Jay Nice Interview

Jay NiCE interview: carving sounds as “Fly Art”

We interviewed Jay NiCE, one of the Delaware and East Coast finest emcees, who told us about the correlation he sees between music and art, the projects he has done along with The God Fahim, RU$H and Left Lane Didon, his collaborations with top MCs and legends as Fredro Starr ( Onyx ), Roc Marciano, Griselda, Vinnie Paz and many more…

Essential Projects
  • Supreme Black History
    2019
  • POMPEii
    2019
  • Strictly 4 My D.U.M.P.E.R.Z
    2018
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Thank you Jay NiCE for allowing us to interview you, as we consider you one of the top artists that has, lately, emerged from the underground scene  and we really loved your “Fly Art” album with Ru$h ( in our opinion, one of the top rap albums of the year….) But where did this story begin? When and why did you take the first steps in this rap thing? Can you tell us something more about your personal path?

Aye thank you. I really appreciate that, it’s dope to get recognized for the work we put in. My story in hip hop begins with me being a youngin around 5 or 6 years old riding shotgun in my Pops Black BMW listening to Gang Starr. I would say I first started putting words together around 13. Listening to mixtapes such as Dj clue, Big Kap & Funk Flex, P cutta’s beef series joints, all those guys and then Kaaza and Napster later when the internet boomed. Long story short I loved Hip Hop music early so it was a natural calling.

Are you from the state of Delaware, right? We may be wrong, but when you think of the Hip Hop scene, Delaware is not the first area you think at and, pardòn our ignorance, it isn’t a really well known area outside the States… Please tell us something more about Delaware, the city where you’re from and the Hip Hop scene there… How much was difficult to emerge from there?

You would be correct fam I’m from Delaware. We are a small state but we actually the first state to actually BE a state in the United States, so we set this shit off you feel me? That’s a Google fact. So Delaware is right in the middle of the East Coast. Some of us call it the Belly of the East. We part of the tristate area of NYC, New Jersey, and Philly. We like a hour away from Philly and 3 hours from New York. As far as the music scene out here it’s been a bunch of people doing their thing for years.

As far as the music scene out here it’s been a bunch of people doing their thing for years. I would say as far as the boom bap hip hop scene goes, me and my team have really taken it to another level especially with the internet making our music available everywhere. Before that it was extremely difficult simply because there weren’t too many music outlets in our state. Verrrrrry few.We once had a hip hop radio station in Wilmington, Delaware’s biggest city, it was KISS 101.7 fm – where local talent with buzz could get airplay, but they folded a couple years back. Long story short it was hard as shit to get noticed and it still is for people”.

 

We first heard about you thanks to “IMMOBILIARE”, the album that you and your partner in rhyme, Left Lane Didon, released in 2018: can you tell us something about your partnership with Left Lane Didon and how this album was born? You also had Conway and Benny the Butcher verses on this album, how did you reach them out?

Lefty (Left Lane Didon) is a good homie from the Eastside, our neighborhood. Me and Left was rhyming separately coming up. He ran with an older rap crew called State City Back in the days. That crew also included All Hail YT & Chris Skillz. I ran with my crew called the BOE Boyz (Belly of the East) and my older cousin RU$H. Me and Left always knew of each other though and respected each other’s artistry.

Around mid 2016, me and him connected through a feature I wanted him on for The NiCE Tape. After that we just kept building and building on man time and music shit. He actually came up with the IMMOBILIARE concept. IMMOBILIARE means “real estate” in Italian, and “immovable” in English. We embody those definitions to the T. Also it’s homage to the classic movie The Godfather 3.

The Conway and Benny collabs came from us reaching out back when they were first bubbling and it was very helpful in introducing us to the underground lane. So yeah shout out to Left Lane Didon, Bro always been solid!

 

Honestly, We think that you and your cousin Ru$h are on fire. In 2019 you released “Famili”, this year you already have had out “Fly Art” (with features from Roc Marci and Willie The Kid) and now you just released “An Album Called Classic” with Tha God Fahim… What can you tell us about your cousin Ru$h , the alchemy you have on the mic and your ability in painting some dope and fly images? Where did you and Ru$h get the inspiration for this “fly talk” that we can say is the main ingredient of your albums? And what about the Willie The Kid and Roc Marciano featurings on “Fly Art”?

I appreciate that man, RU$H is one of my main inspirations in this rap shit. He’s the first person I’ve seen actually have a demo tape.
When we was kids I stole his “Supreme Clientele” & “Capital Punishment” CDs and those two albums changed my life. Later on, around freshman year in high school he started taking me to real studios to record freestyles with him, and that really helped hone my skills. So that chemistry you speak of is decades in the making really. RU$H always been a fly dude since young so that fly talk always been there, we just focused on making it into an album.

Fly Art was born. Enlisting Willie the Kid and Roc Marciano was just the icing on the cake. Those guys are masters of their craft and been putting in work for years, and they are some of the flyest rapping MCs we have in our lane. It only made sense to get them on the album.

In your rhymes and projects, you have also made many references to Italy… For example,You and Ru$h had a track called “Grandeurs of Italy” and, in 2019, you released a very dope album called “Pompeii!”…Why ? Have you ever been here in Italy? If you have, what did you like most about our country? What is the concept behind your “Pompeii” album? Maybe it is a coincidence, but you also had a true italian american, a.k.a Vinnie Paz, on it..lol

Nah I’ve never been to Italy myself, I don’t believe RU$H has either. The inspiration behind “POMPEii!” was my interest in the story of Mount Vesuvius and the town of Pompeii, sometimes I do concept projects and I felt that event was perfect to expound on in a musical way.

The concept of Pompeii was the city of Pompeii burned down tragically after being built next to a mountain that turned out to be a volcano, which erupted and destroyed the city. So my thinking was this album symbolizes me terrorizing the rap game with the fiery flow, sorta like lava.

It was an all star album of sorts, with a bunch of features on, including the legend Vinnie Paz you mentioned. Big peace to Vinnie Paz, one of the realest MCs in this shit”.

In order: JAY NICE - THE GOD FAHIM - LEFT LANE DIDON - STACK SKRILLA a.k.a THE DUMP GAWDZ

In order: JAY NICE – THE GOD FAHIM – LEFT LANE DIDON – STACK SKRILLA a.k.a THE DUMP GAWDZ

In these years you have developed a strong connection with The God Fahim: Indeed, the 10/28 you, Tha God Fahim and Ru$h have released “An Album Called a Classic” and previously you participated in the “DUMP LIFE” Lp with The God Fahim and Left Lane Didon… How did you and The God Fahim link up? How has this “An Album Called Classic” came to life?

Ah man. Tha God Fahim is a special guy. He’s like family now. I met Fahim by chance in Atlanta at Lennox Mall back in 2017. He invited me to a session at the legendary Patchwerk studios a couple weeks later and we been dumping ever since. He’s the hardest working musician I’ve ever met, 100 plus albums and counting. Me and him have at least 30 songs together.

An Album Called Classic came about last year during the time we were working on “Dump Life” in Delaware. I brought Fahim over RU$H’s crib we were building and he pitched the idea to me and Fahim. RU$H already had the beats from Wolf Wilson (big shout out to you G) and a year later we have the Album Called Classic which should be out by the time this interview comes out.

You often collaborated with the Onyx’s legend Fredro Starr too, what is the story behind the ties you have with him and the Onyx?

Yeah man Fredro Starr from the legendary group Onyx. That’s my OG. Great great dude, very humble for a man in his position. I mean he’s a huge rap, slash, movie star and has been for over 25 years. I linked with him around the same time I met Fahim actually. ‘Dro (Fredro) was looking for a new up-and-coming east coast spitter, and one of my beat makers that was working with him and me at the same time recommended me. We got on a conference call. I sent him a couple records and it was on from there.

Dro (Fredro) has been incredibly helpful in my career thus far. I mean before I ever even met the man he was shouting me out on Vlad tv and throwing me on records produced by Alchemist. He’s also took me and Lefty ( Left Lane Didon ) on tour a couple times, and gave us some major game on how the industry works. Shouts to him, Sticky Fingaz and the whole team over there

Jay NiCE & Left Lane Didon with Fredro Starr ( ONYX )

Jay NiCE & Left Lane Didon with Fredro Starr (ONYX)

In the last couple of years you’ve had a great run, releasing several fire projects… In your opinion, what are your top 3 projects that you would suggest to those who don’t know you yet ? And why?

I appreciate that G. I would say my top 3 would be “SUPREME BLACK HISTORY” (2019), “POMPEii!”, & “Strictly 4 My D.U.M.P.E.R.Z”. Those are my favorite projects and I feel are the most impactful. SBH & POMPEii are my concept joints with great features and sequencing. and S4MD just shows my lyrical dexterity at a high level. It’s also the project that put me on a lot of peoples radar.

We think the cover artworks of your last albums are fire! Who made those? We heard he is a muralist from Atlanta… Can you tell us something more about him? You know… We are mainly a Graffiti magazine, so we would like to know something more about your connection with the graffiti or the art scene in general…

Much love on that. The artist name is Freako Rico, ( FRKO Ig: @freakorico) a young legend from Atlanta. He has done a bunch of work with Action Bronson that’s how he came on my radar. He has a lot of murals up all over the city as well he’s been an underground legend for years now. I actually met Frko at a beat battle in Atlanta when I first moved there. I got him to do artwork for a single of mine produced by Camo Monk, and just kept working with him. His work reminds me of the art I used to see in the classic MAD Magazines, and that really resonated with me. He’s also a musical artist too he’s raw as fuck in general big salute to FRKO.

I’ve always respected graffiti artists. Big love to DONDI, Jean-Michel ( Basquiat) , Keith Haring, and Banksy. I’ve always loved art. I actually have a famous Artist for a Grandfather named Greg Ridley. His art is featured around the world. He was very skilled with carving art into hammered copper. He was also very skilled with watercolor and acrylic, everything really. His artwork was featured on my very first solo project “The NiCE Tape”. I also dedicated a song to him on “Supreme Black History”.

My grandfather was a big inspiration for me to follow my own dreams with music and put a lot of focus into the similarities between the art world and the music world. There’s a outstanding correlation between the two that I utilize often, if not always with my music career

What’s your next moves and plans for the future?

You know, more quality music man. Hopefully this pandemic clears up by next year so I can begin touring. I have an album dropping with Copenhagen Crates next month that’s going to be a monster of a project. A lot of great features on there. Me and Stack Skrilla have an album dropping this year as well. I don’t wanna let too much out of the bag but yeah there’s a lot more coming this year and next. Just keep your eyes peeled because you just never know with Flair Jordan. Appreciate you guys, Stay blessed up out there.

Shout out to the supporters. One love!

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