Jadakiss, one-third of the platinum recording rap group The Lox, is back with a brand new album “The Last Kiss” featuring everyone from Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and more! In this exclusive interview, Jada talks about DMX, Main Source, Biggie, and more. Check out this in depth WHO?MAG exclusive interview and see why Jadakiss is considered one of today’s best MCs.
By William Hernandez

WHO?MAG: Tell me about your new album The Last Kiss?
Jadakiss: The new album is crack baby! It’s like 90’s music for some of the young kids that just now knowing Jadakiss and getting tuned into the Lox. It’s definitely gravel for the Jadakiss and Lox fans we already got. No funny money on there, no auto-tunes, no ringtone rap. Good beats and good lyrics. Content that you can relate to and that can touch your soul that has you saying “dam I needed this for the past few years!”

WHO?MAG: Who is on the album as far as producers and cameos?
Jadakiss: I have Swizz Beats, Pharrel, Buckwild, Alchemist, and Black Keys as far as producers. For cameo appearances, I have Ghostface, Raekwon, Mary J Blige, Young Jeezy, Nas, Styles P, Sheek Louch.

WHO?MAG: How did you get the deal with Def Jam?
Jadakiss: Speaking to Jay Z. He asked me to come over and I spoke to LA [Reid]. I knew Jay Z was doing the Roc Nation deal and I wanted to make sure he was cool with LA. I just went over there. We’re all under the Universal system so it wasn’t that hard to maneuver.

WHO?MAG: What are your thoughts about DMX’s jail situation?
Jadakiss: I wish him luck and that he hurry up and get out of there. Hold his head while he’s in there because him being the person that he is, they’re probably being a little hard with him. I just want him to get back into his music and acting career. I haven’t spoken to him since he got locked up, but I speak to his wife and kids sometimes. I speak to him through them.

WHO?MAG: Who were some of your influences as an emcee?
Jadakiss: Everybody from Run DMC to some of my older uncles and cousins who weren’t even rapping but doing their thing in the street. Nas, Jay Z, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane. Probably everybody before me.

WHO?MAG: How is your writing process?
Jadakiss: Sometimes I have an idea in my idea and I just put it with the track or just listen to the track and see what the track is saying and make the song around that.

WHO?MAG: How did you and Sheek Louch hook up with Main Source for the song “Set it Off” back in 1994?
Jadakiss: We were going to sign with Main Source. We were like teenagers, but it didn’t work out. But before we did the deal, we did the song with them. It was pretty much like a Lox session. They had the beat and we went to Long Island somewhere in the studio. We sat with the beat for like 30 minutes and laid the song.

WHO?MAG: One of the first videos you came out in was in the Mona Lisa video for “I Just Want to Please You”. How did that come about?
Jadakiss: She actually lived across the street from me and above the hill from Sheek, right in the middle. We knew her from when she was a little girl growing up. Once she got the deal it was a given we were going to do some music with her. It just happened to be the first single and her first video and our first video, which BIG told me I was extra stiff in it. When I first met him, he told me that I had to loosen up because I was extra stiff in the Mona Lisa video.

WHO?MAG: What do you remember about working with Biggie?
Jadakiss: He liked to have his studio sessions like party. He liked to have
girls in the joint and have the atmosphere of a party. Just when you would get tired, he would go in there and kill it!

WHO?MAG: What are your thoughts on the Notorious movie?
Jadakiss: I liked it.

WHO?MAG: What are your thoughts on the hip hop scene now?
Jadakiss: I think people are being themselves. Making crazy music because they’re crazy! But for the most part, I like it. It needs a little bit more originality and lay off the auto tunes and spit some lyrics over some hard beats or whatever kind of beats. Do what you do, don’t do what everybody else is doing.

WHO?MAG: What are your thought on the hip hip scene in New York at the moment?
Jadakiss: I like how New York is feeling right now. Maino, Red Café, Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, Fabolus, D Block, G Unit, Cam’ron, Juelz Santana. We’re about to make some noise baby! All we need are a couple of tours to pop off and we’ll get right back. But for the tours to come, it’s going to take the music to get there. It’s coming right now, trust me.

WHO?MAG: What happened to Kasino and Genovese?
Jadakiss: He moved down South. Kasino got into a little bit of trouble with the law. He had to sit down for a minute. Genovese is doing some independent stuff last I heard. I’m not really sure.

WHO?MAG: Any last words?
Jadakiss: Make sure you get that Last Kiss album. You need it in your life.
It’s therapeutic to the hip hop listener.