I stopped by Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique Wednesday to interview Detroit HipHop artist, Finally Famous' own Jay John Henry.
Jay John's mixtape Bartholomeux Maddox & The Pleasantville Pirate is one of my absolute favorites of the year, so I was excited to sit down with him and discuss all sorts of things from music to pet peeves to wrestling to shoes. We were in a shoe store, after all.
So who is Bartholomeux Maddox?
Well, Jay John made up all his mixtape titles in 2009. He was inspired by book titles he saw at book fairs as a kid. He wants his mixtapes to have clever titles with stories behind them. Bartholomeux Maddox is a character he made up. "I flow him through different times and scenarios," he explained. "Bartholomeux Maddox is one of my favorite characters." We both agreed what an awesome name it is!
What's your favorite song off the project?
Jay John told me his favorite song is "The Yeah Song," but he says his favorite verse is "If you need a couple shot, I'mma po'em like Angelou" off the track "I'm Yours."
Moment you knew you wanted to make music:
There wasn't really a particular moment. Jay John's just always been "captivated by sounds and putting words together." As a kid (starting at about eight or nine years old), he would play around on his baby grand piano at home. He never had proper training, but it didn't matter. It was the start of something amazing.
Who has influenced your style?
"I only really listen to like four artists right now," Jay John said. "Andre 3000, Pharrell, Prince, and Francis Farewell Starlite."
Someone you'd like to work with...
"Chipped finger nail polish."
So you need your girls to get shellac or gel manicures then?
"Just do a clear coat if it's a problem!"
Biggest accomplishment so far:
"Making it out of my hood."
What's in your fridge?
"A hambone with no meat." Jay John will be using that to cook up something wonderful, no doubt. "Martinelli's Apple Juice (one of his favorites), and a fresh ass box of baking soda." Like he JUST opened it!
Who would play you in a movie?
What would the title be?
Welcome to Jerusalem
What keeps you up at night?
"Sleeping during the day," he says. "It's one of the reasons I started making music. I needed something to do at night."
Best NBA player sneaker ever released
"Air Jordan 6"
First thing that comes to mind when I say the word "happiness."
Any closing thoughts?
"I just want people to have fun," Jay John says. "People take this too seriously. I just do this to have fun." That's why he wears scuba suits and onesies!
If you're in the Detroit area you can catch Jay John along with fellow Finally Famous member John Conyers and more of Detroit's finest artists Monday December 23 at MotorclubX!
Don't forget to download "Bartholomeux Maddox & The Pleasantville Pirate!" Your ears, mind, body, and soul will thank you!