Jean Grae Explains How Her Mother's Passing Impacted Her Career

Jean Grae says she and 9th Wonder made "Jeanius" in less than a week.

Jean Grae is a multifaceted artist who has worked in various fields throughout her career, a topic she discusses in her Ladies First profile for Billboard. In the piece, Grae expands on how her mother influenced her Life with Jeannie, a comedy web series.

"I've wanted to do stand-up since I was very young," Grae says. "I grew up watching stand-up and listening to a lot of comedy. It's been something I wanted to do for a very long time. I did my first stand-up two years ago. I said to myself, 'Go try it. Why not? What's the worst that could happen?' It was letting go of the fear of doing it. With Life with Jeannie, it was another one of those, 'Okay, I can take on another job. I just have to do it.' I talked to people and they would say, 'Yeah, you're not going to be able to hold this up. You need to budget in equipment, people and the necessary expenses.' When people always tell me that, I always try to do it anyway. With my mother passing in August of 2013, it was catalyst for me to do it. I didn't want to wait around anymore to make things happen. That was a push for me to do a lot of my material I put out in the past few months. I wanted her to be around to see me doing more things. That was motivation for me to not delay any of my projects anymore and to jump into every situation fearless."

Beyond her work in comedy, Jean Grae has also continued rapping. Her career as an emcee has been one cherished by many of her fans. In the Billboard piece, Grae explains how one of her musical projects, Jeanius, was crafted. 

"We were really gung-ho about the process of Jeanius," she says of her collaborative project with 9th Wonder. "It took four to five days to work on the album. Everyone was in one room. It makes it much cooler because everyone's energy was on there. We would play a beat and figure out what song that sounds like on the album. For instance, we would need a beat that was going to sound like a number four in terms of album placement. We got really excited about the project. I probably shouldn't have given out any copies of the CD. There was no mixing or mastering and all of the samples were still on there. Jeanius actually leaked the same day my album This Week came out. I thought to release This Week and then I would have a space where I didn't have to do anything because I already had another album done. That didn't go so well for me. It was a time where we were trying to understand how an album could leak on the Internet. In retrospect, it was a great way for it to happen. It got to a lot of people before we had to clear the samples and everything. It happened how it was supposed to happen."

Jean Grae says her Cake Of Death project is due this summer and that she excited about the album. She also says she hopes to create the score for Life With Jeannie, featuring artists she respects and appreciates. 

RELATED: Jean Gare - Jeanius [Review]


  • Mr. Tibbs

    After Bahamadia, Jean Grae is the only other female MC I have cherished. She goes hard which is why a talentless Nicki Minaj pisses me off that she goes platinum on her bullshit and one of Jeans songs have more substance than her whole career. I have been disappointed by Jeans lack of enthusiasm for releasing new material and I believe if she went harder she would be farther. Do you Jean!!!!!

  • ddd


    • Anonymous

      seriously, whats with a this negative attitude towards jean and ppl talking down on her career? where is all this coming from?

  • Anonymous

    what's with the middle-finger bullshit? Jean's not retarded, like most rappers, but often she acts that way. she should be motherfucking GRATEFUL she can even pretend to have a career in show business because NOTHING she has ever made has suceeded on the open market... and that's not because of 'racism' or 'sexism' but because she's fucking irritating... complaining since her VERY first album! now she wants to be Lawanda Page too? read a fucking book Jean, any book, it might help.

    • Anonymous

      come on, i know shes not a household name and all, but lets not act like she doesn't have a core following when shes had one for years, and lets not act like she isn't one of the most respected female rappers in the game. not sure why u coming down on her like this as if you felt the need to completely discredit what shes accomplished as a rapper in the underground

    • Bamogo

      LOL did she block you on twitter too?

  • Anonymous

    what ' career' ? self-indulgent rich kid hobby is more like it because music never paid her bills, unlike with her two vastly more talented parents. you wanna make us laff now? she us your cunt tattoo, Moms Mabley: classy!

    • Anonymous

      uhm, i don't think her parents made enough money to be considered "rich". her parents were never household names worldwide like that. just saying.

    • Anonymous

      the fuck did she do to you to possess you to talk this much shit about her? lol

  • Anonymous

    Does anybody know where to find the bootleg version of Jeanius? I never liked the changes 9th made to the beats for the retail version.

  • anonymous

    The only pretty female rapper that can actually rap.

  • son of a sax

    BOUT TIME JEANNIE!!! I ran out of "Cookies..." years ago!!! LOL!!! Nuff respect, Im sure it'll be dope.

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