“I want people to better themselves through the things I’m doing … make the world better through something I’ve done.”
We chatted with the very smart, very talented, and damn good rapper Primo JAB on how he got started, his new album he just dropped, and what Jab means for those of us living under a rock. One of the sickest interviews I've done in a while, take a look.
ITC: So let’s start at the beginning, where are you from?
Primo JAB: I’m from the West side of Chicago, called Oak Park. Born and raised. I’m a Sox fan … the voice of Homer Simpson went to our school—that’s my claim to fame: he spoke at my graduation.
ITC: How did you get started in music?
Primo JAB: I’ve always loved music, even as a kid. I’m sure my parents could tell you numerous times of using music to put me to sleep, and I remember doing little talent shows as a kid. I’ve always wanted to perform and be creative and use my imagination and have fun. As I grew up I fell into hip hop, and once I found out that anybody can rap, I’ve been perfecting my craft, and trying to get better and better.
ITC: Do you think anybody can rap?
Primo JAB: Anybody can rap. There’s various things anybody can do but to actually demonstrate at a high level, it takes a special something … that doesn’t mean everybody should rap. It’s different.
ITC: Yeah that’s completely true. Some people probably shouldn’t rap, but your stuff is really good. So you just dropped an album this year?
Primo JAB: On the Fourth of July, I put out my latest project, called The Book of Jab. I put a lot of work into it. I put out other albums and other projects before and each one of those I took notes on what I did the last time, and cleaned it up. On this album, I’m not perfect but I definitely feel like its 99.9999 percentile of a great hip hop project … it feels really good. I’m trying to tour, do shows off it; I’m working on a video for it next week.
ITC: Have your friends listened to it? What did they think?
Primo JAB: They like it, they’ve enjoyed it. So far everybody around me enjoys it. But it’s about strangers, I want strangers to love it, not people who don’t want to offend me.
ITC: Yeah I totally get that. So what is your ultimate goal with all of this?
Primo JAB:My ultimate goal is to be prosperous and take over the world and share my vision, through this music. And use this music to create a platform where I’m able to do other things, also music related… opportunities to help kids learn [about] entertainment jobs etc., help with socioeconomic growth and development. I want people to better themselves through the things I’m doing … make the world better through something I’ve done.
ITC: How old are you?
IPrimo JAB: ’m in my 30s.
ITC: And what is ‘Jab’?
Primo JAB: The jab is your product, it’s your brand. Whatever you’re pushing, that’s your means of making your way each day. Jab: its the foundation. Primo JAB, it’s the best jab. Numero uno jab.
I’m from Chicago and jab is street slang also … jab is used to describe commerce that might be happening in the black market. so it’s a little play on words.
Thats what I think hip hop has come away from … a lot of people trying to understand cycles; words come out and they get thrown around. Thats why I really like ‘Primo JAB’ too, primo sounds like family, primo thats your cousin, so primo jab is cuzzo, cuzzo jab. you’re family you’re my guy.
My producers name is godBLESSbeatz, everyone was confused. So I want to clarify that PrimoJAB used to be the both of us but I took the name to really cement the brand recognition.
[It] used to be two people, now its just me. But the same people who were involved are still involved.
ITC: Let’s do a fun fact or fun show story, you have any?
Primo JAB: I do trivia. I know all types of things.
ITC: Do you go to trivia nights?
Primo JAB: Yeah there is hip hop trivia I do. I go and dominate. If i don’t win, I’m always in second or third place.
ITC: Favorite rapper out here right now - big and also underground
Primo JAB: I’ve been playing a lot of older West Coast stuff. Ice Cube and Redman are two influencers, they shaped who i am. I put the Wu-Tang Clan up there, Outkast, Tribe Called Quest, Nas. I really like Kendrick Lamar. I'm a fan of Future and Gucci Mane, I really enjoy their music and think they have been overlooked for what they contributed sonically. The Migos are decent as well.
For newer rappers, Westside Gunn, Lil Eto, Crimeapple … a lot of people on the album (Flee Lord, Ras Kass, A. Flip, Blacksmith, El Camino, IceLord, Liym Capital, Daniel Son).
ITC: Anything else you want to add?