I got a chance to talk with one of Indiana’s emerging artist Jae Ellis thanks to HowsMyRolling.net. He talks about going on tour in France, working with Jim Jones and creating the Indiana Colts anthem. Read more to see what the buzz surrounding him is about!
Jae Ellis Nation…he’s taking over!
The Indiana native, Jae Ellis has been making his mark and climbing the ladder alongside up and coming MC’s from the Midwest. Linking up with Freeway, on tour in France and having one of the hottest mixtapes out with DJ Don Cannon just makes you wonder, is the Midwest making a statement to the world?
HowsMyRolling.Net: Before signing to Raheem Brock’s label Beastmodez Entertainment, you were self made. Doing shows in France, doing shows with DTP and working with Freeway. Where did you get this drive?
Jae Ellis: I’ve been doing music since I was young. I started writing raps when at 7 and I started recording about 12 or 13 I made my first demo. Yeah, I been doing this my whole life, this is all I ever thought about everyday when I wake up. When I got old enough to really go out and pursue it on my own, travel and do what I got to do it was over from there. I hit the road and just never looked back. It’s what I love, it comes natural.
HMR: Wow, you were pretty young when you started. I see why LL Cool J & Big Daddy Kane were some of your influences. You mentioned that music is what feeds you mentally and spiritually. What do you plan on contributing to music as an artist?
JE: Yeah, I mean when you growing up of course back then you pretty much liked whoever we (Indiana) saw on YO! MTV Raps or whatever we can get. We didn’t grow up in New York or L.A. where we kind of had the fresh new underground music that was coming from out of those places. It was pretty much what we got. So of course yeah LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, then later on Nas, Jay Z, and NWA people like that. I found influence in pretty much anybody that was dope, I was just mesmerized by anybody who was fresh. Like I said Midwest Indiana, I think Indiana has yet to be heard on a global scale. People always wonder what Indiana is about, they don’t really know it’s a ghetto in Indiana. They always like, “What happens in Indiana?” and that’s kind of where I come in. I’m telling a story of my experience growing up here in the Midwest. I plan on bringing that to the game, just the Midwest Indiana experience, but on a skill level that will compete with a New York MC. It’s not limited by a local sound, it’s very much what you can hear from a big city rapper, but I’m from a small town.
HMR: Ok, glad you brought up your hometown. What is Jae Ellis’ favorite thing about Indiana and why?
JE: It’s home, it’s where I was born and raised. You know you got to love where you from. It’s doesn’t have a big night life, there’s not a big club scene, it’s not a lot of variety as far as things to do. When you walk through the streets that you were raised in and I did shows or talent shows there, that feeling of home, that’s what I love the most about Indiana. It’s my home and you only get one home, that’s my favorite part and the people. Everybody here is real working class, humble people. You don’t have a lot of the Hollywood mentality here, what you might find in a bigger city. These people here are very real and straight forward, they tell it how they see it.
HMR: Speaking on you coming from a small town, how did you link up with NFL player Raheem Brock?
JE: My management, Lake Show Management hooked me up with a meeting with Raheem before the Super Bowl and he was kicking around the idea of starting a record label. We went to his house in Indianapolis, it went good but he was still on the fence. Then when they went to the Super Bowl and I made a Colts anthem that was like the biggest Super Bowl anthem in Indiana. It was on the radio a hundred times a day non stop, it was just super big. They played it on the bus coming from the game, the after party, the club after the Super Bowl they played it all night. So, that kind of shook something in him like, “Yo, I need to mess with this dude! This song is crazy.” After that a little bit of time went by and then he called me like let’s do it.
HMR: That’s pretty cool to make a Colt’s anthem. Let’s talk about the creative process while you worked with Freeway, how was that?
JE: We had a group called Transporters and it was me, Freeway and Clemmye who was from Toledo, Ohio. So, that’s what made Transporters so crazy. It’s ‘cause you had Freeway from Philly and out of all the cats in the world, he finds a cat from Southbend, Indiana and a cat from Toledo, Ohio. We were killing people, we damn near did a whole album together. We basically toured with Free and the creative process was ill because Free writes in his head sit around mumbling to his self, I’m on the paper, Clemmye writing his raps, it was just fun. The Transporters project was all fun, it wasn’t pressure like, we got to make a hit or we got to do this or that. Free pretty much was like the creative control was just on us and there was no pressure. Out of that came out a lot of good music.
HRM: Yes, you guys had some great music. So what can we expect from Jae Ellis in 2011?
JE: Crazy things, I’m in Indiana right now taking over Indiana. By the end of the month I’ll have 10,000 mixtapes in Indiana alone going on 15,000. Not to mention in Philly, what we got going on West Coast Seattle, Atlanta. The mixtape I’m pushing out with DJ Don Cannon called “Unleashed” and it’s doing super good in the streets. You can’t even pump gas without hearing somebody next to you playing it. From there, I plan on taking over the country, its spreading fast. I just did a single with Jim Jones called “Runnin’” that’s going to be crazy. I’m just doing bigger and better moves, my whole life is about progressing and upgrading.
Interviewed by: Shiyana Bellamy
Conducted on June 13, 2011