Our good friends at The College of Hip-Hop got us hip to an artist by the name of JP One, aka Jackpot Tha Chosen One. We got the chance to talk with the Detroit emcee and discuss maters such as Detroit hip-hop, working with artists like Boldy James, Black Milk and others, and tons more. See what he had to say and more below.
What’s the best way to define who JP One is?
JP ONE is AUTHENTIC. There is nothing made up about me. There is no image consultants or gimmicks. I am always me. I’m the same way in front of the camera as I am at home and that’s probably the thing people relate to most. You hear certain artists on their records and you wouldn’t be able to recognize them in a crowded room. I don’t have that problem. I am always the same… ALWAYS
What was the experience like being apart of Motown Legend as a teenager?
Well, Barrett Strong, was my first glimpse into success. I’m straight from the projects. So seeing Bentleys and Rolls Royces and all the nice things he had let me know that it could happen. He wasn’t born with money he made it from the ground up. We talked a lot back then and I was soaking up as much knowledge as possible. I just spoke to him a few days ago. His mind is still sharp. We didn’t kick it long, I just wanted to let him know that I ain’t forgot about him and he can always call me if he needs anything. I learned a lot from him, though.
You would have a brush in with the law which kept your debut album from being released. What life lessons you learned from those experiences help make you stronger person and musician today?
Honestly, doing time gave me the strongest sense of urgency. You never know when it’s your time and tomorrow isn’t promised as far as your freedom or your life goes. I take full advantage of every minute. I’m not afraid of death or incarceration, but I want to make sure I leave behind enough material to make a genuine argument about my greatness.
What business books did you read while incarcerated that had an influence on your music?
I read more self-help and philosophy books than I read business books. I read mostly music business, small business, investment, and real estate books, though. “This Business of Music”, “How to Start and Run Your Own Record Label”, “Everything You Need To Know About The Music Business”, “48 Laws of Power”, “The Art of Seduction”, “7 Principles of Prosperity”, “Art of War”, and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” are some of my favorites, but I love The Prince by Machiavelli is probably my favorite.
You have had the pleasure of collaborating with artists like Boldy James, Elzhi, Black Milk and more for your upcoming project, Fire and Brimstone 2. Was there a specific process you followed when doing these collaborative songs?
Actually, Boldy was on the first one, but me and him were the only ones in the studio, cooking together. We just looped the beat and went for what we know. I met him a few years ago, through mutual friends, but it was dope to put something together. He still the same, though. That’s a good thing. Most people let a little recognition go to their head. With Elzhi and Guilty Simpson, I just sent the beat and told them to do them, then I built the song around their verse. I didn’t want to lay something and send it and they not like it. Black Milk sent me a few beats and I picked one and told him to do the same thing. It all worked out.
What do you think it will take to go from being nominated for having the Best Hip-Hop Album of Detroit Underground Hip-Hop Awards to actually winning it?
I think I have it in the bag this year. Standing next to the lyricist we just talked about says a lot. Not only should I have Best Hip-Hop Album, I should win Best Lyricist, too. Jovie won that last year and he’s on this album, too. I’m not a sore loser, but anything less than that would be a travesty (laughs).
In your perspective, how should hip-hop artists use their influence to spark change when it comes the issues of police brutality, white supremacy, and other issues poor and Black communities face?
I think that hip-hop artists have one of the biggest voices and range of influences in the world and if they’re not helping, than they’re definitely hurting the community. I am always doing something positive and even my music is uplifting and inspiring. I just want to do for other kids what Mr. Strong did for me.
How has the history of Detroit hip-hop directly impacted your music and you as a person?
The history of Detroit Hip-Hop has given me both sides of the spectrum. I am a big fan of the underground lyricist lounge type of scene that Eminem came from, but I am also familiar with the street sound that is more popular in the city. My sound is like the perfect infusion of the two, which is good and bad at times, but it’s all me.
What can we expect after Fire and Brimstone 2 reaches the masses?
More shows, more features, more money. I am already seeing the shift in the current, but I know that the big waves are going to come as soon as the world hears this album. The features aren’t just their for their names. I wanted to stand toe to toe with the best lyricist from Detroit to prove I have what it takes to stand on the same stage with them. You can’t call yourself “the best boxer” if you’re afraid to step in the ring with the other contenders. I fee like I’ve held my own and the world will appreciate the music I’ve created with them.
Any last words or shout outs?
I just want to shot out the whole Detroit. #WESTILLWINNING