This months feature is anIllinoian resident looking to bring the back the consciousness back to hip-hop an return it to the back CNN let get a update from……….. Jerk Nowitzki:
Mistajay: What is the story and conception behind your emcee name?
Jerk Nowitzki: Well back in 2001-2003 me and my friends were big fans of the Lox. They had a skit on their album We Are The Streets where they were making fun of Diddy with a character named J-Jerkin Ni**as, he was a slick talking label exec that tried to sign artists to shady deals. At the time I was a slick talking aggressive type dude and jokingly my friends made the comparison and started calling me Jerk, and it ended up sticking. Now I’ve tied in other meanings of my name with who I’ve become
as an artist but that is where the name started.
Mistajay: What area are you reppin? What is the hip hop scene like there?
Jerk Nowitzki: I’m born & raised in the 309 aka P-town bka Peoria, Illinois; home of the great Richard Pryor. Peorias got a very active underground hip hop and rap scene. There’s not a whole lot of consistent active outlets for good live performances but things are growing as people
start to get more business minded and take things into there own hands. Peoria definitely has a seemingly endless supply of talented artists who make high quality music.
Mistajay: You have been writing music since 2003 but didn’t get to start recording until 2008 due to a lengthy 4 1/2 year prison stay, please go into detail on how the affected your style and subject matter.
Jerk Nowitzki: It’s crazy, but it was actually a blessing in disguise when I apply it to myself as an artist because I spent the entire time writing song after song in different flows and cadences. I took time to study all the artists at the time who were considered great and tried to figure out what it is that made them great and how to incorporate that within my own style. So now, I consider myself to not necessarily have a set “style”, I just do what the beat tells me to do & deliver it in a way to where my voice sounds the best saying it.
What are your influences of your music? And what inspires you?
Jerk Nowitzki: All types of music influence me as long as I can see/feel the realness in it. Rock, rap, country, reggae…they all have something you can tap into and incorporate into your own music to make it more universal and still make the music that you want to make. Life inspires me, knowing that my people come from kings & queens and greatness inspires me. I’m inspired by where I see us
going in the future as everyones awareness & knowledge of self starts to rise.
Mistajay: You stated you channel artists, poets, & leaders from the past when you write music, their spirits have been around longer so they have a deeper understanding if that so is that how do you would describe your style?
Jerk Nowitzki: As my own awareness and knowledge of self rose, I had writers block for awhile & when I was able to write, I realized that I can now only say what I believe is progressive and right for the collective of society. I couldn’t write about or say things that I knew weren’t the right thing because now I fully knew better, and I’d now have to make the conscious decision to tell my people the wrong things and that just isn’t me anymore. I study artists, poets, & leaders from the past to try to get in the same state of mind that they were in when they created some of their best work.
Mistajay: With 2 moderately successful underground mixtapes “fall back or lay down” 2012 & “jerk city” 2014, and a few dozen other singles & collaborations, you are currently working with producer Jean Quest on your new project “A Conscious Killer” What is your best song recorded to date and why?
Jerk Nowitzki: I’m still currently recording my Conscious Killer Album/EP but we have some amazing joints recorded. 1 unreleased track that will definitely be on the project is “Just Like You” produced by Jean Quest and featuring Alternative/Folk Singer/songwriter Nikki Wilken. It’s going to be an impactful track & video touching on the subject of black on black crime. 1 already released track is License to Kill
an amazing collaboration with my Global Group label mate Passport Louis. It’s produced by Jean Quest and we shot an amazingly powerful video that received 100,000 views in 3 day on Facebook. The video is available on Facebook, Youtube, and www.jerkfrom309.com.
Mistajay: If you could share the stage with any 3 artists or bands who are still around and touring, who would they be and why?
Jerk Nowitzki: It would have to be J.Cole, Lupe Fiasco, & Nas. I feel like those 3 artists are coming from a real place. They speak and write from the heart and I think we have the same type of energy and outlook on what we’re trying to accomplish with our art.
Mistajay: A lot of artists come into the game with a lot of ambition but don’t spend time learning the business side. How important to you is learning about publishing and royalties?
Jerk Nowitzki: As much as I hate it, this society is based on money, so even though I don’t care for money I know that its needed to a certain extent to get your message to the people and you’re gonna need it to keep your business going, so publishing and royalties are very important. Thats how most artists, especially in hip hop become controlled puppets, they sign away all or majority of their music income in exchange for endorsements that they have to walk a fine line or stick to an agenda to keep. Knowing you’re business is the key to longevity and staying true to who you are.
Mistajay: Where do you see the hip hop going in 2017? How do you see yourself fitting into
Jerk Nowitzki: I’m %100 behind bringing the essence of hip hop back to the forefront of the music industry. We as a people are drowning and although the rap game isn’t fully responsible; it’s not helping. Kids and easily influenced minds are going to mimic whatever you show them that success is. If it’s ignorance and coonery…they’ll indulge in ignorance and coonery if they believe it will make them a millionaire. We have to show them that strength and knowledge of self trump wealth and actually make
it easier to obtain it.
Mistajay: What are your future plans?
Jerk Nowitzki: I’m currently planning out the next 4 or 5 videos that I’m gonna drop going into 2017. I’m writing a couple tracks that will be featured in a documentary about NBA Champion Shaun Livingston & 4 other basketball stand-outs from Peoria. Planning shows, writing new music…the basic grid of an artist.
NEXT MONTHS INTERVIEW TBA!!!!
Mistajay is doing a monthly interview feature the underground experience on the blog www.empiremusiq.com/blog and would like to interview you for this new post please contact email@example.com to publicize any new projects that you have coming up thanks for your time. Donate or pay $50 dollar interview fee below!!