Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

Jackie Chain dropped his Bruce Lean Chronicles this week, which is his second project this year, and is Hardwood Blacktop’s pick for feel good album of the Summer.  I caught up with Jackie to discuss Bruce Lean Chronicles, the follow-up project Bruce Lean Chronicles Part 2, his debut album with Universal Ain’t Slept In Weeks, his excellent production connections, his creative process, and his growth as an emcee.

JB: Talk a little bit about the scene in Huntsville, Alabama.  You guys have one of the best rap scenes in the US these days, just in terms of the number of quality artists that have come out of there in the last few years.  What do you attribute that to?

Jackie Chain:

Man, we kind of got our own unique style man and our own swag because we’re in the middle of almost everything where we’re three hours from Atlanta, we’re an hour from Nashville, we’re right down the street from Memphis, Texas is a very big influence.  So it’s like we get a lot of these different influences and then we kind of formed our own style.  And I just really think it’s starting to come to the light man.  People are starting to notice it.

JB: Talk a little bit about your relationship with Slow Motion Soundz/Block Beataz.

Jackie Chain:

I’ve known them for over ten years man.  Mali Boi has been one of my main producers ever since I started.  A lot of my biggest songs he did, so Mali’s always gonna be family.

JB: Let’s talk a little bit about a  few songs from your latest free album Bruce Lean Chronicles. First up, talk to people about the track, “First Love,”

Jackie Chain:

You know it’s a produced by Diplo who’s a good friend man.  A lot of people just know me for my trap music, my hood music, my street music, my down south type music and  I just wanted to show that even though I don’t do it a lot – I can get down.  I really wanted to do something for the hip hop heads and showcase that you know I’m not the best rapper out there, but I can get down.    So I just wanted something for the real hip hop heads.  I love storytelling rap, I don’t feel like I do it enough, but I love doing it.  And I love when I hear other rappers do it.  It’s a break for the norm for people, because most of my music is club songs or songs about things we do.  I just wanted to give ’em a little bit of everything on this mixtape.

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“Picture Perfect / Numbers” – Jackie Chain (produced by Beat Billionaire & Sonny Digital)

It’s no secret among those who closely follow quality southern rap, that Alabama has been one of the single biggest producers of quality southern rap over the last four or five years.  Rich Boy probably helped to shed the initial light with the massive success of “Throw Some D’s,” but Slow Motion Soundz’s G-Side has released several borderline classic independent rap albums backed by the Block Beataz, G. Mane has put out some excellent material, 6 Tre G has been a constant quality participant, and Yelawolf has shown enough promise and talent intermittently to land a deal with Shady Records and release a couple of albums with major label support.  Given Jackie Chain’s catalog of material, and track record as one of the most consistent rappers to come out of ‘Bama, it’s a little surprising that his major label debut Ain’t Slept In Weeks hasn’t seen the light of day just yet.

Chain is a rare artist who is as comfortable cracking wise as he is breaking down drug game or writing hooks one major label push away from mass radio and club consumption.  In fact, with little to no support from Universal over the last few years, Jackie has managed to maintain a pretty solid buzz with rap blogs, including earning numerous honors as an artist to watch and accolades for his various mixtapes.  On the surface Jackie Chain’s subject matter might seem to be some of the most hackneyed in rap, he raps primarily about moving weed, coke, and pills, pimpin’ hoes, driving nice cars, all laced with southern regional slang, braggadocio, and humorous pop culture references.  While the story Jackie relates in his songs is one that has been told repeatedly throughout the course of rap history, there is an important distinction between those who tell the story, and those who tell the story well.  Those who have told it well over time, have become some of the largest figures in rap, those who have told it poorly have generally been flashes in the pan if they crack the industry at all.

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