John Jigg$: «I try to make my albums play out like movies»

In an exclusive interview for ThrowUp Magazine, the Long Island MC, John Jigg$, talks about his career, the origin of his name, his most important albums and explains how he keeps his pen sharp.

Essential Projects
  • Twin Cannons
    2017
  • Teflon John (with Cuns)
    2018
  • Jigganometry
    2020
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Thank you man, we really appreciate your willingness in answering our questions. We, firstly, would like to know something more about your story as you’ve actually been around for a long time: Where do you hail from? And How did your journey in the Hip Hop game evolve in the years?

John Jigg$: “Peace thanks for having me! I’ve been making Hip Hop for like 10 years now as far as a real career, but I’ve been rhyming since I was about 12. I am from Long Island. I came up in that underground scene which is really smaller than New York City as well as New England. A lot of hard work and sacrifice, you know ups and downs, wins and losses but it’s been an incredible ride!”

In March you released your last project “The Madness”, entirely produced by BP: Who is he and how did you link up? How did this album come about? And what has inspired you the most during the creation of it?

John Jigg$: “Yes ! “The Madness” you know I’m very proud of this project. Me and BP met actually through Diabolic about 5-6 years ago. We had always talked about working, but we both stayed so busy. When we finally got a chance to lock in two or three days and when we came out “The Madness” was done. The best part about it was that raw energy between me and BP, I think that comes across in the music too”.

On this “Madness” album you went toe to toe with some great lyricists and bars spitters such as Ras Kass, A-F-R-O, Shabaam Sahdeeq, King Magnetic and Diabolic. What’s your relationship with them and how were these collaborations born? And in your opinion, who tested your bars game the most?

John Jigg$: “What I liked about the collaborations on this album was that each and every one of them was completely organic. Ras Kass and BP have already worked together a few times and he’s always been a bucket list collab for me, so when he blessed the joint I snapped a back into fan mode for a min lol. Me and A-F-R-O always tap in from time to time and just happened to be in Long Island at the same time and linked up at BPs studio. This is probably my favorite, cuz we cooked in person and you can kinda tell we were trying to outdo each other on the back and forth lol, made for a classic.”

“Me and Diabolic have been working together for years, that’s my bro, and King Magnetic I been choppin it up with him for a while now, he’s really good people we will be working more. Shabaam Sahdeeq is also a real solid dude. Since I moved to Atlanta we have been working and sometimes we just hang out. In fact we got some new music coming out soon. Shout out to Swab, Dj Stitches and Tone Sliff assisting us on the cuts too those were clutch”.

In 2020 you released Jigganometry, a record that was quite successful among the underground circuit and where you showed out all of your skillset. Even from the title choice, it looked as a bit more personal album as a way to present to the world your own vision and “theory” about Hip-Hop and life. What can you tell us about this project? What did this album mean to you?

John Jigg$: Jigganometry was definitely my most personal work to date because I got a chance to take my time and perfect that album. The range and versatility of the body of work did so much to help establish my brand. 100% my point of view every step of the way. We wanted you to leave that album feeling like you knew me, and I think we nailed it”.

Just judging from your braggadocio style, from some of your albums’ cover artworks, titles and concepts, in a certain way, we see your “rap character” as a sort of comics super hero or as an action or blaxploitation movie character …
Does this description make sense to you? What are you inspired by in the making of your music? Where does your name John Jigg$ come from?

John Jigg$: “I’m always looking for new creative ways to deliver the content. We try to create a vibe every time we drop, these albums play out like movies. It’s important to be able to take your listeners on a ride where maybe they can laugh, get hype or maybe even learn somethin’ lol. You can always expect an interesting theme or concept on each one of my efforts. I guess it’s become sort of a niche for me”.

“Sounds cliche but John Jigg$ is literally a name the streets gave me lol. My first name is John, then one day somebody just said it. I guess cuz I was always been chubby, In high school I used to dress fly and then a Jigga was also slang for knives we used to carry. It just kinda stuck with me lol”

You also had a collaborative short album with the italian producer, Cuns from Tuff Kong Records: How did you link up? Have you ever had the chance to travel to Italy or Europe? And what’s your perception of the Hip Hop scene on this side of the ocean and the biggest differences from its birthplace?

Word shout out to Cuns and Dom at Tuff Kong Records, good people always. Did the right by me. Me and Cuns made a classic with the Teflon John EP and that project opened up so many doors for me on an underground level. Working with guys like Benny The Butcher, Daniel Son, Crimeapple was definitely big for me and I look forward to working with them more. I keep telling Cuns let’s get Teflon John 2 done. Who knows ? Maybe he’ll see this and send me some beats lol

Although I’ve haven’t been to Italy yet. I was blessed enough to tour and perform in the UK as well as Austria, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland the list goes on. The love and respect they have for hip hop and just the overall energy is incredible”.

In addition to these albums, who wants to deepen your music, which projects should start from and why?

John Jigg$: “I would say start with my Twin Cannons album Prod. By KSluggah, that project really put me on the map and that’s the one that got me overseas. But I got 8-9 projects out, If you dive into anyone of those you’ll definitely wanna hear more”.

From your point of view, how do you have a relevant and quite profitable career while remaining independent and underground as you ? And how do you keep your pen sharp?

John Jigg$: “Well I definitely feel that the Internet has made it 100% easier to go direct to consumers with your fanbase. I always try to keep a good rep-our with my supporters and keep them fed with quality content. I sharpen my skills in many different ways whether It’s analyzing my surroundings and putting them into my bars or because of the caliber of MC I choose to trade bars with. I’m always looking for other skilled MCs that will push me to go even harder”.

What do you think about this quite good moment for the underground Rap scene and how do you compare it from just ten years ago? What has changed? What should a rapper do to stand out in such a crowded and competitive environment?

John Jigg$: “I think this is a great time in hip hop with so many different artists with different styles taking control of their careers and releasing quality content. Compared to 10 years ago I would say it’s a lot easier to get yourself heard than it was then. As long as you stay hustlin, grinding and always looking for ways to evolve and get better at your craft, you can have longevity in this game”.

Have you already planned your next moves? What can we expect next?

John Jigg$: “Yes you can look for Twin Cannons 2 as well as a full length project with Kyo Itachi and an EP with Jake Cregxn.
So much in store for these upcoming months I can’t wait to share with my people”.

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