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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Artist Of The Week - J.Monopoly
Monday, September 21, 2009

Hollis, Queens has been home to a number of hip-hop’s legends. From Run-DMC to LL Cool J, the small section of NYC has always seemed to produce great emcees. J.Monopoly has spent his entire life in Hollis. Want to take a guess at what he’s great at? Yeah, he can rock the mic. For J.Monopoly the obsession started early and he pushed all other potential hobbies and distractions to the side to focus on music. “When I did well in school,” he remembers, “my pops would reward me with a trip to Tower Records and I got to pick out anything I wanted and for Christmas I always got CDs and cassettes.” Now, at the ripe old age of 21, J.Monopoly is poised to be one of the leaders of the next generation of NYC hip-hop artists and this week I caught up with him to find out more about his music, his history, and if there’s anyone in the game that the “Right In The Kissah” emcee would like to give a “boom, pow” to.

Adam Bernard: The term Monopoly deals with exclusive control, so what is J.Monopoly monopolizing?
J.Monopoly: That's what it means? I just liked the board game. {laughs} Just joking. J.Monopoly is monopolizing a new era in music, starting with hip-hop. I love this culture, and the music, and I think it's time somebody brings something new, something exciting back to the culture. I figured since I grew up doing this and I understand it so well, why not let it be me? I want to usher in a new breed of artists who understand music and its importance, as well as hip-hop culture in all of its aspects. So for now, I'm monopolizing a new sound, a new era.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the pros and cons of being J.Monopoly in 2009?
J.Monopoly: Man, where do I begin? The cons are you don’t get as much sleep these days. You're always out, spending money. When they said you had to “pay dues” I guess they were being literal. Another thing is that you have all of these events you have to try to make. No lie, I find myself sometimes going to like two to three different events a night! Now the pros are that you get to experience the life you've always wanted, you get to meet new people, you always hang out and everywhere you go people know who you are… that still trips me out a little.

Adam Bernard: When did you first get into Hip-Hop and how quickly did you go from being a listener to an emcee?
J.Monopoly: I'd like to say I was into hip-hop from the womb but we may never know that to be true {laughs}. My earliest memories stretch back to when I was around three to four years old. My pops was a DJ so there was always music around; LL, P.E., Nice and Smooth, Run-DMC, Tribe, Ice-T. I said my first cuss word listening to “New Jack Hustler.” Before I was in school my mother used to sit me in a room and leave the TV on Video Music Box or Bobby Simmons’ Flava Videos. I was so taken by what I saw that I started running around the house freestyling to myself and beatboxing… at three and four years old! I knew since then that's what I wanted to do. I started DJing at a young age and at seven I wrote my first rhyme.

Adam Bernard: You’ve obviously been doin your thing for a minute now, but what really inspired me to hit you up was your fantastic collaboration with Top $ Raz and Kalil Kash (both former Artists Of The Week), “Right In The Kissah.” How did you link up with them and how did the track come together?
J.Monopoly: Raz and Kalil, those are my dudes right there. I met them at End Of The Weak (EOW) a few months back and we have a mutual respect for each other's work. We'd always see each other at different venues to the point where we just started hanging together. “Kissah” was Kash's idea. We were chillin' after the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and he said "yo, I have an idea for this song and I think it's gonna be crazy!" So he told me the hook and the idea and I went crazy! I was hyped. So I got J.EazeeMayxDaBeatz (O.I.S.D.'s main producer) to produce the track and the three of us went in the studio and knocked it out. We wanted to capture an old school feel, like go back to '92, '93, with that track. J.Eazee did a perfect job at making that happen.

Adam Bernard: Is there anyone right now, famous or not, that you’d like to “boom, pow, right in the kissah?”
J.Monopoly: {laughs} No, not really, not at this moment.

Adam Bernard: Aside from that collaboration I know you have a crew you do work with. Tell me about O.I.S.D., who’s in it, and what makes each one of you unique as artists.
J.Monopoly: O.I.S.D. AKA Operation Industry Shut Down, is a crew I started back in high school in February of '06. It's myself, J.Monopoly, E.Y.E. Q, who is also the co-founder, Khid 2Che, J.O. and Showtyme. Every member has something to bring to the table. Q is poetic and lyrical and he has that BK flavor. J.O. has aggression, attitude and he's good with concepts. Khid 2Che is witty and comical with crazy wordplay. Showtyme is the laid back member of the crew, but he's clever with his lines. Myself, I have the flow, lyrics, delivery, concepts and energy. We are all versatile, well rounded individuals. We all have different elements that make us unique and when those elements come together, brace yourselves.

Adam Bernard: You also have a solo project in the works. Do you have a tentative title and release date for it? What can people expect from it musically and lyrically?
J.Monopoly: It's actually a mixtape entitled Everybody Wants To Be An MC Vol. 1. I'm pushing for a fall release, hopefully late October the latest. Just expect overall good music. I don't want to say "hey, expect hardcore music, or hey, expect clever concepts and dope beats," because if the people don't get that, then what? I'll be at a point where I feel like I have to make this type of music, or fit that kind of mold. I don't want to hype everybody up, I just want to make what I feel is the best possible music I can make and hope everyone enjoys it. I want people to say "hey, that dude J.Monopoly is nice, man! He's got something. He's next."

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/oisdmusik2008
Twitter: twitter.com/J_Monopoly
Facebook: facebook.com/j.monopoly.oisd


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:06 AM  
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