Friday, March 7, 2008

Interview (#2)

Today is the second of the interview series that I'm doing. The first interview was a pilot/test, but I'm not sure how it went because I don't think anyone reads this blog (I guess that would mean I'm talking to myself). Anyhow, I interviewed Marshall Sprull aka Jay Pikk, who's an up and coming underground Detroit rapper. "Rapper" might not be the best title, considering his goals are to bring together rappers, even if he isn't rapping, and drop a mixtape which will be called "Jay Pikk presents: The Coalition". You can check him out on myspace if you type in "Jay Pikk aka ToothPikk" and if you're interested in doing something on the mixtape, just type in "The Coalition" on facebook.

JC: Alright, so first question, I've known you for about how long now?

JP: I’d say 10 years at least. Yea 10 years is about right, back in the old

JC: Yeah I know. Crazy. the good ol' days at the Y (YMCA). So I know you went to Cass (Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan) in high school, what are you doing now?

JP: Well Im currently working retail right now.

JC: Well I mean just in general. I think you told me through a message on facebook that you were doing a mixtape?

JP: Ah yes, The Coalition...the mixtape I am currently trying to get off the ground. It is going to feature an array of local artists and singers that I choose to be on it. As of right now, the artists are not picked yet except for a couple that I know personally.

JC: So is this a project that you're doing by yourself, or is it with some other people?

JP: Well, for the most part, this project is solely on my shoulders, but as I build more connections and network a lil more, it could be something more of a group effort. But the entire name of the mixtape is Jay Pikk Presents: The Coalition.

JC: Cool. What would you say might be difference with this mixtape, versus another random mixtape that I could go pick-up?

JP: Well, the entire concept for it came to me one day as I was watching a Dave Chappelle skit. I know what you're thinking, what does Chappelle have to do with my mixtape? Nothing actually...ha ha. But during the skit he was portraying our president and discussing the war. He claimed he had a "coalition of the willing" backing him and the war. Now as for the mixtape itself, I believe I have an ear for talent and I did not want to just do a mixtape featuring me or my homies. I wanted to showcase the talent that resides in our fair city. Something to make the streets talk and be proud of at da same time ya dig? But in order to do that I need a coalition of the willing, because if I'm the only one that wants to push our city forward and help it regain its once popular underground music scene, then the effect would not be as great, ya kno? Makin noise is louder with more people involved.

JC: Good answer. Well Detroit definitely needs something. Even though I'm not there as much because of school, I love it, and of course that's still home. I'm just looking for something to bring it back. But what I can say is that I have a higher sense of pride when I go back because of how it's [downtown Detroit] developing.

JP: Yea i feel da same way, we're comin up out here J! ha ha. Have you heard the homie Big Sean's mixtape?

JC: Yeah I heard a good amount of it, he got signed by Kanye right?

JP: Yea, but see that's my point, that right there, that's a good look for Detroit, and the fact that he actually makes good music is a plus ya dig? I actually wanna try and get him on the mixtape if I can matter of fact, hopefully we can work somethin out, by the way the mixtape is gonna be 100% free.

JC: Oh, well that right there makes an even bigger difference than other mixtapes…This is the critique I have about Big Sean: first off, let me just say his lyrics are cold (“cold” means the same thing as “hot” or “good”) but he raps wayyyy too much like Kanye and personally I can’t deal with another Kanye.

JP: Fair enough, but like I said, he brings a nice lil change of pace to the scene versus the regulars of Detroit rap. Ya kno, “I’m shinin wit my Cartiers on”, “I got big rims”, “the hoes love me”..and so on and so forth..That was another reason I decided to do this mixtape because I am going to release my own later this summer, but I definitely wanted to get people listening to good music again. I feel like we (Hip Hop) as a culture are being saturated with the same songs just different artists. And honestly I don’t really listen to the radio anymore because of it.

JC: Well that’s good to hear you say that, because rap/hip hop is terrible right now.

JP: I don’t think it's terrible, I just think we're in a different space right now. Like they want us to be young and immature forever, but you gotta realize, we're growing up and our music should reflect that

JC: …and thatz what I meant when I said "terrible". People aren't talkin about anything. People are just rapping for what they think people want to hear, versus making songs for what people want to say.

JP: Yea, thats the problem as well, the corporations are dictating what sells and what doesn’t.

JC: So i know your mixtape is called Jay Pikk Presents: The Coalition and your screen name is toothpikk925...what does pikk or toothpikk come from?

JP: Ha ha...well ToothPikk was actually my nickname during the later years in high school. My boi bay bay kinda coined it for me because I always used to have a toothpick in my mouth. So I just took the name and tweaked it a lil to fit my personal style and made it my original stage name. Jay Pikk is the merging of my stage name and my middle name, James. I like it better because in a weird way I think it pays homage to my biggest influence as a rapper, my favorite artist, Jay-Z.

JC: Oh ok cool, I thought toothpikk came from being skinny....but I won't talk about that much, cuz I know I'm skinny too.

JP; Ha ha! You wont believe how many people...especially females, tried to make that point. I just laughed at all of it.

JC: So what do you want to do/be when you "grow up"?

JP: Hmmm...I guess you mean in the coming years, because I'm grown as hell now! Ha Ha, nah seriously though, I would love to be a CEO of a major record label, preferably my own ya dig!

JC: What's your favorite record label?

JP: Honestly I have no idea anymore, that's why I would love to start my own. I don’t think these other labels really care about their artists. That's what I would bring to the table. As you can tell from the concept of the mixtape, I'm not a selfish person. I want all my people to eat, if I'm eating, you're eating with me, Paid In Full type shit ya dig.

JC: Definitely…Alright the rest of these questions are quick questions.
If you could describe yourself in one word what it be?

JP: Determined...yea, that's the 1...

JC: What one word would other people say about you?

JP: Hmmm...loyal.

JC: That’s funny, because that was the same word that the first interview said.

JP: Yea, but I truly believe that though. Because of who I am.

JC: I believe you...4 more questions...

JP: Let’s go.

JC: What would you choose, sidekick, blackberry, or iphone?

JP: I got an iphone actually

JC: I hate you, I want that. McDonald's, Wendy's or Burger King?

JP: Well considering I'm the self-proclaimed "Prince of Detroit," I gotta roll wit da royal fam...ha ha BK ALL DAY

JC: lol. Corvette, Lamborghini, or Masseratti?

JP: Man, I don’t care ‘bout cars, just let my music be heard in 'em ya dig


JP: THAT WAS DA ANSWER! lol but if I must, Lambos are nice.

JC: if you could give advice to someone going into the music industry, what would it be, besides "grind" or "work hard"?

JP: Hmmm...If you don’t have ya heart in it, don't pursue it...

JC: Good answer. Thanks for letting me interview you man, hope I didn’t waste your time.

JP: Nah not at all fam, hope you had as fun a time doin da interviewing as I did being interviewed...ha ha.

(Next week Interview #3)

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