples!
- It is true. You never know who is going to gravitate towards a particular beat. The song I did for 50 Cent “All of Me” with Mary J Blige was something that Brother Ali was interested in. 50 also wanted “Rock Co.Kane Flow” which ended up with De La Soul.
I listen to all types of rap so for me I want to make something that appeals to my ear which is kinda underground with a tint of mainstream.
- Probably meeting all the artists and producers that I grew up listening to and them appreciating my work. Songs come and go, I’m usually more excited about what I’m doing in the moment.
4) Pick of the moment?
Rick Ross - Mafia Music 2 (prod. The Olympicks):
Thanks for the interview Jake! (Photos by May Truong)