Tell us about yourself and your music
I grew up in Vermont, it’s a little slower around these parts. I was influenced at an early age by music on the radio and MTV. My father is a singer and my mother a poet. It seems like my sister was singing since she was born, growing up I used to walk her to her piano lessons. I never had an interest in pursuing music myself until I heard rap music for the first time. I remember it plain as day, I heard that legendary Regulatooorrrssss, MOUNT UP! Warren G’s smooth vocals and Nate Dogg’s legendary crooning. I was hooked from that one song and I started to dive deeply into West Coast hip-hop. I started mimicking the lifestyle, the dress code, and the hip hop culture. It made me stand out in small-town Vermont haha. I was often bullied for it. That only made me more defiant and gave me a reason to start rhyming myself. I started writing parodies to songs and eventually my poetry. I met my closest friend and collaborator Vazy at 15 and it was game on from there. We started creating our music and carving our lane into the hip hop industry from there. I’ve always thought it was important to stay true to my roots and emotions in my music while paying homage to the Pioneers in hip-hop that got me through my early years. I realize I’m a guest in the house of hip-hop and am only here to tell my story and build the culture further out of love.
Talk to us more about your latest release
Self Destruct has been one of my most favorite records I’ve ever worked on. I put a lot of thought and time into it and so did my collaborators. SkySplitterInk produced the beat and also mixed and mastered the track, it was such a pleasure to work with him. He always makes the sound stand a cut above the rest, there’s nobody I trust more with my music. DJ Kanganade is featured on the breakdowns working the wheels of steal with some excellent cuts. I’m always amazed when I watch him work, he breathed fire into this song. Mickey Factz slew his verse, I’m still surprised by his excellent wordplay when I re-listen to the track. I had a lot to say and gave everybody extra bars, some controversial but all of them making a point. I was a man at my wit’s end on the verge of breaking down when I wrote this and I think that emotion of self-destruction shines through.
What inspired you to write this release?
At the time of writing this song, I was considering quitting music. I had a falling out with a good friend and was at my wits end with everything in my life. I was thinking things I had never thought before and it made me feel like I was breaking down. SkySplitterInk knew what I was going through and sent me a beat when I opened it up and listened to the lyrics that started to pour out. I wasn’t close to being done with music saved me again.
Describe the writing and recording process
I used to overthink everything, especially the words I wanted to use. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but I noticed my music was missing something. I was losing the raw emotion and feeling in my music. I decided recently that I was done with writing, no more paper, no more phones, just me and my headphones getting lost in the music. I was tired of second-guessing myself and scribbling things out that I thought people wouldn’t like and decided to say it with my whole chest. Since I’ve decided to go off the top I’ve surprised myself in many ways. The feeling is back, my crowd is with me at shows and I’m reaching my audience.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
I did have plans to tour with my record label 6ix5ive6ix Records and Twiztid until Covid-19 hit, Now things are pretty uncertain. I can’t wait to hit the stage again and I’m ready to get on the road with my team, I miss everybody a ton.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I’m a sarcastic smart mouth and I present myself as a mysterious guy from the country that can rap his ass off. My goal is to keep people wondering what I’m going to do or say next. I dress in all black, a skull in a top hat is my logo, and Johnny Cash “Man In Black” plays right before I hit the stage.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I always keep Outkast and Nas in rotation. I like Roddy Rich lately, that dude is super talented, everything he makes is catchy. I like Griselda a lot, I love that raw, boom-bap mixed with the cinematic sound they’ve got going on. I love that gritty, street music. I grew up listening to a lot of Mobb Deep, Big Pun, and B.I.G, they’re music brought me back to that era and I loved that it could move me like that.
Who are your biggest influences?
I grew up listening to classic rock, listening to the way they used poetry to tell a story. I loved it but I didn’t fall in love with music totally until I heard hip-hop. Nate Dogg and Warren G’s Regulators are what set it off for me. I dove into West Coast gangsta rap from there, acts like Tha Dogg Pound, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, E-40, Mac Dre, NWA all blazed through my speakers constantly. Kurupt was my favorite MC from the west coast and he’s influenced my style. Being from the Eastside, I was privileged to hear a ton of New York music. My favorites being, B.I.G, Big Pun, Mobb Deep, Nas, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang, and Redman. I know there’s plenty more I missed but those artists were constantly bumping out of my headphones. Nas is a huge influence on my music with his deep lyrics and songs with a message. Hearing Southern hip hop for the first time blew my mind, Outkast, Goodie Mob, UGK, Field Mob, Trick Daddy, Juvenile, and The whole Ca$h Money Records at the time, that was amazing. Outkast is another huge influence on my music, the wordplay and cadence are just amazing with that duo.
Tell us about your passions
I love music and my family but one of the most important things I truly enjoy is helping people. I can see the good in everybody and I can feel people’s pain. My passion is to give to people that are struggling. Whether it be time or money or a helping hand, I like to be the person that is there for others.
What else is happening next in your world?
I’ve had more time than usual to work on new music, so I have multiple releases on the way. Collaboration projects and solo and I’m so excited to share them. I’ve also, been going to school for music marketing and am excited to put my knowledge to use.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Jibba the Gent
Connect with Jibba the Gent
Website: http://jibbathegent.comFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/jibbathegentInstagram: http://instagram.com/jibbathegentTwitter: http://twitter.com/jibbathegentYoutube: http://www.youtube.com/johnnybuckLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jibbathegent/Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/jibba-the-gent