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Interview: Getting To Know Rapper Jameel Mason

Jameel Mason
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Interview: Getting To Know Rapper Jameel Mason

Rapper Jameel Mason, who hails from New Jersey, recently released a music video, “Black Queens,” an homage to black women in American culture.

“Black Queens” follows on the heels of the music video for “Quarantine Miami,” a collaboration with R&B singer Alix Ford. The video amassed over 500,000 views on YouTube.

The video for “Black Queens,” directed by Cozy Creatives and G-Train Productions, depicts Jameel surrounded by black women draped in independence, inner strength, and confidence – women going about their careers and lives with dignity and patience.

Slow, low, and rife with smooth hip-hop muscle, Jameel’s silky flow complements the music – glossy and velvety.

“Momma gave us everything even though we poor and never had things / And when I’m chillin with you make it very hard to stare up at the flat screen / Yeah yeah yeah yeah / But more importantly for my daughter got me raising up a Black Queen.”

Muzique Magazine spoke with Jameel Mason to discover more about his influences, what he’s listening to at the present juncture, and the inspiration for “Black Queens.”

How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?

I first started rhyming in middle school, that is my earliest memory. By the time I got to high school, my cousin had a makeshift studio in his basement, and I would go record songs after school. I really fell in love with the process in college – all students had access to the music department so I and my teammates would reserve a block of time and make tracks after practice, I’ve been nonstop ever since.

What singers/musicians influenced you the most?

I can’t say “who influenced” but I can tell you “what influenced” and that is my family and life experiences – all art requires a level of creativity and the inspiration behind that creativity comes from my loved ones and the things that I have been through. 

Which artists are you listening to right now?

My favorite artist right now is Bigg Mellz, E. Scott, and Jahda Gabor. They are super dope and talented.

As an artist, what’s been your biggest challenge so far?

The business – there are a lot of “fakers” in this industry who want to take advantage of you for money. The best advice I have for any indie artist coming up is to learn the business yourself – it might take you a little bit longer but once you acquire key information you cannot be stopped. 

Is your sound evolving? If so, in which direction? Toward R&B, trap, or some other direction?

Haha, I’m not an R&B singer so I don’t think I’m headed in that direction, but I do see my wordplay strengthening, better metaphors, working with bigger production which will create a bigger sound sonically. I believe I am just getting started in terms of honing my skill set as an artist.

How do you keep your sound fresh and avoid coming across as derivative?

Staying authentic, remembering why I make music, and not rushing the process.

What is your songwriting process?  Do the rhymes come first, or the music? 

Each song is different – the biggest thing for me is my setting and vibe. If the mood is right, and I’m in a comfortable place, I can cook up songs with quickness.

Why do you make music?

For myself, and the people that love my sound, I promise to always remain humble and true. The people that support and admire the genuineness in my rhymes – I can’t turn my back on them for clout. 

What was the inspiration for your new single/music video “Black Queens?”

There are a lot of women in my family; in addition, I have a daughter – people don’t know that Aspen is my daughter’s name. “Black Queens” is a heartfelt tribute to all the important women who played a role in making me who I am today.

What do you want people to take away from the video?

I want viewers to see the gratitude, respect, and effort given to the Black Queens walking among us. I believe that this song is timeless and will be played for generations. 

Where was the video shot and who directed it?

The video was shot in various locations throughout New Jersey and New York. The directors were Cozy Creatives and G-Train Productions.

How are you handling the coronavirus situation?

The pandemic has been a blessing for me, I got a chance to really focus on my writing, created a fire LP, and had the music video to “Quarantine Mami” rack up over 500k YouTube views. This time showed me that you can still be effective even when your initial plan gets derailed. 

Looking ahead, what’s next for Jameel Mason?

2021 is going to be a major year. I just released a track called “Big Steppa” which is doing crazy numbers already.

I have the official summer anthem dropping in a couple weeks called “Claws.”

The album Pine Hill is 85% completed and I will be dropping a collaboration album with an artist as well – I can’t speak on that yet, but I have a lot going on.

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Randy Radic hangs out in NorCal, where he smokes cigars, keeps snakes as pets, and writes about true crime, music, pop culture, tech, and business. He also writes for CelebMix and Guitar Girl Magazine.

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