Based in Colton, California, Ja$on AleXander has shown tremendous promise in the Rap genre with the release of his new self-titled album. Although this is his first album, he has already exhibited many different unique styles and themes that overall make this album a pleasure to listen to. From it's opening track "Got the Tape Intro," that leads into one of his most well-known songs "Came 2 Play," Ja$on AleXander is full of catchy lyrics and badass beats. This project also features other rappers from the Inland Empire; Tono on the track "Like Ice" and Oktane on "The Whip." Both of these songs help express Ja$on AleXander's attitude towards getting women, and smoking blunts in fast cars. Additionally, through the use of each featured artist it becomes clear that Ja$on AleXander isn't held up by other people; instead the features on this album showcase his own talent and prove that he can stand on his own. Other tracks on this album like "Notice," "Hotbox," "Eye," and "No Time" help exhibit how lyrically talented he is.
In a recent interview, Ja$on AleXander opens up about the creation of the self-titled album, where he draws his inspiration from, and reveals that a new EP The Triple Threat will be out next. Continue reading below for the complete written interview, and be sure to check out Ja$on AleXander's self-titled album now available on all streaming platforms. You can also tune-in and listen to this interview by subscribing to Turnt Abel on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
What part of California are you based in?
"I'm from the Inland Empire, Colton California, Southern California. Its beautiful most days, but right now since the fires and everything, all prayers to them."
In track five "The Whip (feat. Oktane) you rap "In the whip/Got me rollin' up to Cali in the whip," where did you live before?
"What I meant was actually, "Rollin' UP the Cali in the whip." That was my bad, I'm trying to learn a how to annunciate a little better, but yeah that's what I meant with those lyrics."
What made you want to start making music? When did you start?
"I've always been into music since I was a kid. My dad had always listened to Rock, my uncle got me into Hip-Hop, and it's just always been something that I thought was life. Music is life. Everything that we do, everything that we touch, every sound - it can be generated into a musical tone. It just had something in my heart. When I was 12, I started writing Hip-Hop, and my writing started off as poetry."
Which of the two do you prefer? Rock or Hip-Hop?
"I'm at a point right now where I'm learning to appreciate all music. Obviously, I'm a Hip-Hop guy, but I can never go wrong with Rock. Guitars are in hip-hop beats and everything is in sync with one another."
How did you come up with the name Ja$on AleXander?
"That is my first and middle name. When I was first starting, I was J Kid. Then I as I was about to start recording music, I realized that there was another guy with that same name, so I had to change it. Jason Alexander is my name, and I related it to Kendrick Lamar in a sense. That's who he is, so this is who I am. I do realize, and I get all the time, that it's the same name as the actor who plays George on Seinfeld."
In a few tracks on the album, you refer to yourself as Xander, is this your preferred name?
"It's just another persona."
What inspired the cover art for your self-titled album?
"That picture was taken in front of Centerpoint Church in Colton, and across from that Church is Fleming Park that has a stage and everything. To me, because the album was self-titled, I wanted the picture to be of something that represented me. I feel the most comfortable when I'm on-stage. I feel alive and happier. I wanted the cover art to show that when I'm on there, that's who I am. Ja$on AleXander is someone who is a talented performer. It's kind of like an old-school thing."
Do you still feel that anxiety, or do you feel completely at peace once you're on stage?
"I get anxiety easily, I get nervous. But as soon as I'm on-stage, and in the process of doing what I'm doing, it all clicks. It's all nothing when I'm on-stage."
What's your favorite track on the project?
"'No Time,' which is the last song on the album. That song has a lot of meaning to me. It has to do with a girl who was very important to me, and isn't in my life anymore, but it is what it is. That song was the best way for me to get the feelings off my chest and feel better. I actually made that song three weeks before my album dropped, and the week after it was made, I performed it live at Leap Fest. It got a lot of good feedback and I'm very happy with it. The song is very mellow, and a very good ride out."
How did you choose Oktane and Tono to be featured on the album?
"Tono is one of my best friends, and he was the first person who came up to me and said, 'I want you to record.' We went and recorded our first song together, and ever since then it's just taken off. We dropped our first mixtape together, and after that I decided to go solo, but we're still the best of friends. He's been on every tape so far, and he's always going to be on a tape. Oktane is from the Inland Empire and is one of my main influences in rap. He's worked with Grammy nominated producer Hit-Boy, and he's done stuff with the rapper Wale. His group Audio Push has been a main influence to me because they're based in the Inland Empire. When I knew I was doing my first solo project I knew I wanted either him and/or Price (the other member of Audio Push) on the project. So I'm glad I got him."
Do you think the mixtape with Tono going to be available at any point? Or will that be something you guys keep to yourself?
"It's on SoundCloud right now, but probably not on any main platforms. My first tape was me figuring out how to get on all the main platforms, and now I'm slowly learning the business and I'm hoping that with this knowledge, we can do another tape and put it on a major platform."
Who produced the album?
"DubbGuy Entertainment is me and Tono's group, and then ModernDayHippies are another group I'm involved with. It's run by a good friend of mine, YungJL, and the album is being affiliated with both groups. I have a bunch of different producers on this project, but my friend who goes by Lucifer, mixes and masters everything. I go to his studio and he's the one doing all the plug-ins, he's the one I'm doing all my main vocals with. Without him, I'm basically nothing. I'm very appreciative of him."
The tracks "Came 2 Play" and "Like Ice (feat. Tono)" are a very lyrical type of rap, who are some of your influences?
"I think of influences in two ways. The first is when I started making music, those influences would be Joey Bada$ with A$AP Mob, and Tupac. Then, there are influences who help me create my current sound. Those artists include Future, and other 808 rappers. I'm able to ride in different lanes if that makes sense, and I'm glad I'm able to go from the lyrical East Coast, to the trap West Coast."
It sounds like you're moving more towards the Trap genre in some of your recent releases, is that intentional? Do you feel like you're moving more towards that sound, or would you prefer to stay in the middle?
"I am definitely going to stay in the middle, right now the reason a lot of my Trap stuff is coming out, is because I'm doing an EP, and this is the first anyone has heard of it, I'm dropping a three-track EP called The Triple Threat and its going to bring out my heel persona, per se. I'm a very big wrestling fan, so that's related to the Triple Threat. A lot of the Trap stuff is more of my ignorant side, my mouthy side. So, with Trap it's me bringing out my heel persona, so that's intentional. I also have an idea for my next album, I'm on go right now."
Now that you bring up wrestling, the introduction to the track "Got the Tape Intro" features what sounds like a UFC fight; is that a reference to it?
"Yeah that was intentional too. That's from a tape made in 2000. It's funny because it's about brands colliding with each other. You have the famous wrestling commentator James William 'Jim' Ross, or J.R. in the background. That's how I wanted the album to start. It's like we were watching TV, and all of a sudden Daniel comes knocking on the door and says 'Hey man, I got the tape.' So then we're like, 'Alright, lets stop watching this and pop that in.'"
In the track "Eye" you rap lyrics like "God's in control" and "Looking up to God/Looking for the wisdom." It also sounds like there are Gospel singers featured around the chorus; would you say that you're a religious person?
"I wouldn't say I'm very religious. When I was a kid growing up, I wasn't a believer. To me I thought it was nonsense. As I got older, I found myself in dark places, and I thought to myself that I should look in a different way. Maybe try to see if there's something. I later decided that following something and believing in something could help me out. I wouldn't say that I'm a religious person, because I don't believe in any religion, but I believe in God. With those lyrics its like me calling out to Him saying that I want his help, and that if he is in control, then he needs to take control. I also believe that he's taking control right now, because who would have thought that I would be doing this? If I'm not stopping now, then there's obviously something telling me to keep going."
I understand that you just released a music video for the track, "OMG," what was it like making that music video?
"It was awesome. It was a very different experience. I've never stood in front of a camera like that. It was a lot of fun because I went in knowing what I wanted to do, and I had the vision of how I wanted it to go. Everyone there was having a good time and nobody felt uncomfortable being on camera. We all went in thinking "Let's do something different." Rather than pretending who we aren't, we decided to be who we are, and we had a blast doing it. I definitely want to do it again, so there are more music videos to come in the future. This song is also the first single on the new EP coming out. As of right now the only way you can hear the song is by watching the music video on YouTube."
Do you have a release date in mind for the second album to be dropped by?
"The next album would be later on in the year, but for the EP I'm hoping by October. I'm not pushing for the next album to come out right away because I want it to sound a lot better than the first one did. Don't get me wrong, I love the first one, but I have a lot of surprises in store for the next album."
What album artwork are you thinking of doing for the EP?
"There's a super talented artist local artist here in the Inland Empire, his name is Nicholas Gray, and he does a lot of illustration work. I asked him to help me out with him, and we're going to have an illustrated wrestling cover. I'm very excited about it."
Do you think the theme of you as a kid being the artwork on singles you release will be a reoccurring thing?
"Possibly, I don't want to say no because I like using them, and I like the old-school style of those pictures."
You recently released a snippet for the track "Goin' 4 Mine," when will this track officially drop?
"This song won't be out for a while, it's actually going to be a single we release for the album coming out later."
What was your favorite venue to play at before the Coronavirus?
"I performed three times at the Venue Bar and Grill, so that's my favorite. Then I did a show in a record shop called Serious Cartoons, it's a really cool little spot. I've also performed at this little alleyway called Breezeway and it's very nice because you can tell it's set up for artists."
Being an independent artist right now, would you prefer to stay independent or are you looking to be signed by a label?
"It's so hard to say. The only reason I would want to be independent is because I'd get final say over everything. If I wanted to drop something on a certain day, nothing would be stopping me. On the other hand, a label is a label. I'm not all about the money, but it would be nice."
If you were stranded on a desert island, what albums would you want to be with you?
"That's a tough one! I'd probably have to say All Eyez on Me by Tupac, and a Pearl Jam album."
Anything you want listeners to know before this interview ends or any shout-outs you want to make?
"I just want to shout-out all my boys; Tono, Lucifer, YungJL, without them I wouldn't still be doing this. They believe in me more than I believe in myself. I have a lot more music to come and stuff I want to do, so I'm not done yet."