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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Jake Lefco
Monday, October 16, 2006

Hailing from Philly Jake Lefco has been a fan of Hip-Hop since he could walk. Influenced by the likes of LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Pharcyde and DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Lefco would eventually start penning rhymes of his own. People quickly took notice. Recently Lefco had a hit single with his song “Headphones.” The song reached number two on the national college radio charts and with that momentum pushing him forward Lefco is releasing his full length debut, And You Are?, this month. With his album ready to hit stores Lefco sat down with me to discuss who he is, what kind of an impact he’s hoping to make, and how he feels the younger generation will react to his music.

Adam Bernard: You're album is titled And You Are? So let me start by asking that question of you, who is Jake Lefco and why should people be listening to your music?
Jake Lefco: Jake Lefco is a gang bangin, crack slingin, killer/pimp...No, but seriously.....I murder people for a living. My bad, let me stop right there! On the real, Jake Lefco is a good dude with an honest, yet upbeat, outlook on life. I have a carefree and sometimes lazy personality, a deep desire to learn and create, and a ferocious hunger to spit. I'm proud of who I am, and I'll never try to be anything but that, which is the reason why I kept my real name, Jake Lefco. But at the same time, I am never satisfied. I'm aware of my faults and weaknesses, but I'm determined to become a better man, and I think this is reflected in my music. I think people of all ages, races, and backgrounds can identify with a lot of my songs because everybody's got their own issues to deal with. It’s not about me preaching and saying what’s universally right or wrong, it’s about being honest with yourself, good and bad, and still being able to laugh about it. And not to mention, it all comes in the form of ill beats and rhymes that'll make your head nod.

Adam Bernard: I noticed a distinctly positive vibe in your music. What kind of an impact are you looking to make through this? What do you want people to walk away with after listening to And You Are?
Jake Lefco: I don't want to be too unrealistic, but I'm expecting the album to bring world peace, end world hunger, bring racial harmony and economic prosperity to all, and save the whales...... and the rainforest. No, I'm bullshittin. The positive vibe in my music is a reflection of my attitude. I believe that almost anything has a bright side as long as you make a conscious effort to look for it. Of course, the world is a pretty fucked up place, as is our country in a lot of ways, but for the most part I'm more focused on making music that makes you feel good. I want it to inspire people to make changes and grow, but I also want them to enjoy the now...because that’s really all we're guaranteed.

Adam Bernard: Awesome. I like the sound of that. Now, every artist has their "coming up" story, so here's your opportunity to tell yours. How did you "come up?"
Jake Lefco: Ever since I was like 13 I've been rhyming, or at least trying to! It was always just a fun way to pass time and blow off steam. You know, real informal, just spontaneous little cyphers chillin with my boys or at parties or whatever. I was probably 16 before I started writing anything down, and then 18 by the time I recorded my first song. Happ G and Scandal, who at the time had formed the group 40th Dimension, both showed legitimate interest in my skills and kind of took me under their wing. We made a few songs which they then included on their full length The Crop Report, and that was it, I was hooked. I've been working with those cats ever since. I'm still so thankful to them for puttin me on. Happ G has been my right hand man and main producer through it all. I've also gotten a lot of beats from Snuff, another talented Karma Response Unit producer and artist, and have collaborated vocally with Scandal, Reef the Lost Cauze, Side Effect, and Briz, most of whom will be featured on the album. We've been a small family, but these dudes have shown a lot of love!

Adam Bernard: Would Jake Lefco as a kid have dug Jake Lefco the full grown adult's album?
Jake Lefco: Yeah, I think little Lefco would have dug it. First off, in a lot of ways, I'm still that little kid and I don't think my stuff is way over anybody's head, it’s pretty straightforward and accessible, even to the youngins. Also, I think the sound of the beats and the delivery is something I would have been feelin whether it was 1986 or 2086. The only thing my music would not fully satisfy in the mind of a young Jakey is the need for outright rebellion. You know, there was a time when I wanted to bump nothing but NWA, Cypress Hill, and 2 Live Crew. Not that I don't still love that shit, but back then I was gung-ho about anything that would scare my parents and offend my teachers. Kids are always gonna crave that, as they should, but they're not gonna find much of it here.

Adam Bernard: Finally, other than the cliché and the obvious, do you have any advice for the aspiring MC's out there? Things they should do, or specifically avoid?
Jake Lefco: Besides just being yourself, my advice is to give yourself plenty of space to mold your own style. What I mean by that is to not get so caught up in what other artists out there are doing because sooner or later you’re gonna sound like a generic version of them and nobody wants to hear the same old shit. Also, if you are as lucky as I was to find a producer and/or label that you trust, hold on tight. Its a shady business and if you have someone to bounce ideas off of, to help you execute your goals, and someone who actually cares about the integrity of the music and not just the profit, you're gonna be much better off.

Jake Lefco’s And You Are? will be in stores this month and the follow up, Missing Trooth, is due out in early 2007.

You can find Jake on the web at krurecords.com, and on MySpace at myspace.com/JakeLefco & myspace.com/KarmaResponse

For booking inquiries please contact inquiries@krurecords.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:17 AM  
  • At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    He's Nasty
    Like Lap Dances and trash can lids
    or the outlook of america by afghan kids

    really doe


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