Jay Rock Interview

M.C. Jay Rock rode his silky smooth voice to the top. His machete-sharpened flows are littered with references to his experiences growing up in Watts, California’s Nickerson Gardens Projects which were embroiled in gang culture. Once The Game helped bring California back into the forefront of mainstream rap, Jay Rock stepped through the door the Compton M.C. opened. The rapper from humble beginnings is now signed to Warner Bros. Records and is in the midst of a nationwide tour supporting The Game. Before his show at the Convention Center last Saturday, March 7, Jay Rock called us up for an interview.

Your bio mentions that you plan to keep going until you reach the top. What does the top look like to you?

The top means success. It means I won’t have to worry about nothing and neither will my family and friends. That’s the top. I came from nothing growing up in the projects and it’s about making a way out. That’s why I always speak about it.

Can you talk about how The Game helped put California rap back on the map?

Shout out to him. He opened up the doors. It was always like you had Snoop and [Ice] Cube and the old cats. But with The Game, it was like here’s something new. He was one of the first people to take me on one of his tours.

What do you think kept California out of the spotlight?

We've always been there, we've just been overlooked. Ever since Pac passed it’s like the West has been overlooked. But now the West is coming man.

Can you talk about how your mom's preference for Soul music affected you?

I grew up on the oldies. As soon as I woke up, that's what I heard. Then when I step outside, I'm hearing the older cats like Pac, Scarface and Ice Cube.

In the same way The Game aided your success, do you feel your accomplishments will help others?

Yeah, definitely. Once a person gets up there, you don’t ever turn your back on the people that are behind you.

What’s your take on the hip-hop tendency to call women bitches?

Basically, a woman is how she carries herself. That's how I see it. You've got women that are independent and some women that are straight trifling. So it's really how you carry yourself.