The legendary MC chops it up with SLAMonline.
SLAM: You just dropped Consignment, which has definitely gotten a positive reception. What was the inspiration behind that project?
Kiss: Just to do something that was the sound of now to let people know I respect what’s going on now in the music game. Give the people something to hold on to while I go and make my real album. At the same time, let them know, I ain’t playin’ out here. It’s still Jada.
SLAM: Sonically, it’s a little different from your other projects. Can you describe the sound of it? You worked with a lot of artists from all over the map.
Kiss: A lot of the dudes in the NBA who are fans of mine always ask me to rhyme over down south beats as well as certain producers, so I wanted to do it for the people one time. It’s good because I’m not going to have that on my album, that’s the good thing about a mixtape, you can do whatever you want. I wanted to cater to some of the fans and some of my people and then get back to what I do on Top 5 Dead or Alive. Some people might not like it, a lot of people love it, but it still gets the job done. At the end of the day, everyone will be happy when they get that Top 5 Dead or Alive.
SLAM: I was reading a few interviews you’ve done over the last week and you gave a lot of props to Meek Mill. Is that someone you plan on working with in the future?
Kiss: I can definitely see us doing some more work, that’s my young boy. He was on a show with Drake one day telling him how dudes like me and my lyrics were like his father… I was like his father when he was listening to my lyrics growing up. That’s deep right there. I will always show him love, he’s a good artist, he’s humble and he’s got a nice, promising career in front of him.
SLAM: I was listening to a lot of old L.O.X. mixtapes today and was thinking, you’ve been around for a long time and you still put out quality music. How have you been able to stay relevant when so many artists from your era have taken a back seat?
Kiss: You gotta keep your ear to the streets, you know what I mean? Don’t think that some of the music might not be your choice of music, you still have to know how to embrace it, you know what I mean? You gotta work with what you have and that’s really it.
SLAM: How do you feel about the current landscape of hip-hop?
Kiss: I feel hip-hop is doing great! It’s a speeding ferris wheel, and you gotta be able to hold on. It’s always going to change, but it’s going to come back to the natural element of what it is. If you can hang on, you’ll be alright.
SLAM: Being that you’re an established artist and have had a number of projects come out already, how do you stay hungry and continue to get up everyday and make good music?
Kiss: Somebody is always there to take your spot. If you relax, your spot will be gone, especially now with the Internet. You can never get comfortable or feel like you’re, you’re never there. It’s never enough. Keep going. Keep wanting more.
SLAM: Some of my favorite songs of yours are when you and Styles P go back and forth—”Dope Money” is definitely one of my favorite songs of all time—is there any chance of a Jadakiss and Styles collab album?
Kiss: Definitely. We’re working on the In and Out album now as well. We’re taking it real slow because we haven’t talked to lawyers or labels about it, but we’ve definitely been working. We know the people want that, so we’re going to give them that.
SLAM: Styles is constantly working. Are you inspired by his work ethic at all?
Kiss: Hell yeah, we inspire each other. That’s the great thing about being in a three-man group. He lets me hear what he has, I let him hear what I have, and Sheek lets us both hear what he has and it motivates us to keep going and to keep creating.
SLAM: There were rumors of another L.O.X. album last year. Is that something that’s still in the works?
Kiss: Yeah, there’s going to be another L.O.X. album. We’re trying to close the deal first, hopefully that will happen in the next 2-3 weeks, a month at the latest.
SLAM: You were saying that Consignment is the warm-up for your album…
Kiss: It’s the segue to Top 5 Dead or Alive album. We’re going on tour then I’m finishing up Top 5 Dead or Alive, I’m gonna get that out and we’re gonna rock.
SLAM: What can fans expect from that album?
Kiss: Raw lyrics, good beats, good rhymes—none of that other crazy shit. Nothing out of the Jada element, I gave you all that with this mixtape, so I’m getting back to what I normally do on this Top 5 Dead or Alive. Good beats, great lyrics, you know what I mean? That Jada shit that you love.
SLAM: Any chance of any new Ruff Ryders material coming out?
Kiss: There’s talks of a reunion tour and I’ll definitely be a part of that. We’re just seeing what it is right now, everybody’s working but we’ll come to the table collectively in a minute.
SLAM: I was at the L.O.X. reunion show a few years ago and the Styles P concert last fall and I always tell people they were two of the best shows that I had ever been to. Do you guys take a lot of pride in your live performances?
Kiss: Yeah, especially at certain shows like those two shows that you said. We know that those will leave marks on history so we go and try to give extra effort as opposed to when we do those hole in the wall clubs or venues where the sound system is shitty and you just have to complete the contractual obligations. But big venues like that, we prep for ‘em, we go get the studio and walk through it for an hour or two just to make sure everybody is in pocket and everything is in sync. We really take pride in those shows for people like yourself.
SLAM: What can fans expect from you over the next couple months?
Kiss: I’m routing the tour for Consignment now, so I’m gonna knock that out. I’m gonna finish the album and get that out to the people and keep it moving. We don’t stop. Team No Sleep over here.