Jesse Jagz, post his hiatus from Chocolate City Music, is now a self designated expert on “Nigerian music.” In an interview with the popular Hip-hop World Magazine, Jagz says among other things, “you don’t need Jesus to tell you that Nigerian music is unintelligent,” when asked about his top three Nigerian artists.
“My top three artistes in Nigeria is me, me and me. No one works harder than me. I would like to see a lot of my colleagues step up their music. This is not a Kendrick thing. You don’t need Jesus to tell you that Nigerian music is unintelligent. Even Goats can dance to our music. Can Jesse Jagz make Nigeria a better place for Wizkid? Can Wizkid do same too? Let adults do better and let kids party. We need to leave something better for the coming generation.” – Jesse Jagz
There is a distinction between the mainstream diluted brand of music distributed on Nigerian radio/ television today versus authentic undiluted music that continues to be ignored by mainstream radio/tv etc. including fuji music. However, just because below par music exist and gets all the attention, does not mean “Nigerian music” is “unintelligent.” Quite on the contrary and it appears Jagz needs to take some time out and study the genesis, evolution and current state of Nigerian music.
Excerpt from Interview:
People have been talking about the changes in your music, lifestyle and whatnot…
People do not change, but people grow. Chocolate city has been just a phase for me. Africans are very sentimental; once people get attached, it becomes problem. Just like when TuFace left Kennis, people were like “Ha!” If u can deal with it, cool. I have been doing music light years before Choc City came and its not like I started Choc City or anything. Choc City was a phase in my life; I was a phase in Choc City’slives and will be for as long as they are going to last… It’s up to them. Regardless of whatever story came out, the truth is I was just at the stage where I was ready to go. I was just at that stage where whether it was Chocolate City or another, I would have still put out the album by myselfbecause I have worked hard.
What’s up with the pseudonym Red Rasta?
When I wrote redemption. I still had my red dreadlocks and I was just passing a statement.
Word is, you have deviated to Reggae…
I fused reggae with Hiphop on the album so you can call it Reggae-Hiphop. But I do love reggae. Reggae is one of the deepest form of black art music. I experiment a lot; my next album might be rock and hiphop. For me it’s the content; that doesn’t change. If you really are a fan of my music and you listen to my music – I’m not talking about the “wetin dey” songs or the “popping” song;the real content that the record labels didn’t promote, the heart of Jagz, the real content of the Jagz of all trades, then you will know that the content of my music is always going to be deep. The application and expression of it might keep changing. But I don’t want people to get stuck saying Jesse Jagz does reggae. Just call it great music.
That’s sort of like Snoop Dogg going Reggae…
No. Snoop Dogg has been in music light years ahead of me but my history with reggae is far longer than Snoop Dogg’s decision to go Reggae.
It’s been speculated that one of the major reasons you fell out with Chocolate City was because of your excessive promotion of Marijuana.
Yes I have spoken about Marijuana in my music however every other Pop artisthas made allusions to Marijuana in more demeaning and derogatory ways than I have. The reason why I am being attacked is because of the truth that is attached to my music not the Marijuana. People have heard “Pass me the lighter” or “Gimme the kpoli” from other acts but my music is not that. If you really listen to the truth in my music you will not have a problem with the Marijuana in my music. I am not being derogatory to people who use it but I guess everybody wants to evade the truth I speak about and say “Oh there’s Marijuana in it, he wants to be rebellious.” Do you know how many songs have Marijuana in them? Should I start reeling out names? People should stop saying “Oh Jesse Jagz wants to be Fela.” Jesse Jagz is promoting marijuana in the reggae context. Let’s just focus on the truth and leave everyother thing. When Choc Boiz did the song Blaze, why didn’t they criticize then? Can we just talk about the truth?
So basically you have no legal problems with Chocolate City it’s just the weed…
I have no legal problems with Chocolate City. They too may have been uncomfortable with the truth andnot the weed in my songs. But when we did Blaze, didn’t they promote it? Have you listened to Ice Prince’s album? There is Marijuana in it, aren’t they promoting it? If people are dancing, they are okay but the minute you say “Oh I smoked weed in the morning”and then later in the evening you say “the Government is bad” then that becomes stuff grown ups do not want to talk about. I am not promoting Marijuana or rebellion, I speak the truth.
Hip-hop World magazine has the full interview.