Remember when Hip-Hop was more about fun than guns? Twenty-two year old Jason Fox does. With the runaway success of his dance hit, "Aunt Jackie" the Harlem native has joined a growing movement of young entertainers making the "hop" hip again. Now with the backing of hit-maker Jermaine Dupri and the Island Urban Music, Fox will take his creativity to a whole other level.
"I grew up on a lot of Will Smith and LL Cool J and I just felt like hip-hop has gotten so distorted," says the former party promoter. "I felt it was time to bring it back to the original roots."
Fox first grabbed the ears of his fans with a remake of the hit record "Chicken Noodle Soup," but it was "Aunt Jackie" that made him a star. Named after his friend Tone Wop's actual aunt, the simple yet catchy dance accompanied by its old school horns and snares was an underground favorite at first.
"We made the song and put it on Myspace and everybody was hitting me up saying it was crazy," says Fox. "Then they asked if I could perform it at their party or their talent show. So we performed it here and there and in January we got bored in the house and decided to make a video. It was shot on 125th right in front of the Apollo with a home video camera. It was 9pm at night and we chose the Apollo cuz that was the only place at the time that had lights on."
After some editing on his home computer Fox put the video up on Youtube and it quickly earned over 100,000 hits. However, the song would not remain an Internet phenomenon. Hot 97 DJ Enuff was bombarded with requests for the song at Madison Square Garden. Wanting to know what had the kids going nuts, Enuff looked up the video on Myspace, ripped the audio from the video and played it on the air.
"When we went up to Hot 97 we got the royal treatment," remembers Fox. "Ms. Jones was wilin out over the record talking about how much she loved it. We went in and she interviewed us on the spot. DJ Envy realized that we weren't signed, so he made the phone call to JD and by the next day we had an offer in the works."
While having a good time is high on Jason Fox's agenda, his life has not been one big party. Prior to his musical success he was attending Interborough Institute and working at Radio Shack to pay the bills. During a fight Fox was stabbed in the hip and during the recovery was forced to drop out of school and quit his job. When he was healed he turned to party promoting to make money and found his calling to move the crowd.
"I think music is more of a feeling. You can listen to a song in the house and it sound boring as hell, but if you hear it in the club it's a different vibe. We played the song at parties and showed people the dance itself so you get surrounded by the feeling of people enjoying the song."
In the ever-changing music industry Jason Fox is following principles of the past to become a shining example of the future; Young entrepreneurs with a love of music taking their art straight to the people by any means necessary.
"My style is about making people happy," he says. "I'm a party person and you'll see that through my music. I'm from Harlem and part of a big Harlem movement, but I'm repping the whole world. I get mail from Japan that I can't even read."