You just started an online TV show. How did this idea come about?
Basically a lot of people had been seeing me doing what I do and they were telling me that I was working every day. One day I could be with Steve-O from Jackass or I could be with Kobe Bryant. When we first started out, one of the networks wanted to tape what was going on with my life and me flying back and forth on a G plane with Lamar Odom and me doing my normal mixtape thing. Everything is so real about me that people were telling me that I needed to create my own television show. One day I could be chilling with Rich Hilfiger and talking about rap or being in the studio with Tony Yayo. That’s how that came out.
DJ Skee and DJ Vlad both have their own TV programs too. How will yours stand out?
Mine is going to stand out because mine is a little more diverse. It’s not just about the element of music. It could be about fashion or me talking to Rich Hilfiger talking about how his father had an empire or me in the studio with Swizz or a movie star talking about different things.
You’ve also been grinding on the mixtapes as well. How have you noticed the demand for mixtapes change with the popularity of the free download?
Definitely it’s a big change from two years ago to now. My last time talking to you it wasn’t as much towards the internet. More people are computer alert today. They know how to download things now. You could do a mixtape in the studio and then go right to a computer and upload it and then the whole world could have it. It’s definitely a good and bad thing, especially when you put so much hard work into it and pay for the studio time. It’s a bad thing for real DJs like me because we put hard work into these mixtapes. We run out and try and get exclusive music from different artists and the bad thing about it is you got a kid that’s just on the computer and he’s real good on the computer and he can put a mixtape together because all the new music is just coming on the internet and he can get somebody to say his name on a drop and people are outlining him as the best mixtape DJ because he can upload his mixtape faster.
How have you adjusted to the mixtape game changing up?
I had to adjust and get a little bit better with the computer and build with certain sites like HipHopGame and work with different artists just to try and get something different because if you look at mixtapes, everybody has the same songs. There’s really not too much difference between them. There’s really no exclusive game but the mixtapes are still an important part of the game as far as getting music out. It’s important for artists working on new stuff and don’t have the money to clear a sample. I think the mixtapes show how big they still are from Lil’ Wayne. He went on a year-long promo tour and he was performing mixtape records that you heard on the mixtapes and not records that you heard on the radio. If you look at all the footage he had, what made him sell was he did the streets first and then he went mainstream with the commercial music.
You’ve worked on mixtapes with Busta Rhymes and Lloyd Banks. How important is it to do exclusive tapes with one artist as opposed to exclusive tapes?
If you look at it, it brings a new wave to music because not everybody’s going to have an all-exclusive tape with Busta. They can pick up a whole bunch of songs he’s done in the past and have a best of but not an exclusive one. Its’ the same with Lloyd Banks. What made me get these things going was that artists respected my hustle as a DJ. They saw that I dropped at a consistent rate and that people check for my mixtapes and that I’ve been around and grabbed every award possible as far as mixtapes could go and people respect that. I just reach out to the artist and tell them my background and tell them how far I could push that in the streets. I did stuff with Maino and Remy Ma and I told them that I thought it could be better if I could push it off and I’m leaning towards doing full DVDs of the whole artist showing the life of the artist. If you see TV, all people watch now is reality TV. People like reality.
Are exclusive mixtapes dying out?
Definitely. The days of those are gone because mixtape DJs are competing with everybody. They’re competing with the websites that are uploading new music and artists are sending their music to websites. And you’re competing with radio websites too. They can upload it and clean it up. The only thing left for us is to drop it on the streets because a lot of people don’t listen to the radio and they don’t get on the internet and they don’t listen to satellite radio. There are still a lot of people that go to stores to get the CD and then upload it onto their iPod or go around looking for new stuff. A lot of people don’t have the time to jump on a computer and listen to music. They like to jump in their car and listen to it. I think the days of getting the exclusive are dead because you got so many websites that are getting the exclusive and everybody’s uploading it and fans are taking it.
You’ve been focusing on your production more recently as well. How is your production career progressing?
Definitely I have to thank the people that I work with. It’s not just me. I’m dealing with two guys that are a part of my beat team. A guy named Doc, he’s out of Connecticut. We did joints with Ali Vegas and joints with Lloyd Banks on his new mixtape that he’s dropping. We’ve done joints with AZ and a couple of other people. I got my other man G Sparks. He used to work with T.I. My man that I built with let me hear his beats and the first beat that I heard I gave it to Remy Ma and that was “Shesus Khryst.” Ever since then people have known that I have beaters. It’s about having that ear and knowing what the people want to hear. It’s all about knowing the artist and building the resume. I tell my whole beat team to not get discouraged for giving these beats out for free because when these guys are doing an album they’re going to give us a call. We’re building our resume right now with different artists.
When you work with Lloyd Banks, what kind of beats do you want to give him?
Basically when I first talked to Lloyd, I would try to give him beats that you would think you’d want to hear Lloyd Banks on but he’s so diverse that he can rhyme over any beat. I feel if a rapper has the skills he can rhyme on any beat so I just look at what’s the hottest beats and what’s his lane and just go with that. It could be a beat that you totally think that Banks couldn’t get on and he’ll get on it. If you listen to different things like Swizz “Trying To Get That Oprah,” I never thought he would rhyme on the production that he did. I just try to get him the hottest beats that I can.
What are your ultimate goals as far as production goes?
My goal for production is to get G Sparks and Doc out and my beat team to get more respect. Hopefully the album that I got coming out soon, they’ll respect the production and people will be like, ‘Yo, I need that production’ and they’ll get more songs done. I’m trying to put one of the best albums out as far as my production team and beats go. I would love for people to holla at me and tell me, ‘Yo, I need one of your beats, Jay. I need one of the beats from your team.’ I’m willing to work with rap and rock and R&B artists. We don’t just do beats for rap artists. Me being in L.A., there’s people that I meet that have big studios and they need music for soundtracks and all that. There’s not just money in rap. There’s more money in doing movie scores and TV scores so I’m submitting my beats for everything, even commercials. This guy said he made over $100,000 doing commercials over beats that weren’t even that crazy. He said he put a beat together in two minutes and they took it. I think the sky’s the limit for me.
And Doc plays harder songs with more 808’s and bass and G Sparks has more songs with samples. We call come together. If you look at the Neptunes, it wasn’t just Pharrell or Chad. The best beat dudes have people behind them. If you look at Timbaland, it wasn’t always him. It was Scott Storch doing some beats and two heads coming together can make the music better. We all agree on stuff and get it together.
You’ve been talking about your compilation album for awhile now. How’s it coming?
The delay was me just jumping into it and not really thinking about having a deal. It’s great to have a deal and to get signed and for a dude to say he’s going to put your album out but you don’t have a date or anything. Me putting an album out, I didn’t know that some artists were charging this and some artists were charging that. You have to have one song that can really go and the next thing you know the lawyer can call you up and tell you that the person who owns the sample wants $80,000 for it and then it’s back to the drawing board. You have to tell the artists that you can’t get the beat cleared and then you’re back to the drawing board. The reason I haven’t put my album out is because I have crazy singles from Busta and others but if I put the single out and then the consumer wants it and then I can’t put the real song out, then I wasted the whole buzz. So I want to get the beats cleared and the songs and all the advertising right. That’s a whole ‘nother avenue. Are they going to push your record? Record sales are low and you can’t come out with an album where you’re going to just brick. I’m really trying to sell more than a couple copies.
How difficult is it being signed to NBA player Lamar Odom who has bigger priorities than his record label?
Lamar goes back and forth and he’s in a contract year. He’s not thinking about putting an album out. He’s thinking about signing a bigger contract or going to another team where he gets his due. When I speak to him it’s not about putting the album out. His mind is still into the music and he’s still behind me but he’s gotta take care of his other business. At the end of the day he gave me an opportunity that no other record label would give me but I have to wait until he gets his head right and gets his company together. He’s playing basketball and doesn’t know about the trials and tribulations. All he knows is he’s funding it and the record label is funding it and let’s put it out. I’m trying to get the right single and definitely look out for my album coming out in the springtime because I have everything together now.
How will your compilation stand out from other compilations?
The album’s coming good. I think the thing that’s going to be different with my album is that I DJ parties for real. So every song that I get from an artist is a hit. There’s no album filler. Every beat I give to an artist can be a single. So you’ll hear a whole lot of single-type songs that could take me to the top. It’s diverse because I have an R&B record, a reggae record and I have a semi-rock record on my album. It’s diverse. You’re not just going to listen to hardcore rap with me. You can listen to an R&B record or a story record. They’re all good records that can be singles and they’ll all be up on HipHopGame. I’m pushing them hard.
What new artists are you feeling today?
I’m definitely feeling the whole New York movement right now. There’s a lot of New York artists that are coming up right now that I’m feeling. I can’t really say who I’m feeling exactly because I get music all of the time but I’m definitely feeling a lot of dudes from Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. I’m feeling the whole movement in New York. I feel like New York is coming back as far as lyricism and originality now. That’s always how this music game is. It always comes back. There’ll be this one time where everybody feels this way. There’s the time now where everybody will feel our lyricism and our personality. I’m feeling everybody from New York right now.
What’s the next move for Superstar Jay?
I got the album coming out. I’m working with some new artists. I’m still working with Storm P. I’m working with Clap Cognac and this dude named Top of the Line who has a lot of big offers from different people. And Superstar TV is definitely on the come up right now. People will realize that I’m bringing diversity to the television game. I got my production team. Shout out to Doc and G Sparks. They’ve been doing major work with major artists right now and have been reaching out to artists. And I’m dropping a mixtape every seven days because I think mixtapes are the greatest promotional tool for music right now.
I’m also going on an unsigned tour, trying to find the next top rap artist with Interscope and Lou Diamond. We’re going through Philly and Maryland and the whole East Coast to try to find the next big rapper.