I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and following Canton, Ohio emcee Jean P the MC’s career for almost a decade now. While some artists fade into obscurity after that much time Jean has adjusted, adapted and is flourishing in a music climate that some claim is about singles and playlists. In his fourth full-length album “All Is Good” Jean brings us much needed positivity given these times. I had a chance to sit down with the Ohio to talk about his impact on the community and why “All Is Good”.
Dead End Hip Hop: Jean P the MC it’s been a minute, but rumor has it “All Is Good”?
Jean P The MC: All is truly good my man! I can’t complain. My legs are sore as hell but I made one my best albums to date. I say that every go around but for real. This album is really good. Sto you’ve been there since the beginning. 2009 I think? Time truly flies.
DEHH: For those who still don’t know who is Jean P the MC?
Jean P The MC: Well let me tell you about Jèan-Pierre Johnson first. During the hours of 7:45-6PM I’m “JJ”, a city carrier assistant otherwise known as a mailman at New Market Post Office. When that is over I’m a father to a seven year old named Amir who is my entire world. He’s in his curious asking me questions every five second phase of his life so that’s another job. I am also a caregiver for autistic individuals a few days of my week. Luckily I get rot rest at this job due to the fact that I work at a home. When I have gaps in the midst of my hectic schedule I’m Jèan P The MC a twenty eight emcee representing the great city of Canton, Ohio.
DEHH: You’re coming off an album release party for your new album, how was that?
Jean P The MC: It was an experience that I will never forget. I got inspired by the GOOD Music listening parties and wanted to have one for myself. I rented out a local art studio called The Hub Art Factory so people could embrace literal art along with the audio art I create myself. I was in awe how people gravitated to the new album. I sold physical copies prior to the release so several people who came to the party already knew the words to my songs. I had close friends, family and new fans come through. A magical night.
DEHH: You’ve been active in the Canton community for a long time, can you tell me a bit about what you’ve done and why it’s so important to active like this.
Jean P The MC: Community wide I would love to do more for my city. A few years back I taught the youth an introductory class on Hip-Hop. I pray my platform can allow me to do more for my hometown. People in the city are aware of presence but a lot of people are JUST finding out about me. The city is slowly but surely making changes with programs like Arts In Stark and First Friday. My goal is to one day start a label with high school students and instead of record contracts they receive music opportunities such as shows and studio time based on grades and community service.
DEHH: I’ve been following your career for a minute, we’ve seen you have some ups and some downs. Where are you right now in your artist career?
Jean P The MC: “All Is Good” (laughs). I am content in knowing that life has its good and bad and I know how to handle it this time. I realize that when you give good positivity out it comes back. I have a lot of patience in certain situations and it’s a gift and a curse because people can take advantage of that. I am resilient, aware and happy with where I am. My respect is finally being given to me. People are telling me my songs are changing their lives and it’s a wonderful feeling.
DEHH: “All Is Good” what is it? What inspired it and tell me a bit about the artwork you’ve paired with it.
Jean P The MC: “All Is Good” is a greeting I say when people ask how I am. The artwork (designed by Katie Frasier) is inspired by Shel Silverstein’s book Where The Sidewalk Ends. It’s one of my favorite books. The cover depicts me creating my own path in life even when other tells me I shouldn’t take that route. A group of people are behind me scared that I will fall but I have my beagle and my music which are two of the many things I cherish.
DEHH: Can you give me a bit of insight to the recording process? You’re not in huge studios making these records, you’re do a lot of this yourself, can you speak on that?
Jean P The MC: DJ iShine made me appreciate the bedroom studio. I have records twenty something projects that have all been recorded this way. The only time I was in an actual studio was when I recorded for J Rawl’s album (laughs). I don’t think it matters where or how music is recorded as long as it’s good music and the quality is the best. You would be surprised how many albums aren’t made in high budget studios. All I need is an email of beats and I am straight. I would love to do an album with a band though on some The Roots shit.
DEHH: What’s next for this record, will we be seeing any music videos? Will we see you performing this on a small tour or something?
Jean P The MC: I’m going to keep it all the way 100. Music videos are not cheap and the post office hates when I even dream of calling off so if I go on tour someone has to pay me (laughs). I have a song on the new album called “Playa Pimp” that may need a nice visual though no lie.
DEHH: I want to dive a bit into the artist life, I feel we both have met and dealt with artists who are more focused on clout and getting posted than the actual art, what are some tips you can give to those looking to break into the industry?
Jean P The MC: In these days artists are getting recognized for antics instead of music. It’s unfair but rap is more of a entertainment genre. Regardless of that and though it may be discouraging I am a firm believer that there is a market for everything. I have a following anticipating an album I didn’t drop a single or music video for. I sold out of cd’s in two days when people told me nobody buys cds. Believe in yourself, have fun, don’t listen to these industry people who steal shit. You see Camilla Cabella of whatever her name is locked my cover. You’re welcome, ma.
DEHH: What’s next for Jean P to close out the year and for 2019 and sheesh are we ever going to hear on the producer tip again?
Jean P The MC: I’m chopping samples as we speak 🙂