Who is Jae Tips? A rapper, Bronx native, father, sneaker collector, and style influencer. You either follow his music, copped a pair of sneakers from him or both. In one week Jae Tips put out his highly anticipated “Hype Beast 2”, was placed on Scotties Beam’s #PutYouOnMyPlaylist and sold-out Santos Party House for him his album release concert for “Hype Beast 2”
Growing up in the uptown part of The Bronx, attending Truman High School, & attending Herkimer College in upstate New York. Jae Tips over the years has revolutionized himself into a brand that crossed over in music, his love for sneakers and different animation.
BlameEbro: How did you feel about your first sold-out show at Santos Party House for “Hype Beast 2”?
Jae Tips: “To me it was just overwhelming. I guess the whole just coming up the whole underground scene, where you perform in places and so much of the crowd leaves after certain performers & you not wanting to get a bad slot because the crowd is not going to have a lot of energy. It was overwhelming to me, as the show was going on I was like damn it’s getting late people are going to leave. Just to be on stage & you look from wall to wall to see that everybody is here for you is pretty overwhelming.”
BE: At your concert you had your own snapchat filter. How did you come up with the idea?
JT: “It was dope. The process of me putting out ‘Hype Beast 1’ & ‘Hype Beast 2’ was I had a meeting with this marketing company & basically they filled my with head with telling me I don’t understand my power. You being able to sell sneakers and keep yourself relevant through product & always making animation it’s so marketable you need to capitalize off that. They were telling me all type of stuff saying I can be bigger than this & I can be bigger than that. So I went into this saying how can I take this to another level with things that don’t have anything to do with the music. They told me I have to keep branding myself, which I did. So I made the first pins, & when I made the first pins I had such a great response, I was like these dudes might have been right. Me & a couple of my close friends went into this next mixtape saying let’s do everything just on a branding point & the response was crazy. The snap chat shit we didn’t think about, somebody at me on twitter and said “would if Jae Tips had one of these” and sent me a link & we were on it in a second.”
BE: Your audience has a huge dynamic. We went to college together so it was a bunch of people we went school, and then you have high school friends there. How do you feel about your fans that watched you grind for so long & always come to shows to support you?
JT: “I just feel blessed. I feel like I always had a recipe that people always gave me a hard time about. People would say you should act more like a rapper or maybe you should act more like your worth something. To me, I feel like I always tried to keep it humble. I always tried to act like I wasn’t better than people & I always tried to give people a vibe that we’re equal. Even though I make music, I do shows, I sell sneakers & stuff I still want to feel like your my peer. I think that always affected people to the point that’s why they never really had a problem with supporting me. Seeing it come full circle may have been the first time I was like wow everything I been so for is really paying off.”
BE: You’re a father. How is being a new dad?
JT: “Being a dad is definitely refreshing. I feel like a lot of people go into parenthood & use that as an excuse to sideline your goals. To me, it always encouraged me to work harder. I needed to be more cost efficient with just my music, what’s the best way I can put out content without spending a lot of money. It just motivated me even more not to make excuses for myself. I always said if I wanted to make music I can’t blame anybody else if it’s not good it’s my fault. Soon as I keep running around with that it’s starting to show. Being a father just helps, it’s something to work harder for.”
BE: Your son’s name is Jeter. Did you name him after Derick Jeter?
JT: “Yeah (laughs)”
BE: How does your son have an influence on your music?
JT: “He influences it. It’s almost like he’s the second chance; even though I don’t feel like I lost the first. He’s those nights it uses to be hard. I can be a man & say I shed a couple tears & I feel like am I doing the right thing. Now he gives me the you are doing the right things. You don’t want somebody else to be your son’s hero. That always motivated me to say I Don’t want my son to grow up & say “my dad isn’t my hero somebody else is my hero.” While he still young I still have so much time to kill myself to making all those things happen for him.”
BE: Are you in a relationship?
JT: “Yeah, I am I’m still with his mom.”
BE: How long have the two of you been together?
JT: “We been together going on 5 years this year.”
BE: Whats in the future for the two of you?
JT: “I try not to look into the future so deep. I understand what I’m signing up for, especially in a life of music or a life in just entertainment period. It comes with knowing any day things can change. Much as I’m trying to enhance my career, I’m also trying to enhance her understanding of what I do. No matter what how many times a person can say they understand what you do, they don’t until it happens.”
BE: How hard is that for you? Is that even hard for you now?
JT: “It’s extremely hard! When you save up money it has to go to music shit like SXSW or some videos & stuff. When you could have just gone on vacation, or you could have put a down payment on a car or a house. It’s rough, but I’m so grateful for her. You want people to understand no matter if they tell you they do, or they don’t. It’s like this is happening, damn I hope she understands. She’s been real supportive. If something is going on, she’ll be like yoo let me cheap in money, all types of stuff.”
BE: What kind of influence does she have on your music?
JT:“I feel like she does. I feel like she gave me the foundation to understand what I’ve been through. Which help me tell the story of being with other women better, now that I’ve been able to be with complete diverse women. Not just to be with girls for a certain reason, but to be with a girl for a bunch of positive reasons. So helping me understand what I’ve been through is the way she influences me.”
BE: When you say “help me understand,” you mean with other women?
JT: “Yeah with other women. Dealing with infidelity, being immature & almost being a parent in the past. Now that she’s in my life I can almost look back & be like wow I could’ve fixed that mistake. She helped me mature a lot.”
BE: Who influences you in your music & your style? No other underground artist right now dresses like you or looks like you. I feel like that sets you different from everybody else.
JT: “I’ve always been an image guy, I always been the kill them with the way you look. That was from school, even beeing upstate in Herkimer with you.I was like, If I don’t make the best music or I’m not the most handsome, I’m always going have the new sneakers.”
BE: I remember in school your room was very creative. You had stuff on your walls.
JT: “I use to have quotes on the wall. I remember for absolutely no reason I had a big DVD selection. To me, it was always to the things people are not doing. Becuase when it come to you standing naked in a room, everyone is the same. You sit there and say what’s the best way I can separate myself. Now that I do music, now its like kill them with the image. I always thought image was 50% of the artist. I know guys who aren’t that handsome but make great music but don’t get the exposure has the handsome guy. It’s not me judging or anything, I saw it. Maybe it’s the way we were raised, the way we talk, or society. Even with girls & stuff. I saw girls with not that much vocal strength but just because there beautiful they get a better opportunity rather than the person who’s laid back & chill.”
BE: You went to the Kanye West “Yeezy Season 2” premiere at Madison Square Garden. How was that experience for you? I know your a huge Kanye fan.
JT: “Kanye is my biggest influence, Just the artistry. Kanye to me is more than music. Rap shouldn’t just be rap, rap is music too. I just feel like all together they say this is music & this is rap. To me, Kanye said rappers don’t have to stay in place, rappers don’t have to have this kind of beats or 3 versus & 3 hooks on a song. Everything he always done minus his personality. He always influenced me.”
BlameEbro: You’re very stylish, where do you get your style influence from? Do you ever see yourself doing high fashion?
JT: “I always been a street wear kind of guy. I feel like street wear relates to everyday living, I feel like high end is for the poor. High end is for people to see & dream. It’s to see a lifestyle they can’t even afford. Rich people don’t buy $500 bags, it’s poor people who buy $500 bags. If I always did things that people can afford & stuff like that, I’m more connected with the people. I’m pretty sure they’re people who said those same words before they explore that route, especially with sneakers and clothes.”
BE: Do ever in the future, want to make your own sneakers & your own street wear?
JT: “I would love to. I would love to explore that but I think that would be a goal I didn’t even set out for myself. I would love to just know that I made a color of a shoe.”
BE: Speaking of sneakers, how did you strat selling sneakers?
JT: “When I realized I didn’t want to work for anybody, & I knew I had to keep the lights on.”
BE: Where did you work?
JT: “Foot Locker. I worked at footlocker for 5 years. I Even was working at footlocker coming home for breaks. It was all about what was I doing best. Even when I was working at footlocker, the only fun I had was when I was helping someone buy sneakers. I use to met so many people & tell them I can get you shoes. Then I started to realize I can do that without being here, I felt like I learned the formula. That’s how I even met Hot 97’s Scottie Beam, we met at footlocker & I was telling her I can get you sneakers. Everything I learned there I but it into a nonemployment type of role. I felt instead of the typical guy who sales shoes, I was also more of a stylist. You let me know what you want & I’ll go find it for you, & that extends deeper than sneakers. Like Bape, people always ask where can I get this from. People send me pictures and I always help. Potentially down the road that can be something for me too.”
BE: When it comes to producers and artist, who would you like to work with?
JT: “I would love to work with artist like Pharrell and Kanye. I feel like those artists bring out the best in people. It’s a reason why they are who they are. People like Timbaland and stuff like that. They sit there and they find what you’re great at and they help you get to those points. Even people like Diddy, they help you, accomplish the best you. I feel like a lot of these underground artist and I learned what would be great to get attention. Then when you meet these guys they are going to help you max out your full potential. That’s what I look forward to producers, not so much artist. That’s more like a marketing strategy to get features. If somebody is hot well make a song together, just to fuck the blogs up. I would rather sit down with artist and let them mentor me.
BE: Who are you listening to right now?
JT: “At the moment right now I’m listening to a guy I actually sampled two of his records on my album, his name is Sohn. Also, French Montana’s Wave Gods that’s in heavy rotation. I’m listening to a chick name Holzie and a guy from Atlanta named Raury. That’s what’s in current rotation right now when I get on the train that’s what I’m listening to.”
BE: How do you feel about New York radio? Do you feel like New York radio supports underground artist enough?
JT: The people work the radio support. Radio is a job just like everything else, radio gets the most slack, people get mad mostly at the radio. If ratings pay the bills you have, to be honest with yourself. I don’t think people listen to Hot 97 to discover new music, I think they listen to get ready for parties or get their morning started.”
BE: Do you ever see yourself being a part of a label?
JT: “I would love to in the aspect of what the good things that come with it a label. It most definitely would have to be on my terms, It so much you can do. Sometimes I just want to click up and go to sleep and just wake up and check things. Sometimes I don’t want to have to deal with the analytics & the view counts. Coming up people wouldn’t talk to you if you weren’t on a certain level, the first question they ask you is where your views at? If it was somebody’s job to make it all work, trust me I would be in paradise. Trust me I never did it for the money, I’m not one of those artists who get mad because they feel like they deserve a bigger cut than 80%. I remember making no money. You want 80% of something big or you want 100% of something little. You want 80% of a million or you wany 100% of $100. You have to be realistic when some artist to have interviews and be like fuck the labels. Those are the people who just don’t know how to take criticism & be told what to do.”
BE: Do you have Apple Music or Tidal?
JT: “I have both.”
BE: What made you get both?
JT: “My album & Kanye album is on it, that’s really it. Apple, I always been iTunes. iTunes was the first thing on my computer in college, iTunes basically comes with everything. It’s more like being closer to your dreams I’m on Apple Music and I’m used to the system. I’m just an Apple guy, iPhone, iWatch & that type of shit.”
BlameEbro: Any new videos coming out?
JT: “I have a video that I’ve been sitting on for a little while. I’ll be shooting another 2 this month. I’m really just trying to roll out the content, going into Hype Beast 2 another thing I wanted to do was to compete with the artist that are stuffing you with music. You also have to adapt to the time, I see a lot of artists who don’t adapt to the time. It so easy to be like I’m quality over quantity but, you have to sit there adapt to the times. I want to shout out Dave East & Tray Pizzy those are dudes who constantly give you quality. So soon as you see someone who can constantly give you quality you can’t make excuses and be like these dudes are just throwing out a lot of music and wasting it. These dudes are giving you quality shit, I always wanted to get like that. I’m not dropping a video unless I have to other ones ready after. After the show the other night, I went home and started writing again, I was like I have to keep building on this momentum, I can’t let this slip out my hands.”
While Jea Tips prepares himself to take over SXSW in Austin, Texas make sure you listen to Hype Beast 2 available on Soundcloud, Apple Music & Tidal.
Check out Hype Best 2 below:
Check Out Halftime below: