In this interview Problem talks about his music and his career.
By William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: What made you get into music? Problem: You know, just growing up around it and loving what it does to people.
That always stuck out to me. I was the little boy that played the songs for his mama’s party. You know knowing what records to put on to make people go “Hey how you know about that?” That’s how I got into it.
WHO?MAG: What are some things about yourself and your music that you say separates you from others in the game right now? Problem: I mean the fact that I’m Jason Martin, you know what I’m saying, Diamond Lane. I’m me. I’m not trying to be anyone else. I’m trying to be the first me not the second to anybody. Life all has the same story it’s just my version of telling it. You’ll learn how different I am by hearing it. You’ll see I come from a whole different background. Yeah I’m from Compton. The whole cliché thing. Yeah, I got kids. I don’t even really want to get into that. I just want to make the best music. I wanna make people feel like “Hmm I feel like that.” I don’t think people are doing that anymore.
WHO?MAG: You have worked with many well known artists in the game like Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, and Kurupt. How has that helped you as an artist? Problem: It helped me tremendously. Just to watch records get done and how they deliver them and how serious they take their music. You gotta put this full fledged in front of everything if you want to succeed in it. The names you just named are people that do that. They live and die in their music. They breathe it. Basically that’s my work ethic. I’m really embracing the grind. That’s what the greats do. They embrace the grind. It ain’t even about the money or the success or the fame. It’s about wanting to really do this and wanting everybody to feel the energy when I walk in the room. That’s what I learned from working with the greats.
WHO?MAG: How did your deal with Universal come about? Problem: I had a record called “I’m Toe Up” and it was doing really well in Los Angeles. They contacted me, flew me out, threw me some money and I took it! In all realization that’s what it was and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, but I definitely learned a whole lot. I learned a lot about the system and what to do and what not to do with money and things like that. Shout out to Universal Republic.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik for their tour in 2009? Problem: I was doing a lot of writing for Snoop and while I was writing, I was establishing my own buzz around the city and they took notice to that. So they were like come on out. Quik is like my big homie. We are from the same city. We met, we clicked, and he always liked my energy and he was like “let’s go”. It was a great experience. I had a ball. Watching them perform all those hits you just want to get yours off. I can’t wait to run off my eleven, twelve great songs and everybody knows them.
WHO?MAG: Why do you think your single “Last Love” is climbing up the charts so fast? Problem: It just feels good. It’s a story a lot of people can relate to. It’s a great melody. Futuristic did their thing on the beat. It just feels right. A lot of people can relate to this situation. It’s not just a song. I can throw this on like I’m feeling like this right now. That’s what we’re really trying to bring back at Diamond Lane Music Group. We want people to know we feel like this. This is our version of it though.
WHO?MAG: How did your situation with Diamond Lane Music Group come about? Problem: Diamond Lane is my family. We’ve been around each other for the past 10-12 years. We just decided to take it to the level of doing this as a business. You know it’s been a crazy transition to where my friend is my boss. But you know its better that way because we know each other. I can turn my back and I know what’s going happen. I can’t do that with everybody else. The Diamond Lane Music Group is really just a form of the homies that decided let’s kick it into high gear. So it wasn’t really a tough thing to do. It was more like let’s get it! We’re coming up on our first year of business and I think we’re doing alright.
WHO?MAG: Why is your debut album called “Plan B?” Problem: “Plan B” started out as one meaning, but it turned into so many other things. I had a record we put out called “Hotel” it was on Itunes. It was a spinoff of “Hotels”. You know the first thing to come when you leave the hotel is “damn what did I do last night I need to go to Plan B.” That’s when it started. It was a continuation with the music and everything, but with the growth of the project, it turned into so much more.
WHO?MAG: What can your fans expect from you in the future? Problem: They can expect a whole lot of music. They can expect to see Diamond Lane everywhere. Hopefully we can see “Last Love” go platinum on Itunes. I wanna see Bad Lucc drop his Meet the Writer. Stay tuned for that, it’s coming. Just watch how we do it. Watch the growth. Diamond Lane Music Group is more than just a rap label. We turned into an entity. We really push a line of good music, lifestyle, looking right and feelin right.