Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
8/24/2006 2:02:25 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Blak Jak. Hip Hop, Rap and New Releases.
Real gamblers have a special mentality. They’re ballsy, fearless, and ambitious. They thrive on winning yet aren’t afraid to lose. They realize that in the blink of an eye, a life’s worth of success can be lost with a single roll of the dice yet they never hesitate to come back to the table again and again.
BLAKJAK has that gambler’s mentality. The 23-year-old Decatur, Georgia rapper says he earned his moniker when he was in high school and has lived up to it ever since. “Blackjack is the game that I used to like to play. When I was in school I used to hustle people playing that game so I just kinda rolled with the nickname.” And now, BLAKJAK is gambling on success in the rap game.
BLAKJAK, born Jafari Eady, began rapping about six years ago at the urging of his cousins. “Two of my cousins had a group called The Ward Boys. I kinda wanted to do what they were doing.” At that time, BLAKJAK was soaking up the sounds of hip-hop, lending special attention to Scarface, whom he says he appreciated for his story-telling skills. BLAKJAK soon took elements of the rap music that he loved and added his own flavor to create a sound that he refers to as “rhythm & gangsta.” “It’s not too up-tempo. It’s something to ride to,” he offers.
BLAKJAK describes his lead single, “Ride & Swerve,” as a “very catchy, summertime song. It’s straight for the streets and it’s definitely something outside of the box in terms of what’s happening now in Atlanta.” Not one to yield to hip hop trends, BLAKJAK steers clear of his hometown’s popular sub-genres like crunk and snap music, opting instead to stay true to his own unique flavor – a flavor that he says has appeal from coast to coast. “The west coast, east coast and down south all have ride music like I do. So my sound is for people from all over.”
BLAKJAK’s debut album for Vintage Sound/Universal Republic entitled “Place Your Bets,” takes listeners deep inside his personal life and douses them with the philosophies that have helped to shape his experiences. “The album is appropriately titled because life is definitely a gamble,” he says. “It’s all about how you play your hand, how you roll the dice. It’s all about being in the game and about how you handle winning and losing.” Among BLAKJAK ‘s favorites on the set are “Street Life,” produced by Cool & Dre, and the Don Cannon-produced “Above Water.” “‘Street Life’ is a song about how I came up and ‘Above Water’ is about keeping your head above water. I’m telling people I know that it’s hard sometimes but I’m just sharing with them some of my experiences and all that I’ve been through to get to where I am.”
On “The Pain I Feel,” BLAKJAK talks about love and loss. “This song is about some of the things that I’ve been through. I lost my mom when I was eleven; I lost one of my best friends and I lost my cousin who got shot and killed after school.”
“What’s That Smell,” featuring Young Joc, is, quite simply, a song about smoking weed. This ‘blazing joint’, like many others on the set, are straightforward and unpretentious. “I’m just a genuine dude,” says BLAKJAK. “I just speak from my heart. I just do me without jumping into the trend thing.”
And BLAKJAK says he thinks fans will appreciate him for who he is. “Real recognize real and I think people wanna hear something real. I hope people will listen to this album and say, ‘he’s coming with it. He’s really from the streets for real. This guy’s really trying to do something.” BLAKJAK says his miss
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