CREDIBILITY - Serius Jones
interview by LD Williams Jr
FIGHT KLUB BATTLE TESTED, CROWD
APPROVED,... SERIUS JONES HAS MANAGED TO KEEP HIMSELF IN FRONT OF
THE CROWD AND THE CAMERA.
SERIUS HAS PROVEN TIME AND AGAIN THAT LYRICAL HE’S ABOVE MANY; HIS
MOVEMENT GAINS MOMENTUM AS HE CONTINUES TO PUT OUT HOT MUSIC AND
CHECK OUT GETSERIUS.COM FOR THE LATEST NEWS ON THE GET SERIUS
CRED: I am speaking with Serius
Jones how are you doing?
SJ: I am good brother I appreciate you having me.
CRED: What were some of your earliest musical influences?
SJ: Bob Marley, The Spinners, The Temptations, The O’ Jays, all of
the stuff that my parents were listening to. The first rap album
that got, I remember my pop’s had bought it for me it was Public
Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet I was eight years old.
CRED: Well how did you transition and go from being a fan listening
to Public Enemy and decide that you were going to make hip hop a
SJ: Well it was recently, I did not start rapping until after high
school. I was always coming up around the way I am from New Jersey.
We would play around with snapping you guys call it joning. You know
we would basically play the dozens you know and talk shit. I think I
discovered a talent after a chance encounter with some herbalization.
I just discovered a talent and I discovered that I could make music.
You know it really all started off with battling I could have an
opponent right in front of me and I would break them down and people
would be amazed at it. It sparked a light and sparked this musical
journey that I am still on. I am growing as an artist getting better
day by day that is growing into a major voice.
CRED: That’s right didn’t you battle Jin?
SJ: It is more like destroying Jin. I destroyed Jin. All of the best
street MCs that battled is who I actually battled. I do not want to
go through and mention all of their names but you know go to google,
You Tube, or www.getserius.com and you will see there are about four
or five battles out there. I had like forty of fifty of them coming
up. Some of them were for this show called Fight Klub you know it
was a show that was on MTV, MTV 2 and BET. I got a lot of
international exposure. I got a lot of international attention in
France, Germany and even Australia. I built a name, a fan base and a
buzz strictly off of talent without even having music yet.
CRED: Then you jumped off in to mixtapes wasn’t your first one The
SJ: No. Hell No. The first one was that introduced me to the world
was King Me. I also had other mixtapes called Street Corner Classic
volumes one and two. King Me got about one hundred thousand
downloads that was my official presentation it was like a street
album. Everyone took notice that I am an artist it is not just
battling people noticed that I actually had talent. People knew that
I had talent and that I was not just a rapper or a street nigga
talking shit I actually had talent. You can see the “Slow Down”
video off of that mixtape. I shot a video for “Slow Down” and I
actually shot it in DC.
CRED: How did your relationship with Neddlez start?
SJ: Basically I was really poppin. I was all over the internet. I
was on four different shows on national television. I was on MADE,
Sucka Free Sundays, Rap City the Basement, and Fight Klub. I was
doing a lot of this on my own. Actually I got a lot of labels
hollering there were like four or five of them but they were the
ones that came up with the paperwork I wanted fast enough and came
with nine people and convinced me they were in the Serius Jones
business. As time progressed, this is not specifically, a lot of
people think that when you are signed to a label run by an artist
that has their own label that you are dealing with them directly.
That is not always the case. I was in his his crib recording and we
was always cool when we spoke and dealt with each other but the
business aspect is handled as a label.
As time progressed you know I am not a half way, half assed type of
duded and little things just contributed to the chemistry not being
there and DTP not being a home for my career.
CRED: Do you think there were things they could have done to make
the situation better?
SJ: Most definitely. I am also a real man and realize that there
were things that I could have done differently. I take
responsibility for my actions and I learned from the experience. I
definitely learned a lot about the label experience. I also learned
that the label is not functioning the same way. I do not want to
have the recession talk it is really just about the artist. People
have to like the artist it is not just about the record, it is not
just about the label, it is not just about the co-sign it is the
combination of the whole thing. When people see you in a situation
where you are with somebody but they do not see you with that person
like if they do not see you in the video dancing around they think
there is something wrong with you. Then you have to reprove yourself
to the world and show people that you are that dude and that is the
stage that we are at now. Right now it is a mission.
CRED: Are you looking for a new major label situation or are you
looking to go independent?
SJ: I am not looking at them they need to be looking at me. Me
looking at them is not going to compel them to help me accomplish my
mission. If a label is not convinced that I am a platinum selling
artist then I do not want them to try and sell my product. You do
not want someone to sell your product that is not a fan of it. They
are not going to put their best foot forward they are not going to
put the machine to work honestly after all of these years of blood,
sweat, tears, grinding, energy, sacrifices, family and everything
you can think of I am not going to let that go to waste again by
going to another situation . That is where I am at with it.
It is a digital world though we got our product popping off. Shout
out to Def Jam and DTP they didn’t try to bang me when I left. I
recorded a whole lot of classic music basically on my own I am
basically dropping it on the internet right now.
CRED: What has been the high point of your career thus far?
SJ: It is definitely a good look to be on TV and be a recognizable
name, face and voice. Honestly every thing, every interview that I
do it feels like the same to me because I am really on a mission. It
is like doing presidential speaking if your agenda is the same and
you have a drive and passion for what you do you want to make
everything special. Every song, every studio session, every video in
terms of creation this is the highest point of my career. I am
really getting ill. I have my own studio set up, I can record my own
music, I can shoot my own videos that is way next level and it is
just me, my man Ill Will and some production people. I mean we are
doing classic shit with minimal resources that people cannot deny
and that is a high in itself it is higher than any, woman, drug or
anything can get you.
It is a high to be able to effect people you came up with and people
across the world with something you came up with. Life is Serius is
an easy testament to that. Anyone who hasn’t seen that doesn’t like
entertainment and does not want to be entertained.
CRED: Talk to me Life is Serius what it took to make that project
and how it came about.
SJ: Life is Serius I didn’t realize that I had that plan and had
been talking about Life is Serius for about two years. I never had
the outlet or the resources to do it the right way. I had this guy
who did a video for me in Seattle and it took me a long time for me
to get it back. I was pretty upset about it. I told him we got to do
something about this so he flew in my man Dave Wilson who is a crazy
talented director. He is one of the top budding directors a lot of
people don’t know about him yet but he came to my crib with a camera
and I had a casting call. I got a studio downtown, got a bunch of
actors, shot shit. We had different scenes we had the battles, a
love scene and different scenes in my life. I didn’t know it was
going to be that dope. I knew it was going to be hot. I mean if I
died tomorrow I would want people to see that that is my story. The
shit is classic. You should see it, if they haven’t watch that shit.
CRED: How can people watch it?
CRED: They can view it for free?
SJ: Yeah for free. I mean can charge people for releasing quality
product once people know it is that. In this day and age coming from
the background that I come from I have a lot to prove. I can not
take the approach of I do not have anything to prove whoever wants
to buy it they can buy it because at a certain level I have so much
grief. You know MTV, BET, that is 70 million homes like over 100
times or how many times these shows air. There may be 60 or 70
million people who have heard my name before does that mean that I
say I got something out, no one knows about it but at least I got a
few dollars out of it? I really feel like it is my obligation to
reconnect with those people in a real way and let them know where I
am with my art and life in general. Then, people understand, they
become more of a supporter because they understand what I think
about shit. It is all about perspective I narrate situations and let
people know how I feel about how I would react in a life and death
situation. How would I react? How would you react? That is the
difference between me and the average rapper that is scared to let
you in to his though process.
CRED: Would you like to talk about you background?
SJ: Yeah no doubt. First and foremost I was born in Detroit. My
parents were Muslim they were involved in the Black Panther
movement. We moved back to New Jersey. I was raised in Inglewood,
New Jersey a suburb right outside of New York. I grew up in a house.
I had four brothers and sisters we were not super poor but we did
not have the nicer things like Jordans and fly bikes so I always had
a drive to win. I won essay contests I was decent in sports I have a
room full of trophies. I really tried to go the whole school route.
I wasn’t a book worm but I was book smart as a kid but less street
smart. I was less street smart because I was less exposed. As I got
older and I didn’t make it to the NBA and I really did not like
school all that much I went to college and I grew into being rougher
around the edges. I started hustling because I wanted money and I
got an education from the streets that I missed in my childhood.
I am kind of well rounded because I understand the corporate mind
state. I went to school and I tried to get a job and do things the
“right way”. I also understand the streets because that is more me
now that is me, my homies and my audience. That is where I am at
right now it is a real well rounded balance.
CRED: What do you want your legacy to be?
SJ: (pause) Greatness, I want to do things that people just can’t
deny that transcends culture. I want people to respect my
perspective that is the high that I get out of this. If somebody
listens and we make a connection that is great. Any real artist
wants people to feel them even if you can’t relate. I really hope
that I leave the impression of someone who is a genuine artist and
someone that is talented.
CRED: What is the toughest challenge you have faced thus far?
SJ: Well Shout out to my man 50 he put it in real terms; it is the
stand by the fire to keep warm syndrome. With a lot of people in any
industry they do not believe in anything until it is in big bright
lights and you can’t deny it. The fame game is really 15 minutes
especially in the hip hop realm. I mean someone can come out sell 9
million records the second time he is selling thirty thousand and no
one wants to hear himtalk. For all of the aspiring rappers and
entertainers out there the key to the game is this do what you can
do to get your fan base and just cater to them. Do not get caught up
in the gimmicks and thinking people really love you. This business
is about who can get it done and how fast. It is about the quick
flip it is like the crack game in a sense. It is not about building
and longevity they don’t believe in their own artists they do not
know what is going to work. The game is you smile, you kiss babies,
you get what you can and do not be bitter that people do not really
love you and people are fake that is how most industries are it is a
CRED: Is there anything that you would do over?
SJ: Well no. It is crazy you might learn from a mistake but does
that mean you would do it differently? If you had not done it you
would not have learned. I am not the type to wish to go back. I
believe it was all written and things happen for a reason. I know I
am on the right track because if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have the
blessings I have in my life now. So people stay focused go download
Serius Business , go download Why so Serius go watch Life is Serius
the movie watch any video that I have out. When you watch you will
see that these are some of the best projects out in the game right
now this is all after I had a deal. I may not have a movie if I was
still signed. I got to learn and grow a whole lot from street shit
to corporate shit to family shit I have grown a whole lot. The
things I would do differently I would not do differently because I
would not have known.
CRED: Talk about your most current projects and where people can get
SJ: www.getserius.com. Make sure that you log on and get on there
you can create your own page, blog, there are beautiful women on
there talk to them. If you have a bad day at work go on there talk
about it you may b talking to someone from Thailand about your day
at work. It really is that free all of my projects are on there.. As
I said I am trying to give away as much as I can for free at first.
Get the Remix tape, get Why So Serius. I want people to grow with me
www.twitter.com/seriusjones let me know how you feel about my
movement. If you have constructive criticism I will listen to you,
you could be a homeless dude in the street if you have something to
CRED: Talk to me about your sophisticated infrastructure that makes
all of these projects work.
SJ: I mean it is the people that are reading this that make it work.
It is the everyday people that will hear the songs and talk about
them. It is a real organic movement.
CRED: Any advice for new artists?
SJ: If you are an artists be an artist. Do not cheapen it; treat it
like a masterpiece. Do not look at it like I am only getting money,
it is about having a voice. People listen to what we say. Understand
that in this game is a lot of heartache and there are people that
are not going to believe in you. People like to front like it is
easy to get here so they can sound special; it is trials and
tribulations like anything else. The real come out on top that is
how it goes.
CRED: Anything else that you want to say to everybody: Shout out to
all my real muthafuckaz out there especially in the DMV area,...you
know Blass, Bubu the Bear, the Oy Boyz my whole DC clique. The
revolution will be webivized stay tuned to the movement.