Record industry types are deathly afraid of phrases like "implode" and "collapse." So we'll simply state the facts. After
peaking in 2000, the music industry's sales are doing a swan dive reminiscent of that US Airways plane which ended up in the
Hudson River last week. While most people laugh at the idea of paying $15 for a CD, they will gladly take a free mixtape. At
any given time you can hit various places on the Internet--such as HipHopDX's Mixtape section [click to view]--and get access to
any mixtape you want.
Since HipHopDX is co-sponsoring a free download of Jay Rock's DJ Noodles-assisted mixtape, Coming 2 A Hood Near You (Part 2) [click to listen], it probably sounds transparent for us to list all of the reasons why you should check it out, right? We figured so too. So before the free download is available on February 3, Jay himself is here to tell you why you should use some of your precious bandwith on him as opposed to adding more porn to your hard drive.
HipHopDX: So, let's cut to the chase. You've got the floor. What separates Coming Soon 2 A Hood Near You (Part 2) from the other 300
mixtapes that will get released next week?
Jay Rock: This Coming Soon 2 A Hood Near You is the second a part of a journey to the album Follow Me Home. It’s like I’m making a few stops
on my way home, and this is a way for my fans to follow me home as I make some stops on the way. This mixtape has some of my
East Coast brethren on there, like my man Skyzoo [click to read], to some of my West Coast fam like Glasses Malone and Eastwood. People are
going to hear me on different sounds and with different artists on this mixtape.
DX: Okay, fair enough. You've probably had a chance to sit back and study hundreds of mixtapes before dropping this. Give me
some of your all time favorites?
Jay Rock: Let me see, man. I gotta say the one I was featured on, which was The Black Wall Street Journal Vol. 1 [click to
listen]. I was on that, so I gotta represent. I like the one 50 Cent and them put out before that Terminate On Sight album
DX: You mean Return of the Body Snatchers [click to listen]?
Jay Rock: Yeah, The Body Snatchers; I love that mixtape. Then I gotta say my boy Glasses Malone on The Electric Chair mixtape
[click to listen]. That mixtape was hard, man. I gotta say my boy K-Dot. He went hard on that Training Day. Damn, it's so many
that it's hard to choose.
DX: Everybody makes a mixtape to set up their album. So what should people expect on Follow Me Home?
Jay Rock: Any real street cat out there...if you're from the hood, and you've been through a struggle, you're gonna feel this
album. This album right here is my story. It's real. I came from nothing. If you come from the bottom, and you tryin' to work
your way up to the top, you're gonna relate to it. It doesn't matter if you're black, brown or white. If you've been through
something, then you're gonna feel this album. Real talk.
DX: Well let's move away from the mixtape and talk about your struggle. You're representing Nickerson Gardens, which is a Blood
hood. You're usually draped in red, and you mention your affiliation a lot. Are you afraid that's going to overshadow the music?
Jay Rock: Nah, not at all. All I'm doing is representing my section. People know what it is and where I come from. I'm a product of my environment. Snoop and them did it for years, and I'm just reppin' where I come from. I'm not telling people to go out and kill anybody...go ride on people or anything like that. I'm just making good music that people can relate to.
DX: On the flipside of that, the Los Angeles Times wrote a very flattering piece about you returning to Nickerson Gardens with 300 Thanksgiving turkeys.
Jay Rock: I was basically just giving back to my neighborhood man. I can't forget where I come from. I remember the days when I ain't have no good Thanksgiving. My struggle is what brought me to the hood to even be able to do that. I know it can be hard sometimes. Since I'm doing a little better than I was back then, it wasn't nothin' to come out of my pocket and help my people.
DX: While we don't see enough of that, we do seem to see people talking about resurrecting the West Coast. It seems like it happens every five years like clockwork. How do you fit into that?
Jay Rock: Well I'm new, I'm young, and I'm bringing that real music, man. I've got that longevity in me man. Shouts out to everybody on the West Coast doing their thing too. There's a lot of up and coming talent out here. We're nice and we're coming.
DX: Do you feel that the West needs to be resurrected?
Jay Rock: I don't thing we ever really died, dog. Everybody wanna say, "The West been down," but we've been here. We just gotta put out that good music. Everybody needs to come together and stop hatin' on one another.