Rapper Jay Electronica has opened up about his past attempts to hide his Southern roots.
According to Electronica, he wanted to combat the perception that Southern emcees are less intelligent.
“I have to admit, you know, a few years ago, I wouldn’t have admitted this — or maybe I wouldn’t have been conscious of it in a way to admit or be embarrassed — but in my earlier years from when I first left home, I was embarrassed from being from the South,” he explained in an interview. “Not in general, but as a rapper because all of the negative things that people in the States put on the South. Like, ‘The South, they’re slow. They move slow, they think slow, they’re less intelligent. They’re less exposed, they’re underexposed, they’re more sheltered.’ So as a rapper — I’ve been rapping since I was 10 years old — I always had a feeling of ‘I’m gonna show you’ because we down here doing it. Not that I was embarrassed necessarily — I don’t know if that’s the correct word — but I know that when I left home, if someone had heard my accent and heard where I was from, the door was immediately closed.” (MTV)
Coincidentally, New York’s DJ Kay Slay previously explained why record labels are catering more to Southern artists.
“Papoose would do better on an independent right now because majors are really geared towards Southern artists or high profile artists that’s been known for selling records,” Slay said in an interview. “They don’t wanna gamble too much with no new artists.” (XXL Mag)
Rapper Saigon also discussed the South’s popularity in a recent interview.
“All of us got caught up in the emergence of the South movement,” Sai said about the delay of New York rap newcomers. “All of us came on the scene when the South was really makin’ their move to take over. The record companies was like ‘F*ck the New York n*ggas, the South sh*t is where it’s at.'” (Q The Question)
As of late, Electronica has won public praise from high-profile artists like Diddy.
“Attention all djs attention all djs. I’m about to post 1 of the hottest most authentic hip hoprecords of 2010!!! Just for real hip hop djs,” he wrote Wednesday (December 30). “This is a record i will be promotin in 2010. My brother @jayelectronica – Exhibit C It deserves to be play on the radio! http://fblz.in/K3h4 @jayelectronica will be the breakout MC one of 2010!!!! Real hip hop!!! Artistic hip hop that’s saying something!!! SAY SOMETHING!!! Rt pls! Retweet this pls!!!. My brother @jayelectronica – Exhibit C It deserves to be play on the radio! Click here http://fblz.in/K3h4 let’s go!” (Diddy’s Twitter)
Check out a recent Jay Electronica interview below: