In the entertainment industry it’s always tempting to count someone out and forever banish them to the world of has-beens. The problem with that is that no one is truly ever down and out in Hollywood. With the right team, right business strategy, and the fighting spirit of an underdog virtually anyone can make a solid comeback. Miami rapper, Jacki-O is a case in point.
Ever since her hit sexual anthem, "Nookie", from the 2004 album, Poe Little Rich Girl, Jacki-O has had an uphill battle to remain relevant in the public eye. She battled everyone from her record labels, Poe Boy and TVT, to an alleged violent encounter with fellow female rapper Foxy Brown. Through it all Jacki-O has proven herself to be a fighter and talented rapper who is not about to lie down and let industry pressures steamroll her.
Like any savvy business person Jacki-O knows that in today’s industry diversification is the name of the game, which is why she debuts as an author with the novel Grown & Gangsta. Jacki-O is the first author for rapper/entrepreneur C-Murder’s new publishing entity, Tru Publishing. The book, which is in st Your browser does not support inline frames or is currently configured not to display inline frames. ores now, follows the lives of a group of friends as they endure the highs and lows of life.
Sixshot took a break from reading to catch up with Jacki-O on her own lives highs and lows, why she didn’t hesitate to work with C-Murder despite his legal troubles, the best thing about going bankrupt, why she doesn’t associate herself with the rest of the Miami hip-hop crew, whether or not she’s ready for children and dating, she reveals why her plans for an all-female rap group with Remy Ma and Shawnna fell apart, why her heart goes out to Foxy Brown, her upcoming VH1 reality show, and much more.
What inspired you to become an author?
I started off writing poetry and then I started doing music and ghost writing. So I decided to take it a step further and try my hand at writing books since I’ve always been a writer.
Why did you decide to join C-Murder’s new company, Tru Publishing, to release this book?
Well he’s a pioneer. I saw that he was doing his thing with publishing books and I just decided to reach out to him and make it happen.
Did his legal troubles with his trial give you any hesitation as far as working with Tru Publishing?
Actually it didn’t. I’m a witness to this myself—whenever you’re going through things in life that aren’t great that makes you grind harder. It puts you in that mood where you want to win. So I know he’s in that position right now where he wants to win. Not only is he publishing books but he’s doing an album. I’ve heard some of the cuts and they’re crazy. It just shows that hunger that’s definitely inside him that wants to win. I’d rather work with somebody that’s hungry than somebody that’s at the top of their game, lazy, and it ain’t in them no more. So it was just a perfect match.
One of the main themes of the book is friendship. Do you have any real friends in the entertainment industry?
[Laughs] Friends in the entertainment business? Wow! Yeah, I got a couple of friends. One of my friends is Remy [Ma]. We’ve been trying to do something in the business but outside of that we’ve been friends. It’s kind of like how the book is with the characters—its ups and downs and they’re there for each other. A lot of things are inspired by real life things that I go through.
Do you see yourself in any of the characters from the book?
No! [Laughs] You got hustlers in the book; you got people that got real jobs, and people that are more low-key. For the most part the only person I feel close to is Itch because he has that crazy temper but he can control it. [Laughs]
Most recently on the music end you filed for bankruptcy and there was word of a new album, Jack the Ripper. Can you clear the air and let us know musically where you are?
Well, for the most part filing bankruptcy was a great idea. It helped me sever any contractual ties that I had with those record labels like Poe Boy and TVT. I don’t want to incriminate myself but that’s the situation I was in, and bankruptcy got me out of those situations. I think it was a smart move. Right now I’m a free agent and I’m working. Right now is where I wanna be. I got my own publishing company, my own entertainment company, and it’s my time now. When you sign to labels, you’re up under guys, and with all this testosterone you hardly eve get your say, and now I have my say.
What do you plan to do with that say? What is your mission with your company Jack Move Entertainment?
I plan to be heard. I plan to be more creative. I plan to leave my mark as opposed to having somebody leave it for me. I’m gonna leave it myself. So that’s what I’m gonna do with my say.
I read online rumors that you are set to appear on Trina’s upcoming album. Is that true?
Actually I’ve never worked with Trina. I wasn’t invited to the album. [Laughs] Neither Remy nor I was invited to the album.
Were you expecting to be invited to the album?
I’m not disappointed, but I thought it would have been a nice gesture.
How do you get along with the rest of the Miami hip-hop crew such as Trick Daddy, DJ Khaled, and all the rest?
Actually I don’t. They’re them and I’m me. I’m not invited to a lot of things that go on with those people or whatever. I don’t hold any grudges—I just do me and they do them.
Do you feel like an outsider?
Actually I do. I am. I feel like the underdog. I am definitely the Miami underdog but you know what they say about the underdog—they always come out on top.
Why do you think that you’re an outsider?
Actually you would have to ask them. I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. I don’t are to figure it out anymore. I just do me and I’ve been doing just fine.
I like your song, "If I had a Son", which is on your MySpace page. Do you see yourself wanting children soon?
Yeah, I would love kids but I’m not trying to have kids right at this second. I’m still young. [Laughs]
Are you currently dating or single?
Yes, I’m dating.
Is it anyone that you care to reveal?
Is he famous or non-famous?
Yes, he is famous but he’s not who you think he is. No, it’s not him.
In the song, "If I had a Son", you rhyme “I understand if you have to sell crack man/cause this country ain’t fit for the black man…” With those lines are you condoning the crack game?
No, but let’s just keep it real—how else is a young man to make it out here when you’re not bilingual and educated—not because you don’t want to be but that’s the way the system is designed. I don’t condone a young man selling crack but what else is a young man supposed to do. A lot of things are against the young black man and female too. For young black females it’s hard. I grew up in Liberty City which is one of the toughest neighborhoods in Miami. I just look at the way the females and young men are coming up—young teenage girls really don’t have a lot of role models to look up to.
They think its okay to strip and they think its okay to sell drugs. So who’s gon’ tell them different? They come from a long generation of drug sellers, strippers and whatever and it just becomes an on-going process. I’m not condoning it but I understand.
I read that the all-female group you were looking to form with Remy Ma and Shawna has fallen through. What happened and are you disappointed?
I’m very disappointed because that was my little baby. The whole idea of the group was my present to hip-hop to show that females can be united, and females can be a movement. Things didn’t work out the way I planned it.
I reached out to Remy and she was on-board. We flew out from New York to Miami and from Miami to New York. We flew Shawnna in and we recorded a lot of songs. A lot of hard work was put into the project.
What was it specifically that caused things to fall apart?
We just heard about her [Shawnna] not wanting to be in the group on the internet. That’s how we found out about it and it was very disappointing to us.
Have you spoken to Shawnna since then?
Shawna has not called us and we have not heard from or seen Shawnna.
Do you feel betrayed by Shawnna?
No, I don’t feel betrayed—she has her reasons. Things just didn’t work out. When I look at the big picture maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. There ain’t any bad blood or love lost. It just didn’t work out.
Are you considering trying to reform the group?
Well, Remy and I filmed a lot of footage for a reality show with VH1 and its called Threesome. We are looking for the third member for this group and we’ve already had auditions in Miami. I had a lot of girls come out and it’s gonna be another super group. But it’ll be a girl that we can choose and we can make sure that she’s right for the group.
Have you been in-touch with Remy following her legal troubles and shooting charges? What are your thoughts on the situation?
Remy is a very strong female—she’ll be okay. Everything is cool. I don’t know much about her situation—I just know that she’ll be okay.
You had an infamous encounter with Foxy Brown where you allegedly knocked her out. What do you think of her current situation in jail and legal troubles?
You’re asking me everything! [Laughs]
I’m a journalist I have to ask you everything. [Laughs]
[Laughs] I know you’re right. Despite what we’ve been through she’s still a young black sister and my heart goes out to her, because she’s somebody’s daughter. I’m not the person to hold grudges. Jail ain’t for nobody and I don’t wish that on nobody, especially no young female. Foxy is Foxy—she’ll do what she do and she’ll be alright.
Did you two ever clear the air about the physical encounter?
Actually we didn’t. I haven’t seen her or had the pleasure of bumping into her again.
Is that a pun? [Laughs]
[Laughs] No pun intended!
What do you think of the state of female rappers in the industry?
I think men go through their problems and so do women. Things are turning around to our favor slowly but surely. Nothing stays the same forever and we’re gonna get our chance to shine—I know I am. As many as I can bring with me I am. Men do their projects together and that’s what we’re gonna do. Remy and I made a pact that whoever’s project jumps first we’re gonna bring each other in on it. Whoever’s down with us—everybody’s gonna eat and that’s the way it should be. There ain’t no selfishness with us and I think that’s how it should be.
Women are very territorial and they shy away from other females because they just wanna be that chick. It ain’t like that when it comes to me—that’s how everybody stays eating. If women could just follow that then everybody would be alright.
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