By Byaruhanga Felix (@TheNinjaFelix)
On 18th October 2013 JB a.k.a JBaller (C.E.O Blackstorm Ent.) was supposed to release his Game Of Thrones Vol.1 Mix-tape but due to some features and material that was supposed to be added to the mix-tape was pushed a few weeks ahead (date to be announced soon).
So, I decided to catch up with him to see the progress of the mix-tape production and our conversation went along these lines.
What’s good boss?! Where have you been it’s been a minute since you made a major appearance on the UG hip-hop scene? What’s keeping you busy these days?!
JB: Im good man hustling day by day. Yeah I’ve been a little quiet working on Game Of Thrones, and my first solo album. When I get into my creative mode I kinda go into my creative cave lol. A couple things have been keeping me busy. I’m in the process of talking to some international management in Canada. A few people have heard my material and are interested in what I can offer. So I’ll be able to have my music heard more on an international level, not just on the UG/East African scene.
So, let’s talk about your upcoming mix-tape “Game Of Thrones”, why the name Game Of Thrones?
JB: Well while I was in the studio and writing the material I was watching the Game Of Thrones series. I chose to entitle the mixtape the same, cause I kinda compared it to the hip-hop game. Every mc/artist want to be number 1, be the king. It’s a competitive business sometimes you have to go to war to get to the top, or defend your rightful place in the game.
Briefly walk us through the making/recording of this mix-tape, generally the whole experience.
JB: Well I’ve been working with a young talented producer called Play1. I did most of the recording at the new Baddi Studios in Makindi. The process I took to start on this project myself and Play went through his whole hard disk of beats. This guy has hundreds of beats from different genres, styles, and sounds. I also had material that I had written to other known songs. So I told Play to remake a beat around the original instrumental I wrote the song to with the same tempo. I also have some pretty nice features on this project like Rabadaba, Keko, Klear Kut, Lillian, and more. It was nice working with them usually we’re hanging out with each other but never got the chance to work with one another. So once we got into the studio the chemistry was already there cause we’re close and know each other.
Nice!!! When you returned to the music scene you dropped a mix-tape “The Prequel” now it’s Game Of thrones we(as the fans) were hoping for an album what’s taking you long to drop one?
|THE PREQUEL MIX-TAPE|
JB: I am working on the album. Creating an album is a little more complicated than a mixtape. There’s allot more that comes with an album, and when I drop mine I want it to be perfect from production, quality, art, and marketing of the project. Probably the album will drop next year summer.
What should your fans expect on this mix-tape that you haven’t delivered to them yet and what makes this mix-tape different from the previous one?
JB: The fans can expect a more developed JB as far as being an artist. My delivery, subject matter, and writing skills have improved. On this project I’m giving you a glimpse of what you’ll get on the album to come. I get more personal on life, spiritual issues, and love. I believe the fans will not be expecting that side of JB so it will be real interesting I know they will love it.
How much is it going to cost and where can people get it both online and offline?
JB: You will be able to pick up the CD at Bold in Kisementi for only UGX 10,000. You’ll be able to get the other locations where it’s sold from my social media accounts.
What makes JB different from other rappers in the industry?
JB: My style, life experiences, how I can take issues and from the western world and relate them to matters here in Africa that we go through. I guess it’s an advantage growing up on both sides of the world. I fell in love with hip-hop in the south in the states, and developed my style there. So when someone hears me they hear the emotion that southern hip hop artists have in their delivery.
What do you think about the current state of the Uganda hip-hop industry?!
JB: The state of the industry now has come a long way. From the days of DV8 in the early 2000’s UG has developed some good hip hop talent and has managed to get the genre to the fore front of the corporate market. We still have a long way to go in developing better musicians, producers, and even film production. We are getting there. Uganda has some of the best raw talent in East Africa. With the right molding in the next few years and us as an industry, country, and people sticking together we will go further than anybody in Uganda would have thought. Not even just hip hop but as Ugandan music in general.
Which (mainstream or underground) hip-hop artist has earned your respect and why?(One who is not from Klear Kut)
JB: There are a couple guys that have got my respect. Ruyonga is one, its good to see him getting his success cause he’s one of the mc’s that have come up from back in the day with us. Enygma is nice. I really like Tucker HDfrom AirportTaxi. He is going to be a beast in the next couple years.
Lastly we know that klear kut is working on a joint project( album), can you leak something about the project or something we should expect? Is it going to have Abba Lang (Langman) and Papito on?!
JB: Yeah it’s going to be crazy. The only reason it’s taken so long cause of our schedules and we want to get everyone on the project. Plus we want to make a classic album. We can get in the studio and put tracks together that’s nothing. We could give you two albums like that by December. But we want to put together a master piece, but don’t worry its coming real soon. I believe we’ll leak some tracks to tease the fans in the next couple months, or weeks. Yes Papito and Langman will be on the album the whole Klear Kut crew all five members.
JB was born January 16th 1985 in Montreal, Canada. With Jamaican background, at the age of 4 JB and his parents moved to Kampala Uganda. He always had a love for music learning how to play the drums at an early age; he would play during the Sunday morning services. Later on in his life he gained an interest in rap and decided to further his talents in rapping. Returning from school in the States he linked up with old school friendNavio and formed a group called Killa Millz. Not too long after they linked up with three other friends named The-Mith, Langman, and Papito and formed Klear Kut.
With Klear Kut, they managed to release 3 albums (Mind, Body And Soul, K-Squared and Klear Discussion) that have received critical acclaim. ‘Mind, Body and Soul’, their first album garnered them 2 nominations at the all Africa KORA… Awards (Best Hip-Hop Artist and Revelation of the year), making them Uganda’s first ever group to receive such success.Like they say the rest is history.
Now back from the States after years, JB is in the studio and he released his first solo project THE PREQUEL which is going to be followed by Game Of Thrones, his solo album and a joint album with Klear Kut.
Connect with Jb;
Facebook: J Baller Ug