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Jadakiss experienced some of his best success during the rough riders legacy, with his group LOX and as a solo rapper. Jadakiss (born Jason Phillips) became a member of the Ruff Ryders in 1999. Five years earlier, he joined the Lox (who started their saga as a group called the Warlocks) and has remained a member of both groups since. The Lox gained national exposure in 1997 with their multi-platinum tribute to the Notorious B.I.G., "We'll Always Love Big Poppa." Jadakiss released his debut solo album, Kiss tha Game Goodbye, in August of 2001 on the Ruff Ryders/Interscope label. Three years later, second album Kiss of Death was released. Jadakiss was born on May 22, 1975, in Yonkers, New York.
Jadakiss Looking Forward To 'Airing 50 Cent's Ass Out'
LOX rapper says 50 Cent's dis track the best thing that could have happened to him. Jadakiss is finally speaking out in response to 50 Cent's dis track "Piggy Bank," and he can barely keep from smiling.
"This is the best thing that could have ever happened to us," Kiss exclaimed Tuesday in New York about how he and his crew feel. "As long as we do it right, we can't go wrong from this. I can sell, I can make Styles' album double platinum alone just off this whole thing. My album sales for Kiss of Death is gonna start going up off this whole thing. It's just swinging the momentum our way, which we needed."
Jada said he wasn't surprised by "Piggy Bank" coming out because he has "spies" close to the G-Unit camp . He was, however, flabbergasted by what he called a weak lyrical showing by 50 on the song.
"When I heard 'Piggy Bank,' I was happy," Kiss laughed. "I felt way worse when I heard [Beanie] Sigel's [dis] record [a few years back]. 'Piggy Bank' was funny to me. He's gotta have something else. That can't be it, it's garbage! I guess it was just a jab. But the power punch I'm gonna give him, that wasn't the right arsenal to start off the fight with."
On "Piggy Bank," 50 does say the track is just a warning shot, and hints he has more barbs up his sleeve. Kiss says that battle rapping is nothing new to him and he'll gladly go back and forth for as long as 50 wants.
"I just want to benefit off it," Jada said. "I need Styles' album to benefit off it. That's where the real response is gonna be, but until then, I'mma give you a whole plate of hors d'oeuvres to live with until it comes. This is right up our alley, and I got nothing to lose. I'm still gonna sell 900,000 records, I still can go in any 'hood and I still get love from the people. This is just helping me out."
Much like Fat Joe told MTV News last week, Jada thinks that 50's "Piggy Bank" is just a publicity stunt. As for Jada's thoughts about Game being booted from the G-Unit for saying he was staying out of the "Piggy Bank" beef, the LOX rapper says 50's gone mad.
"I don't know what's wrong with 50," Kiss said. "But I thank him for the opportunity to [let me] air his ass out."
Jada will "air" 50 out, on wax, in just a few days — he plans to release a response track or two to the mixtape circuit. Styles' Time Is Money, meanwhile, should be out sometime this spring.
50 Cent's Massacre Continues: Jadakiss Targeted In XXL
The first part of 50 Cent's hyped "massacre" is starting to take shape.
On his new mixtape, G-Unit Radio Part 10: 2050 (Before the Massacre), he takes aim again at Murder Inc. with a record called "I'm a Animal." There's also the disses Ja Rule, Nas, Kelis, Jadakiss and Fat Joe . Now, in the next issue of XXL, 50 gives his enemies a serious tongue-lashing. He appears on the cover dressed in a suit and holding a crossbow. In the pages, he spits fire.
"I'm responding to the actions of others," 50 is quoted as saying about the anger he's unleashing on wax. "I'm not actually starting it. When they are in their articles, they say 'F--- 50' off the record. But they won't say it to my face. And the difference between them and me is I don't have a problem saying f--- them in front of them."
During the interview, Jadakiss catches the brunt of 50's verbal barbs. 50 brushes off the D-Block captain as no competition for him.
"When you can't break a million records, and you call yourself going platinum ... I know your numbers is 800 [thousand] and change, and you can't get over that hump?" 50 says. "And you haven't put out a record with your voice on the chorus? He's a great rapper, but he's not a great songwriter. I got artists under me that are better than him."
In the mother of all ironies, one rapper 50 says he wouldn't mind having in the G-Unit fold is arch nemesis Ja Rule.
"I might sign Ja Rule when he's done at Murder Inc.," 50 tells the magazine. "After I destroy him, I'll rebuild him. Because he never was strong enough to individually go against me. He needs the support of everyone else to try to attempt that. And they should have been smart enough to tell him not to directly go against me."
And if you're wondering if 50 has any qualms about beefing because of his mentor Eminem's beef-squashing stance in "Like Toy Soldiers" , the Queens native doesn't let on that he's second guessing himself.
"I don't think Em is realistic," 50 tells the magazine. "On certain levels, he's being logical. Anybody, like I said, would want to avoid those type of situations. Em's seeing if it's possible to not have these issues. Why? Because he makes hit records."
A few weeks ago, 50 had a couple of other interview outbursts. Then, it was on New York radio station Hot 97, where he said he felt Fat Joe had been subliminally dissing him for quite some time now and that he felt since Joe and Jadakiss appeared on the song "New York" with Ja Rule, they were co-signing what he perceived as disses toward him on that record.
On Wednesday after "TRL," Ja smirked at 50's actions.
"He's a clown," Ja said in the green room. "He's a baby. Grow up, baby! What, this n---a think the world revolves around him? Let's be serious. He's digging himself a grave."
50's St. Valentine's Day Massacre is due March 8. The March issue of XXL with 50 on the cover comes out the first week of February.
Platinum Politics by Jadakiss
On his album Kiss of Death, Jadakiss shows that brutalizing the competition on the mic and in the streets isn't the only thing in the forefront of his thoughts. His current single, "Why," has Mr. Raspy candidly analyzing society.
Kiss' musical expansion has proved profitable. His album debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart in June, and with more than 700,000 units sold already, it's virtually a lock that this will be the most successful album of the LOX member's career so far.
Here, the Yonkers, New York, native talks about reaching the next level of fame, how a certain line from "Why" has been axed off the air, and why Bush isn't too different from Kerry.
MTV: Obviously "Why" is still huge, but there's been a little bit of controversy with it. I understand some radio stations are cutting out the line, "Why did Bush knock down the towers?" Some people, like Bill O'Reilly, have come out and criticized you for it.
Jadakiss: All the publicity is good. They're taking the Bush line out at some stations, but at least they added the song. It's the biggest song I ever had, so I'm just happy. It took a while for it to get the reaction that it got, so I was a little nervous, like, "Are they listening to what I'm saying on here?" But then one morning I woke up and saw [articles on the song in the] Daily News and the New York Post, and Bill O'Reilly [talked about it]. I was like, "OK. They finally hearin' the kid."
MTV: Why do you think it took so long for some folks to catch on to the lyrics?
Jadakiss: It probably took a while to catch on because with this game, timing is everything. This is election time, so you know people were like, "Oh, he said what?" And then somebody tells somebody and that somebody tells somebody. The Democratic Party is feelin' me right now!
MTV: This year we've had probably the most involvement from the hip-hop community in a presidential election ever. Besides hosting the Rap the Vote mixtape, are you getting down with the movement?
Jadakiss: Yeah, I'm Jada X right now. I definitely watched "Fahrenheit 9/11" and I encourage people to go see it. Young, old and all ages. I [went to] St. Louis to be part of the hip-hop summit with Russell Simmons. He actually got me to register to vote for the first time last fall. I'm voting. I'm getting on my grown man a little bit. Not too much, though, just enough.
MTV: Why do you think everyone is being so vocal about voting right now?
Jadakiss: I think more of the hip-hop community is getting involved with voting and telling people to get out there and vote because a lot of people are realizing we can get out there and make a change. Certain rappers are just as big as politicians as far as grabbing everybody's ears. So if everybody could put their egos and pride to the side we could definitely see some changes.
MTV: " 'Hood politicians" — didn't Styles P. use that phrase before when referring to rappers.
Jadakiss: No doubt.
MTV: So since you're a part of the movement, what's your opinion on the candidates?
Jadakiss: I'm going for Kerry. But it's really not much of a difference, if you ask me. There's a lot of stuff that people don't know, like that they went to Yale together. They're frat brothers or something. They're both filthy rich. So you know, even though they're running on different parties, they're really almost the same. Whoever is gonna seem like they're gonna make the most changes for my people is who I gotta go with. Kerry's seeming like that right now, so that's who I think I gotta pull my lever for ... But I don't know yet.
MTV: Who's your favorite politician of all time?
Jadakiss: I have a few past politicians — Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Jimmy Carter, I don't really recall too much when he was in office, but my aunt used to work for him so I guess he was a pretty good dude. Ronald Reagan, he was in office when I was a shorty, and that was the best time of my life. Bill Clinton, you know, he mess with the brothas, so I mess with Bill Clinton. He lives in Harlem and everything.
MTV: Plus he's a ladies' man!
Jadakiss: No doubt, a ladies' man too.
Jadakiss Has More Questions
Rapper expects peers to pose their own queries on 'Why' remix. Now that his career has gone to the next level with "Why," Jadakiss says he has more questions — and a couple of friends with some queries of their own.
"I'm working on [a remix] now," Kiss said last week at the MTV offices.''I'm supposed to throw throw Jill Scott on the hook if I don't leave Anthony [Hamilton] on there. I don't want to do it too differently; I want to leave the same track and have a couple of artists I love asking some different questions — Common, Nas and a new verse from Kiss" (see "Jadakiss Calls His Success Proof That 'Controversy Sells' ").
Jadakiss recently devised some words to the wise for his verse on the Babyface-produced all-star single, "Wake Up Everybody," which is being recorded to raise awareness about the importance of voting (see "Missy, Brandy, Omarion, Mary J., Jadakiss On Pro-Vote Single").
"I did 16 or 12 bars on the 'Wake Up' song," Jada explained. "It's a good look. I remember when I came out of the [vocal] booth, [Babyface's wife] Tracey Edmonds was like, 'You slaughtered it.' I didn't even hear it yet. It took a while for them to put it together and it has wild artists on there.
"They did that song like 'We Are the World,' actually the same setup," he added. "First you go in and record your lyrics, then they film the video right there afterwards. When I did my part, Babyface was there, Tracey was there, Claudette [Ortiz] was there doing her vocals. All this stuff is new for me. It's like I'm a new artist that's getting an old-artist push. That's what I need. I'm just going to stay hungry and keep the album moving. Keep going hard."
The next video we'll see in support of Kiss' Kiss of Death LP is "U Make Me Wanna," which features Mariah Carey. The video should be going into production soon, according to the Black Babe Ruth.
"I'm supposed to be shooting the me-and-Mariah joint," Mr. Raspy said. "I might do [a split video] like I did for 'Knock Yourself Out' and 'We Gonna Make It.' I might do the Mariah joint and 'By Your Side' at the end, give them a verse. ['U Make Me Wanna'] is gonna be real sexy, though, a little out of my element. That's how I want all my videos from this album to be. 'Why' hit you from left field. I just want it to be one of them joints; big house, big car, one of them videos the ladies like. This is strictly for the ladies, to get me over that hump. I understand the business."
Jada is currently on the road as part of the Pepsi Smash Tour with Jagged Edge and Fabolous.
Jadakiss Calls His Success Proof That 'Controversy Sells'
His Kiss of Death features the political single 'Why.' Jadakiss scored the highest debut of his career this week when his second solo album, Kiss of Death, debuted at #1 after selling more than a quarter million copies.
"I've got a lot more work to do, but it definitely shows that the work I did put in is paying off,''
Jadakiss said (see "Jadakiss' Kiss Of Death Is Anything But, Debuting At #1"). "That's keeping me hungry and motivated."
The success of Kiss has been propelled by Jada's song "Why." The lyrics are a series of questions about current events, politics and life in the streets. They range from the mundane to the profound.
"I tried to make a song that could appeal to a broader audience," Jadakiss explained. "That's a song that's saying a lot of things people don't get to say."
But Jada also offered another reason why his song has caught on. "Controversy sells, politics sell, all that type of stuff sells," he said.
One line in particular from "Why" is fueling the controversy: "Why did Bush knock down the towers?" The line refers to a conspiracy theory that some in the hip-hop community have expressed about the September 11 tragedy.
"The Bush bashers really feel that line, but that's just something that, after 9-11, when I came outside and everybody was just talking and gathering thoughts, that's what we came up with — 'we' meaning my people," Jadakiss said. "I just wanted to put it out there. I wanted to be the voice of the people."
Jadakiss plans to keep pushing Kiss of Death with a new single and video, but he hasn't settled on which one. He's also concentrating on launching his record label, D-Block, with fellow LOX members Styles and Sheek. He said they plan to hit the studio together soon to record a LOX album for next year, tentatively titled Live, Suffer, Celebrate.