Listen to the live interview Episode #461 Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax: http://tobtr.com/9968935
GETTING TO KNOW SLY RANKIN
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Jason Rankin
Changing the stereotypes…
As an island that’s infamous for reggae/ dancehall music, I’ve had a hard time escaping that stigma. Even though I have a lot of reggae influences in my music, I want to be recognized as a hip-hop lyricist; as someone who puts thought into his concepts. I also want to bring attention to the Jamaican hip-hop scene. Maybe blaze a trail that will open doors for other Jamaican, Caribbean or 3rd world hip-hop artists. This project has the ability to do these things.
What’s also great about my new music is…
the way I sprinkle different aspects of Jamaican culture throughout the project, and how accessible those aspects are to a hip-hop or mainstream audience. Jamaican culture is infamous. But most reggae/ dancehall songs present the international audience with a language barrier. Mine doesn’t. I even did hip-hop remakes of a couple of reggae classics which was pretty cool too. It’s amazing and I’m excited to let the world hear it.
The pros are obvious. There’s a chance to make a living doing what you love, and to open doors for your friends and family. We all have an image of what a ‘successful’ music career looks and how appealing that image can be. What I love about this business is the different roads to success that artists have taken. Despite the similarities that might exist, I don’t think any two artists took the exact same roads to success. Each of my favorite artists have a different story to tell of how they ‘got on’. This is inspirational cause there isn’t a particular formula that you HAVE TO follow.
The music business is…
a unique sort of business though. I can’t think of any other business where personal relationships play such a big role. As such, the lines between personal relationships and business often get blurred. There’s a lot of deceit. I’ve seen some of it unfortunately. Mostly it’s an issue of people not really being what they portray themselves to be or doing what they agreed to. But social media and the internet by extension are giving artists and independent labels more power and making them more self- sufficient. You just have to be smart and get agreements in writing. The quicker you learn that the better off you’ll be.
I have some new music prepared. A mixtape called ‘Black, Green, Gold’. An album is coming after that, but it’s still in it’s early developmental stages. This tape means a lot to me because I think it defines my lane well. Which is that of a hip-hop artist with a strong reggae/dancehall influence. Not to be confused with a reggae artist whose music has hip-hop influence, which is usually the assumption once people find out I’m Jamaican. This project might stamp my legitimacy as a hip-hop artist. Among other things, I represent a growing culture of hip-hop within the island of Jamaica.
All Star Flex…
‘All Star Flex’ is a club song, with a lot of Reggae flavor on the hook. But as the title suggests, it also has a lot of basketball metaphors and references at play. Kind of like a double- entendre, which is one of my favorite things to do conceptually in my music. I’m also a basketball fan so it was fun to write and fun to listen to. I wanted a catchy single, but I didn’t want it to lack depth. As a fan of music firstly, I refuse to make music that lacks depth. Fans deserve witty lyrics, songs with meaning, creative concepts, music that provokes feeling or thought. All successful music doesn’t have or need these traits, but it’s a standard I hold myself to.
Fort Lauderdale – Palm Beach…
I’ve lived in South Florida for the last 4 years. Wouldn’t trade it for any other state. Mainly between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. There’s a vibrant hip-hop scene out here. A lot of different cultures as well, so it’s not surprising. I like to go to the Fort Lauderdale beach strip and check the clubs out there. Fat Tuesday’s, Rock Bar, places that you can see the beach from. That’s more the pre- party vibe tho. If you want to check out your conventional club scene, you can visit Las Olas boulevard any weekend night; hip-hop clubs, alternative rock clubs, dance clubs. They’re all out there in the same place. Euro is a popular venue with jumpin’ hip-hop and dancehall nights out there on Las Olas.
There’s also a lot of Jamaican parties and clubs in Fort Lauderdale/ Palm Beach. Besides Euro there’s the Luxurious Banquet Hall (a popular venue for hardcore Jamaican parties), Truck Stop.
Out in West Palm Beach there’s Clematis. It’s kind of like Las Olas, just 45 mins North. Negril’s is another club in Palm Beach known for hosting a lot of hardcore Jamaican parties. But there’s always something to do out here. And if you’re like me, you like to mix it up. South Florida has a lot of different party options for that.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
I’m a huge fan of Sean Carter/ Jay- Z. besides him being in the argument for best rapper. He’s re-invented himself several times and is always pushing the culture’s boundaries. He did an album with Linkin Park which was dope. He put an album out with Samsung Galaxy, which was unheard of at the time and an automatically platinum. He did a world tour with his wife and made a cool hundred mill, which is the epitome of relationship goals. He also is responsible for discovering/ breaking some of today’s most amazing artists. He still speaks with humility despite all of his accomplishments. But I don’t think anyone would ever say he lacks confidence. To top it off, he still drops fire verses. I have a huge amount of respect for his craft and his career in general. Maybe in 5 minutes he could give me the ‘Blueprint’.
SLY RANKIN MUSIC & SOCIAL LINKS
Artist Website: https://www.slyrankin.com/