New York City hip-hop is having a resurgence, and Jim Jones thinks the bubbling underbelly could be better supported if NYC label executives and radio directors valued their talent the same way they value rappers from other places.
“It seems like it’s the hardest thing for a New York artist to get signed in their own town,” Jim Jones said on Tuesday during an appearance on the Breakfast Club. “Not only signed in their own town, but get radio play in their own town. As you can say, I made some of the best music out of New York in the past couple of years but I don’t get played on the radio at all.”
Jones’s comments were fueled by the passing of Fred the Godson. Jones explains around the interview’s 22-minute mark that the late Bronx rapper was one of the many New York rappers who was overlooked by the industry.
“I don’t think too many people in New York understand how nice Fred was. He was one of the few who didn’t get his flowers when he was supposed to,” Jim said. “One of these labels was supposed to scoop him up, help him get a dope ass deal, and make an incredible album because he had the mindset and flow to go with it when it came to making music.”
Jim Jones has aged like wine in a genre that focuses on the youngest artists. Along with crafting acclaimed music (like his recent project with Harry Fraud), Jones has proven throughout his career that he can successfully foster talent and has an ear for hearing the new wave. Jones was instrumental in the inception of French Montana, Max B, Stack Bundles, and more. This earned him an A&R position at Entertainment One Music in 2005.
Although Jones is no longer an executive, Charlamagne wondered if the rapper was interested in creeping back into the building since some execs don’t know where to look for new talent. Jones said he’s “100 percent” open to the idea because he wants to help the younger generation.
“To me, being a full executive, I didn’t have it back then,” Jones said at the interview’s 13:40 mark. “And now—knowing where I’m at now—to get another opportunity [like] that one, I would smoke it. … And I love the youth. I love picking new music. … There’s no future without the youth and it’s always been like that when it came to music.”
Watch Jim Jones’s full interview with the Breakfast Club above.