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. 

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