Making the rules up as he goes excites DMV UP N Comer Jay IDK. The 23 -year old leader of Sub-Trap music is ready for the world to listen to his story as he makes his way through an industry that is ready to spit people out. With an appealing flow and a mindset that most poets would have, Jay IDK talked to us about his past, present, and the future.
Walk me through the beginning stages of your music career.
I began to pursue rap in jail. I used to tutor inmates so they could get their GED, so many were surprised that I had that side to me; but I began writing because I was bored it came naturally to me. Everyone saw I had a talent and pushed me to continue writing.
Explain your version of what SubTrap music is, and why it is needed in today’s Hip-Hop scene?
Most Trap music lacks substance. There are exceptions, such as Yo Gotti and The Ghetto Boyz; who I am a fan of, but substance is what I want to bring to the table. I want to talk about something and have listeners think. There is little lyrical content in trap music. SubTrap changes that.
What do you hope to bring to music?
Knowledge. I want to speak to people through my music.
What have been some of your biggest obstacles, and how did you overcome them?
Challenging myself has been a big obstacle. It is easy to become relaxed and okay with the position you are in, I never want that to be me. Also trusting people in this industry has been a big challenge, but I am putting the right team in place to help me get where I want to be.
In your opinion, what happened to Hip-Hop?
Nothing, nothing has happened to Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop isn’t dead. HipHop is to accessible, it is over saturated. You do not need much to start putting your music out there and to call yourself a rapper, but fans know who is real about their craft. Fans listen, and you see who sticks around and who doesn’t.
Top 10 greatest rappers of all time?
In no particular order, BIGGIE, Lauryn Hill, Big L, Gucci mane, A Tribed called Quest, Kanye, JayZ, Eminem, Pharell, Nas.
Who do you hope to collaborate with in the future?
Adele, The gorillaz, Erika Badyu
What is your stance on the term cultural appropriation? Is it a fair assumption to believe every non-black rapper shouldn’t be a rapper at all?
Talent is talent no matter what your color is. Have passion and work hard, and you are okay in my book.
What was the greatest advice you ever received?
Use your resources and make sure your artistry is on point.
What is one thing that you do everyday that contributes to your growing success?
I practice performing, and my stage presence. I am self-educated, so I constantly try to teach myself something everyday.
Who is on your playlist, besides you of course?
Old Kanye, my fellow Dmv artist Chaz French, and Justin Timberlake.
Is commercial success the ultimate goal?
Yes! I want to be a superstar. Ignorantly, Delivering, Knowledge. That’s what my name stands for.
What does selling out mean to you?
Not being true to you, musically. Talking about subjects you know nothing about. Not doing music for the art. I understand that sometimes you have to cater to certain groups, but ultimately, staying who you are.
Does struggle make you better lyricists?
Everything I went through makes me who I am, so yes. Struggle is my greatness.
What role can you play in the current race relations here in America? Do you feel a responsibility to contribute in the progress?
Absolutely, any artist is obligated to feed the people. Giving back through my influence is the greatest thing I can do to help. Making music that people can relate to and have an escapism or jumpstart a feeling.
What is your art?
What is next for you?
More music, and a tour. I also want to start acting. You never know.
Where will I see you in 5 years?
I’ll be 29 years old and I will be what Kanye is now.