In preparation of his upcoming album ‘Fifty Eight Impala’, producer Jakk Wonders chopped it up with The DigiSpot about said album. Plus, he also speaks on the South African Hip-Hop scene & future releases. You can give what was discussed a read below...
VannDigital: How did you get start with producing???
Jakk Wonders: First off, thank you DV for the interview and for the continuous support shown by you and the rest of the blog, much respect to you… I first got into the idea of making beats around when I was about 16, I played around with it a bit but didn't really take it seriously until a few years later. I met up with a friend in university and we got talking about the current state of hip hop and, after a long discussion, had the idea to create a hip-hop group and he said that I should do the beats. At first, I was reluctant to do it because I was going to take care of the marketing, advertising, & promo related tasks of the group but after a lengthy conversation, he kinda talked me into trying to make beats full on so I decided to give it a try. After that day, I’ve just been continually making beats so it all started from that conversation that day and this was around early 2010. The rest is pretty much history, ha ha. I went back and looked for inspiration and a style of a producer who I could relate to and a sound I liked and I just clicked with the sound that DJ Premier was putting out and to me, thats the pure definition of HIP HOP. It all started from there so, the two biggest influences in my life is without a shadow of a doubt DJ Premier & Apollo Brown. Just the way they do their beats pretty much laid the foundation & blueprint for how I construct my beats because that sounds is exactly what I'm aiming for and what I like to create.
What was the inspiration behind the ‘Fifty Eight Impala’ project???
On ‘Fifty Eight Impala’, I wanted to take a more smoother route on this project, you will hear a bit of a difference between this one compared to ‘Live From The Avenue’ which I put out earlier this year. Off the bat, you know there is a tonne of Madlib-inspired vibes on this one and definitely also some Jay Dilla, so I wanted to create something that could show that, yes I do that hard-hitting gutter shit but I can also flip it up and come through with the fly smooth stuff at the same time... while it still has a hard sound to it, it still is super fly. When I sat down to start the production process on this record, it just made sense for me to incorporate the visuals of the Impala as the style of the beats just matched it so well. Also after watching Drink Champs with Curren$y, he was talking about the 58 impala and it just stuck with me to the point where I even incorporated that in one of the tracks on "What I Need". Even to the extent that one of my good friends actually owns an Impala herself so, shout out to Lydia Rotary too!!! The album consists of 10 tracks and it's a project that I'm very proud of and I feel just the way everything comes together creates a really smooth and dope experience and can definitely be bumped in an Impala, ha ha... it drops on May 1st and it will be digitally available everywhere. Also, mad love and respect to Evie Blanco, if you not familiar with her then I strongly advise you to do your homework and get familiar, pronto.
What’s the Hip-Hop scene like in South Africa???
The landscape in South Africa in terms of Hip-Hop is dope cause the culture has evolved into something that is uniquely South African. The culture obviously comes from The BX but over time we have put our own South African flavour & stamp on it. We have amazing artists who are doing major things like Cassper Nyovest, A.K.A., & Kwesta and I can go on listing people who have taken SA Hip-Hop to new heights and there's dope conscious emcees such as Reason and a dope group called The Assembly. We have everything here, so the landscape is well-balanced. The elements of the culture are well preserved too, shout out to my brother Stevie King who is a host for Caution The Beat, which is a pure street battle competition, so the battling element is still going strong in SA and I'm fortunate enough to assist them at times with beats & artwork for their events. Big ups to Emmygees and the dope team who keep it 100 and run a platform for battlekats to actively keep the battle element of this culture going.
I noticed that you will be selling this beat tape this time around. What brought that idea about???
Yeah man, this one will have a price tag as it's honestly taken more seriously if its got a price, as crazy as it sounds, free music doesn’t garner as much attention as music on iTunes, Spotify, etc.
Seeing that today’s producers come & go like today’s artists, what will you do (or have done) to maintain longevity???
That's a dope question, I think for me its all about doing a sound that people can listen to & acknowledge that “yeah, ok I can hear the authenticity here” it has to come from a real place and actually mean something. Those that jump on a trend or topic will eventually fade away but those who contribute to the culture and step to this genre with something of substance and value will remain and shine through.
What’s next for you after ‘Fifty Eight Impala’???
No doubt, after 'Fifty Eight Impala', I'm working with my longtime friend Lee Black on a EP which I'm fully producing called ‘The Blacklist’ that should be out either before or the middle of summer, 1 or 2 free beat tapes are scheduled, and then slowly working on collab EP’s with M-Dot, AWKWORD, Price Stylez, & my fellow local brother Richy Razlo. He’s someone I’ve known for a minute and we finally will be locking in an EP (it's my first project with a South African artist, ha ha) so be on the lookout for that later this year called ‘Neighborhood Hero’ along with some joints with MC WhiteOwl, Pro Status, Ice Grill, & more. Then... my brother from LA & good friend Aliano and I will be putting out our first LP hopefully by the winter, we still currently recording it but fam, its pure HIP-HOP and we bringing some special guest of note with us on that one... appearances by Ruste Juxx, DJ Eclipse, Ea$y Money, & REKS to name a few. Will def keep you updated once we lock in a release date.