HipHopDX caught up with former Ruff Ryders emcee Jin all the way from Hong Kong and did a very lengthy and instrospective piece on him. The story delves into his decision to leave New York for China, making Christian Hip Hop, and the life of being a battle emcee.
Check out some of it.
It‚Äôs hard to dance around any word for his album in a commercial sense besides flop. Critics booed, fans didn‚Äôt pony up the cash and by 2005, Jin had already parted ways with Double R. ‚ÄúIt was hard because I had been stratosphered into the limelight and then shot back down to struggling artist mode. I don‚Äôt feel any bitterness or blame anyone, that‚Äôs just kind of the reality. Those two years were more of a reality check than anything.‚ÄĚ
Frustrated, Jin decided to dip out of the Rap game. He released a revealing, scrappy recording called ‚ÄúI Quit.‚ÄĚ He talks about his glory days being over, biting the dust and being his own opponent. Inwards, he was asking questions about the structure of the industry. ‚ÄúWhat is a fanbase? What is a loyal fanbase? What is this thing called the music industry? Dude, I‚Äôm sick. I‚Äôm done with this.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
An early apology for cursing during the interview and his latest English single, ‚ÄúShoot For The Moon,‚ÄĚ hint at a more religious turn for the emcee. Still, he‚Äôs not yet at the overt, preachy level of, say, Pastor Ma$e in the way his beliefs are manifest in his rhymes. Instead, his latest material reflects an aura of mega-positivity and moment seizing.
He acknowledges the inherent dangers his newfound lifestyle can posit to the Hip Hop contingent. ‚ÄúWhen people think of Jin, their initial reaction is one of two things: that Chinese rapper or that battle rapper. They say, ‚ÄėJin was a gimmick from day one, he‚Äôs still a gimmick now, even with his whole born-again Christian music, even that‚Äôs a gimmick.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
If his belief system is anything, it‚Äôs certainly not a gimmick. Long after our interview ended Jin persisted to talk at length about his religious life and his relationship with god. Digging into deeply emotional territory at times. He‚Äôs no stranger to being open about how he feels on a personal level, no matter how vulnerable it makes him to discerning listeners.
Jin is simply the sort of hyper-candid rapper that says exactly how he feels in plain speak on wax. It works both for and against him. In the past, these honest outpours usually came from industry anxieties.
As far back as ‚ÄúClub Song‚ÄĚ one of the more regrettable cuts on his Ruff Ryders debut is an entire song dedicated to the stigma that to be successful you have to drop a club song. The same went for ‚ÄúF*** Jay-Z,‚ÄĚ one of Jin‚Äôs many English freebies that lambasts the industry‚Äôs thirst for beef. The execution of either song can be justifiably called a whiny complaint and a critical truism.
Today, his content touts a Lupe-esque pop-timism with widespread accessibility in a kind of industry pitfall ascension. Such is the case on the aforementioned, ‚ÄúShoot For The Moon,‚ÄĚ which will be accompanied by a single with a similar vibe ‚ÄúWhen The Lights Come On‚ÄĚ for his first English language album in five years. He‚Äôs already eyeing a June 2012 release date.
The double-edged, real-talk/soft-talk sword will be something Jin will again wield as he readies a professional and possibly physical transition back to the U.S. He speaks coyly about this reemergence. ‚ÄúMy timeline in the spotlight was a good decade ago, the Ruff Ryders thing, the BET things was 10 years ago,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the thing about the Hip Hop world, you can be in today and out tomorrow.‚ÄĚ Despite outcry at his level of commercialism in all facets of his career, the wide-mouth of industry turnover is something he‚Äôs been able to dodge by diversifying his material and his methods.
Check out the full story at HipHopDX
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