One individual putting on for the underground in a major way is JGRXXN (pronounced Jay Green). The Atlanta bred, Los Angeles transplant is an emcee and producer who started his career working alongside Three 6 Mafia. In recent years he’s collaborated with many of the underground’s power players like Xavier Wulf, Lil Peep, $uicideboy$, Pouya, and Ramirez. I spoke to Jgrxxn about working alongside all these artists, tour life, and the ever evolving state of hip-hop
Back a few years ago around 08, you got your first start working with Three 6 Mafia. Everybody wants that shot to work with legends in the game. How was that experience for you?
It was legendary man I was still in school. It was cool man, Just having juice and paul hit me up at the same time it was nice.
Right. Because when you look around the underground so many artists try to imprint their sound off of Three 6, what do you think about how so many artists today want to sound like them?
It is crazy. When I was doing it, nobody was doing it. And this is was when the new underground was forming. And I was like the only one doing it. And when I was, everyone came behind me. And it’s crazy how people are still sampling Three 6, and sampling me. It means the music is timeless, people always find ways to reinvinvent.
People are saying that there’s mumble rap vs. classic hip-hop, what are your thoughts on that?
They’re the same. I know a lot of people who get categorized as mumble rap and them niggaz don’t be remumbling. I fucks with it. To me, rap is at an all-time high now a days. It’s up to the listener. Now what would really fuck you up if a rapper didn’t put the lyrics out. I don’t put my lyrics out so you gotta figure out what the fuck I’m saying. Now in comparison, I have worked with old school guys as well as new school guys. To me, everything’s getting better to me. I mean maybe the quality of the rapper ain’t. Like nowadays you’re not going to find a Nas or a Jay-Z, because you don’t have to. Back in those days if a label wasn’t behind you, [they’d] never heard of you.
Now a days you don’t need a label.
You don’t, you can go in your mom’s basement or a closet and make a song. Put that out on soundcloud and you out of here. Back in the days labels would be like “get that bullshit up out of here!”
How was it being the founder of Schemaposse and having so many artists under you?
I mean with Schemaposse. It’s like it was just to bring new artists into the mix. If I fuck with you, you’ll blow up. That’s been the history since day one, if I come into the equation people just start blowing up. It was about 50 total, and one by one it got smaller. It was a risk and it worked, but it didn’t work out.
I find it hard to believe one guy over 50 people! That’s like Wu-Tang on steroids.
That’s what I’m saying. Not every person’s grind is like yours, or like his. Some people got family issues or people can’t record all the time. Some people don’t have studios. So 50 got cut down to 30, 30 down to 20, then to three main people, to just not working out. But if it would’ve stayed in tact, it would’ve been the biggest thing of all time. We some had very talented guys.
I know dealing with that many personalities must have been overwhelming. Not to mention splitting a check 50 ways must have been crazy.
Yeah, that doesn’t work unless you all all grew up with each other like the East Memphis Boyz. Like Wulf can trust Jeffery. Smurf and Chris went to school together too. They’ve been knowing each other since they was broke, when they were kids. But when there’s a lot of people you meet online, it’s not always a good idea man.
Early on you were heavily involved with SHWB, and you were living under the same roof as them. What was were the energy like?
When we were living together everybody was after one goal, and that was to make it. It was cool, I’ve known Eddy about six years, but Wulf, Chris, Eddy, and Bones were grinding it out. Eddy was in Atlanta with me, and he was like “I’m about to go back to L.A., you better c’mon.” but I didn’t have a way to get back to L.A.
Last year I interviewed Ramirez, who’s since become of my favorite artists. What’s it like working with him?
I met Ramirez like two years ago at a show in L.A. We just kept in contact then we did the GreyScale tour, so I got to know him a bit and we had a show a few months ago in Texas. Very cool he’s the homie- easy to work with.
Now you have a new project coming out?
Well, I’ve been continually releasing songs like every other day. It’s like a continuous play project. I’ve released eight tracks, and two more are coming the week it comes out.
Now in addition to rapping you also make beats, do you just like to rap over your own beats or do you prefer to work with a producer?
I like both. You gotta be hard. I just can’t rap over a shitty ass beat. But I love the fact that I make my own beats because producers don’t always come through. Or you work with them for a little bit then the start trippin for some reason, so it’s always good to make your own beats. And I’m the best, so if [the producer] doesn’t come through, I got myself.
Definitely. You gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day.
Yeah, that’s in life. Don’t depend on anyone to do anything for you. Even when it comes to editing videos, you gotta find you a good cameraman who knows it’s gonna take time. It takes more time for camera guys to really see some money, than rappers. You gotta find that guy who knows to be patient and that it’s gonna be a process. But you still at the same time need to know what to do for yourself just in case, and applies in life.
If not music, what would you be doing?
I wasn’t put here to work a 9 to 5. When you’re as good at rapping or making beats as I am, you’re not meant for a regular 9-5. You’re meant to do music. So there is no what else would you be doing. I wouldn’t be as talented as I am if I wasn’t made for it. There is no what else would you be doing. This is it. If you got a gift, you need to put your all into it. All you need is that one break, you never wanna blow up too quick. Because when you blow up too quick you think everybody’s your friend.
You did the GrayScale Tour with $uicideBoy$, Ramirez, and Black Smurf. Is it hard going on the road, or is it all party? Also were you writing songs together?
We weren’t really coming up with songs because we weren’t It depends on who you hang around. You hang around me, it may get a little ratchet.
WARNING: May cause Ratchetness!
(laughs) So like on tour me, Ruby, and Ramirez hung out the most. Smurf and Ghostmane would have their own room. Scrim is more of a homebody so he would just sleep or make beats. We had a ton of fun man.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
I’m working on me. I had always been working on putting out somebody else. I’ve always been tweeting, IG-ing, and posting about somebody else. I’m focused on me and I’m out here to prove I’m the GOAT.