John Brown You may recognize John Brown from the VH-1 show “The White Rapper Show”, but John has been independently on his grind ever since. Now dropping the new mixtape “King of the Burbz” make sure to check out for the singles “Pimp Mode” and “Keg Party”. Also check out his exclusive interview as John Brown talks about The White Rapper Show, Miss Rap Supreme, and his new mixtape.
interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: Who is John Brown? JOHN BROWN: John Brown is the original crazy-ass whiteboy that started all this white-on-white crime. I’m from the burbz of Davis, California but have built with people throughout the world to get a greater perspective. I named myself after the abolitionist, John Brown because I’m the modern day version of him. I think removing yourself from your comfort zone helps to gain knowledge of self and helps you to understand your position in society and the rap game. After moving out to NYC in 2003, I co-founded a company called Ghetto Revival with Dred Scott and Veezy. It’s been on and pimpulatin ever since!
WHO?MAG: Tell me about your new “King of the Burbs” mixtape? JOHN BROWN: My “King Of Da Burbz” mixtape with Big Mike and DJ Fingaz is a groundbreaking must-have project for all music lovers. Alot of the material was recorded at the end of 2007 and represents my whole lifestyle and mentality coming from where I’m from. I’m a true pioneer and there’s never been a project like this in hip-hop because its unclaimed territory. I’m the first to rep the burb life like this, in a way that everybody can relate to. It’s almost like an album, with something on the disc for everybody. When you listen to it you can tell alot of hard work was put into the project. You can download it free right now at www.ghettorevival.com/jbmixtape.php
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up w/ Knox? JOHN BROWN: Knox has known Dred Scott for years and started working with GR around 2004. We had a studio in Brooklyn and I was mainly producing for him and Dubbz (both from Harlem, USA), which makes up the group “EMS”. He got caught up in a bullshit situation and was away when the show was filmed and aired. But Knox has hundreds of bangers and is about to be
recognized as one of the illest lyricists in the game. Believe dat.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about Keg Party JOHN BROWN: I made “Keg Party” to carve a new lane in hip-hop by painting a picture of how we party in the burbs. I just wanted to bring the whole culture of keg stands, beer pong and the madness at a kegger into mainstream hiphop. We dropped a crazy video for it in March and we’re having a remix contest for unknown producers. The winning remix will be featured on the expanded “Keg Party EP” available on iTunes. I don’t know if the song is for everybody but I know that it’s struck a chord with alot of people nationwide. And all of sudden I see some corny biters outright stealing this whole aspect of hip-hop that I started, it’s quite flattering.
WHO?MAG: What was the most important thing you took away from “The White Rapper
Show”? JOHN BROWN: There was so many layers to my experience with that show, both filming it and watching it unfold on TV. But one thing I took away that didn’t make the show is when we kicked it with Remy Ma and she was warning us all about the dark side of the industry. She encouraged us to do our thing but kept emphasizing that there was a very sinister dimension to the rap game and you shouldn’t be in the industry looking for friends or for people you can trust. She was dead-right, but I wasn’t trying to hear it at the time. So I just wanna give Remy a shout-out, keep your head-up.
WHO?MAG: What was the biggest problem you faced since the show ended? JOHN BROWN: I think one of the biggest problems I faced was dealing with peoples misconceptions about my seriousness and dedication to this hip-hop culture but I’ll let my work speak for itself.
WHO?MAG: How did you feel about Miss Rap Supreme show? JOHN BROWN: Well I think ego trip is made up of some very brilliant individuals who are working in a television medium that promotes “mindless” entertainment. I think they’re almost creating their own niche of ‘reality show edutainment’, which is challenging. They could just have a straight forward rap-off show that stays on the surface level of beats and rhymes. But they take risks and try to make statements about larger social issues and perceptions of race and gender. Sometimes that goes over people’s head or even offends some people. All in all, I think the show was succesful in providing something new for TV and
for giving a platform to the contestants to showcase themselves.
WHO?MAG: Do you think you got robbed at the end of the show? JOHN BROWN: I think my performance as a whole throughout the series was more consistent and versatile than the winner. But on the night when we performed our songs, I could have had a stronger performance, so the judges made their decision on that challenge. They didn’t take into account how we did during the entire series. Would I have liked $100K? of course, but I don’t worry about it too much. I’m still on my grind.
WHO?MAG: Do you still talk to anyone from the show? JOHN BROWN: I don’t speak with any of the contestants. It’s not that I really have anything against anybody, it’s just that I don’t.
WHO?MAG: What are some of the other new projects you are working on? JOHN BROWN: As we enter this age of digital dominance I’ve been really focused on flooding the cyber world with content. I just signed a digital distribution deal with the biggest digital label, InGrooves and I’m releasing my digital album with Amalgam Digital. I also have a new mixtape that should drop at the end of July called “Burb Life”, and I’m wrapping up a mixtape called “King Brown”, which features me rhyming on all Eminem instrumentals. We’re also consistently filming videos and we’re about to drop our “Pimp Mode” video, directed by Rob Soucy, which is going to be nuts. I also have another video for my song “Push Buttons”, directed by Tymecheck, that should also be out soon. I’ve also been producing for years and I’m about to drop an eclectic instrumental project very soon. I think it will show a different side of me as an artist. Stay tuned for that.
WHO?MAG: What does the future hold for John Brown? JOHN BROWN: My future is all in my hands and depends on how much work I put in. As long as I grind religiously, keep believing in myself and stay creative, I see glorious and triumphant achievements for myself and for everyone involved in Ghetto Revival. It’s so religious…