Whenever an artist grinds as hard as this Bronx-hailing emcee for as long as he has, it’s a surprise that he hasn’t become a Hip-Hop household name yet. With that said, Jae Tips — a name that evolved from a certain St. Louis hit single — continues his onslaught of dope music with the new release HypeBeast 3 (his ninth!), which sees the rapper-fashion entrepreneur unleashing an unrelenting amount of unabashed, straight-to-the-point lyricism over crisp, multi-layered production…it’s like watching one of the realest, most inspiring movies ever for the new generation.
Recently, RESPECT. caught up with Jae Tips to speak on the new project…he also spoke on being a ‘hypebeast’ (and what that really means), his favorite kicks, musical influences and much more.
RESPECT.: How did you get into both making music and the sneakerhead lifestyle? Which came first?
Jae Tips: Sneakers were pretty much forced on me. I can remember being about 5 or 6 years old and my mother and father just spoiling me rotten and going into any sneaker store and always asking the associates for what was new so I got used to being fresh and kids expecting me to have what’s new, so at a early age I cared about maintaining my image.
I got into music just [fitting in] with my friends in high school, because that’s what they did after school…after a few weeks of thinking it was corny I decided to write my first rap and the passion for music grew in me from there.
RESPECT.: Given what I understand the definition of ‘hypebeast’ to be — just wearing whatever brands are hot just because, without any actual thought into style — what’s your take on the term? How does that tie into you using the term for your projects?
Jae Tips: I think from the outside looking in, it’s more then just dressing without actual thought (laughs), and nowadays, anyone who is wearing anything gets called a hypebeast. Some of the stuff I wear, I’m influenced by the designers and creatives, but you can’t stop people calling you a hypebeast, so I’ve given into the term.
RESPECT.: I was admittedly hooked to your music thanks to a rawness reminiscent of an M.O.P. or a Fat Joe. Who would you consider your influences (if any)?
Jae Tips: I grew up heavily influenced by Ghostface [Killah], Big Pun…Kanye [West], Joe Budden, J. Cole. I’m a big fan of storytelling, so those guys helped me through a lot and helped me craft my skills.
RESPECT.: Obviously, your music is way deeper than “hypebeast” culture — even your earlier work contains heavy doses of past reflection and in-depth introspection. How would you best describe your work in general?
Jae Tips: A breath of fresh air, I always moved to my beat, my music has always been a form of therapy, and over the years, the more I’ve lived through, the more I’ve practiced my pen and my raps have continued to explain my current state, through life, politics and self-awareness.
RESPECT.: HypeBeast 3 — how does this new project differentiate from the previous two installments?
Jae Tips: This project is different from others because I’m now completely in control, I’m no longer holding back on personal matters, I’m being as honest as possible even if some things are offensive, and the hand picked production helps my stories come to life in a way better then I feel I’ve done in the past.
RESPECT.: What’s your preferred shoe(s) of choice right now?
Jae Tips: [The] Yeezy 350s, both the first versions and V2…it’s pretty much an all-purpose shoe, I could wear it to a show or to the store and [they’re] super easy to pack.
RESPECT.: It’s our understanding that, at some point early on, you wanted to be a singer. Given the blending of Hip-Hop currently, could you see yourself experimenting with melodies (and even other genres) at some point?
Jae Tips: Maybe as a writer. My passion for R&B is high, but my voice is so bad…I would need too many lessons to get good, but on my whole music, maybe with some Auto-Tune sometime down the line if it’s classy.
Check out the latest from Jae Tips’ online store at ShopJaeTips.com.
RESPECT.: We’re definitely excited to see how you’ll continue to move forward within the music and sneakerhead realms. What’s next for Jae Tips in 2017 and beyond? What’s the biggest thing that you want the listener/viewer to take from you as an artist?
Jae Tips: What’s next for Jae Tips…I will continue to expand in sneaker culture [and] I would like to open a store in the near future. As a listener, something I would want you to take from me is to not conform, be your own hero in your story, everyday you wake up, you should wonder what would Superhero do if he was me and that’s what you should do. Time is precious.
RESPECT.: I must close out by asking: top 5 favorite kicks of all time?
Jae Tips: Air Jordan 17, Air Jordan 11, Lebron 8, Air Max 1 and Air Yeezy 1.
On March 2nd, Jae Tips will be headlining his HypeBeast 3 release concert at New York’s DROM. Get your tickets here.